Over 4,700 delegates and 347 alternates gathered in Philadelpia in late July to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee.  Seventeen months earlier, on Feb. 12, 2015, the Democratic National Committee announced the selection of Philadelphia as the host city (+).  In April the DNC announced leadership of the Democratic National Convention Committee.  The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee raised funds and in-kind contributions to host the convention, organized volunteers, and made preparations to welcome delegates and visitors.  The third key player is the City of Philadelphia, led by Mayor Jim Kenney.  The key to an operationally successful convention is for these three entitites to be working together.  continues...

City of Philadelphia

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Convention Program Highlights

Mon., July 25
3:00 p.m.4:00 p.m.
Tues., July 26
4:00 p.m.
Wed., July 27
4:30 p.m.4:00 p.m.
Thurs., July 28
4:30 p.m.4:00 p.m.
United Together
A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families Working Together
Stronger Together
First Lady Michelle Obama
Senator Bernie Sanders
DREAMer Astrid Silva

President Bill Clinton
 Mothers of the Movement

Vice President Joe Biden
President Barack Obama

Chelsea Clinton
Hillary Clinton


Selected Press Releases

Democratic National Convention Committee +

July 25, 2016 - Officers for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

July 24, 2016 - Schedule for Convention Caucus and Council Meetings

July 20, 2016 - Plans to Make this the Most Accessible Convention Ever

July 18, 2016 - Americans from Across the Country to Speak at Democratic National Convention

July 15, 2016 - Headlining Speakers for Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

July 13, 2016 - Unprecedented Array of Livestreaming Options

July 11, 2016 - Curalate Named An Official Technology Provider

June 22, 2016 - Moves Into Wells Fargo Center

June 6, 2016 - Signs Project Labor Agreement with Philadelphia Labor Unions

May 27, 2016 - Announces Series of Platform Hearings Across the Country

May 23, 2016 - Announces Platform Drafting Committee Members

Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee +

Sept. 27, 2016 - Federal Election Commission (FEC) Report Summary

July 23, 2016 - Welcomes Delegates and Visiitors with 360 Virtual Reality Anthem

July 23, 2016 - Unveils Patriotic Themed Scrims Throughout Center City Construction Sites

July 22, 2016 - Names Exelon Official Zero-Carbon Energy Provider for Democratic National Convention

July 22, 2016 - To Kick Off the Democratic National Convention with Philly Feast Street Food Festival

July 15, 2016 - Announces Media Partnerships to Promote Philadelphia Ahead of the Democratic National Convention

July 7, 2016 - Partners with the Arc of Somerset County and AT&T to Offer Opportunities to Members of the Disabled Community

July 6, 2016 - Opening of Pop-Up Shop for Official Host Committee Merchandise

June 20, 2016 - Beautification Projects Along Broad Street Ahead of Democratic National Convention

June 17, 2016 - ...and Impact Communications Announce Launch of Official Online Merchandise Store

June 9, 2016 - Selection of Volunteer Vetting Services Firm

June 1, 2016 -
You Don't Want to Miss This" Promotional Campaign

May 26, 2016 - Unique Partnership with Local Organizations to Create Youth News Team

May 12, 2016 - PoliticalFest

May 9, 2016 -
Selection of Event Planners For Three Major Convention Parties

April 19, 2016 - Donkeys Around Town

March 14, 2016 - LeapStarr Productions As Official Event Producer of PoliticalFest

March 1, 2016 - Selection Of Impact Dimensions As Official Merchandise Firm

City of Philadelphia +

July 23, 2016 - Mayor Kenney DNC Schedule

July 23, 2016 - Mayor Releases Statement on Airport Subcontracted Employees

January 27, 2016 - City Announces Preparations for Democratic National Convention


July 27, 2016 - Coalition of 57: Coalition of 57 Democratic Party delegations commend police response to peaceful direct action following nomination of Hillary Clinton

July 25, 2016 - Media Research Center: Media Research Center Infiltrates Democratic Convention with Ads

July 21, 2016 - National Nurses United: Nurses to Co-Host Sanders-Sponsored Convention Forum On Next Steps for Guaranteed Healthcare/Medicare for All

July 21, 2016 - Freedom from Religion Foundation: FFRF takes its message to DNC

July 20, 2016 - Delta Scientific: At Democratic Convention, Delta Portable Anti-Terrorist Barriers to Protect Against Vehicle Threats

July 13, 2016 - 32BJ SEIU: Philadelphia Airport Workers Vote to Strike During DNC, Demand $15 and a Union

July 6, 2016 - Democrats for Life of America: Party of Diversity and Inclusion Needs to Open the Big Tent to Pro-Life Voters

July 5, 2016 - Priorities USA Action: Priorities USA Action, Senate Majority PAC, House Majority PAC to Host Unity Events at Democratic National Convention

June 15-July 1, 2016 - ACLU of Pennsylvania: Press Releases on Free Speech Restrictions and Accomodating Protests During the DNC

June 8, 2016 - The Creative Coalition: Eight Time Grammy Winner FERGIE to headline The Creative Coalition’s Benefit Gala during 2016 Democratic National Conventio 

