DeBlasio: Brooklyn is political party central • Brooklyn Paper

DeBlasio: Brooklyn is political party central

Raise the roof: The Barclays Center could look like Charlotte, North Carolina’s Time Warner Cable Arena did in 2012 if it gets picked to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Associated Press

The obvious choice to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention is officially in the running.

The city sent its bid to host the presidential-candidate picking party to the Democratic National Committee on Thursday and put the Barclays Center at the conveniently located center of its pitch.

“To anchor the convention, we are eager to offer Brooklyn’s Barclays Center as the principal venue,” Mayor DeBlasio wrote in a letter to the committee. “This spectacular arena in one of the most dynamic and resurgent neighborhoods in our city is located atop nine subway lines and a stop on the Long Island Rail Road.”

The proposal also touts venues in other boroughs that could host events associated with the convention, but Brooklyn would get the main political rodeo if New York gets picked.

The Democrats issued a request for proposals to 15 cities back in April and a deputy for the mayor indicated then that Brooklyn could be an option for the quadrennial political ritual. This paper did a comprehensive analysis of the competition that conclusively showed the other contenders are all duds, especially Philadelphia.

In his letter to committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DeBlasio said the city’s essence is in line with the national political party’s.

“The values of the Democratic Party — inclusion, diversity, compassion — are part of our city’s spirit,” the letter says.

DeBlasio’s choice of Brooklyn to host the convention over Manhattan is another indication of Kings County’s rising political clout, according to one Democratic operative.

“Brooklyn is now in a dominant position in New York politics,” said veteran political strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “This would be the proverbial icing on the cake.”

In recent years political parties have held their conventions in swing states in an effort to try and garner additional votes in the general election. But having it in Brooklyn would be a great way to bring together disparate factions of the party, Sheinkopf said.

“Getting Democrats together is worse than herding cats,” he said. “What this would do is give them the appropriate place to come together — to bring together the Hillary Clinton wing of the party and the DeBlasio wing.”

The anointment ceremony would draw thousands of visitors to the city, packing hotels, bars, and restaurants.

The neighborhoods around Barclays Center would likely feel the biggest boon. And by 2016 some 2,000 hotel rooms should be available Downtown.

Brooklyn has never hosted a convention before, but Republicans held theirs in Manhattan in 2004. That event drew hundreds of thousands of protestors, saw 1,800 arrests, and snarled traffic for five days before, during, and after the convention.

Borough President Adams has not let any of that history dampen his enthusiasm for hosting.

“Our borough and our city embody the spirit and the energy that large-scale events need to succeed,” the Beep said in statement. “The time has come to bring the king- (or queen-) making convention to the county of Kings.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Life of the party: The Barclays Center is in the running to host the Democratic National Convention.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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