May 31, 2016 - Equality Forum: Nation’s Premier LGBT Civil Rights Summit Announces Plans for 2016 Democratic National Convention

May 6, 2016 - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Credit Unions Partner With Democratic National Convention Committee and RealClear Politics on Community Service Project for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Jan. 21, 2016 - PIDC The Navy Yard: PIDC Announces Event Spaces Available at The Navy Yard for Democratic National Convention Related Events

Both Conventions

July 19, 2016 - U.S. Travel Association: Party Conventions to Create $360 Million in Direct Spending for Host Cities

July 18, 2016 - SOLiD: SOLiD Delivers In-building Cellular Coverage and Capacity at Republican and Democratic National Conventions

July 17, 2016 - Zignal Labs: Zignal Labs Command Centers to be Featured at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions

July 15, 2016 - HeadCount: Grace Potter, Dawes, Moon Taxi to Play HeadCount Convention Jams

July 14, 2016 - Amnesty International: Amnesty International to Send Delegation of Human Rights Observers to the Republican and Democratic 2016 National Conventions

July 13, 2016 - Grassroots Global Justice Alliance: Grassroots Leaders from across the US and Honduras converge on the conventions

July 12, 2016 -  Americans for the Arts Action Fund: ArtsSpeak at the 2016 Political Conventions

July 11, 2016 - Feeding America: Elected Officials Take Time Out From National Political Conventions To Learn About Hunger In America

July 8, 2016 - Uber: Donkeys, Elephants and Uber

July 1, 2016 - Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: Franklin Graham Holding Live Prayer Events for Upcoming Political Conventions

June 27, 2016 - Verizon: Verizon enhances network for Republican and Democratic convention delegates, media and visitors

See also: Media










...continued from above

A major emphasis for convention organizers from the site selection process on was a focus on diversity.  On June 10, 2016 the DNCC reported that as of May, 61% of DNCC staff were women and 56% of DNCC staff are diverse.  Following the convention, the Host Committee reported that "an unprecedented 67 percent of the Host Committee’s opportunity spend [discretionary spending] was awarded to diverse- and minority-owned businesses."

The DNCC took control of Wells Fargo Center on May 28.  All told, as of June 21 the Committee had about 120 staff.  By comparison the Host Committee was much smaller, with about 12 staff and 15 full time equivalents.  One of the Host Committee's biggest expenses was transportation; running a fleet of 400 buses adds up.  The Host Committee had pledged to raise $46.5 million in cash and $15 million in in-kind contributions, and it surpassed that amount, reporting after the convention that it raised $85.5 million (+).

From a planning perspective, Philadelphia has the advantage of having hosted the Republican National Convention not so long ago, in 2000, and organizers can draw from those experiences.  To take one example the Host Committee organized a PoliticalFest event which mirrored an event of the same name put on by the Philadelphia 2000 Host Committee (+).

In addition to the official activities of the Convention, Democrats and allied groups organized hundreds of events, receptions, forums and parties.  Republicans set up a counter-convention presence. 

While Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters talked about a contested convention, on June 6 the Associated Press reported that Hillary Clinton had achieved the requisite number of delegates to win the nomination, and her victories in the June 7 contests sealed the deal.  The question was whether the Sanders campaign wouldl take a confrontational or more consensus-oriented approach.  At one point Sanders said the convention could be "messy."  His campaign warned that, "If the process is set up to produce an unfair, one-sided result, we are prepared to mobilize our delegates to force as many votes as necessary to amend the platform and rules on the floor of the convention."  For example, the Sanders campaign sought to remove co-chairs of two of the Convention Standing Committees, describing them as "aggressive attack surrogates for the Clinton campaign" (1, 2).  Sanders gained a voice in drafting the platform; the Platform Drafting Committee, announced on May 23, had representatives selected by the Clinton and Sanders campaigns and the DNC Chairman.  The Committee held hearings in June and on July 8-9 finalized what party chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz called "the most progressive, inclusive and ambitious" platform in the Democratic Party’s history, subject to ratification by the full Convention.  Sanders lauded the platform, pointing to successes on climate change, criminal justice reform and the federal minimum wage, and stating, "We have made enormous strides."

Hillary Clinton's selection of Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, announced via text on July 22 (+) was seen as something of a rebuff to Sanders.  Sanders supporters could claim a victory when hacked DNC emails* led DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce on July 24 that she would resign.  Still there was tension between Clinton and Sanders supporters.  Sanders supporters were particularly boisterous on the first night of the Convention, marked by dueling chants of "Hillary" and "Bernie."  On Tuesday the roll call vote concluded with Sanders asking that Clinton be nominated by acclamation, but some Sanders supporters walked out and occupied the front of one of the media tents (+).  During the Convention proceedings on Wednesday some Sanders delegates continued to wave smuggled TPP signs, and on Thursday many donned fluorescent yellow-green tee-shirts.  Some Sanders delegates and activists vowed that they would never support Clinton.  Other Sanders delegates acceded to the calls for unity, and donned Clinton campaign buttons or shirts.  Personal interactions within state delegations, as well as powerful speeches by Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, President Obama and others helped pave the way.  Closing speeches by Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton brought the Convention to a successful conclusion, and Clinton and Kaine started a bus tour the next day.

Both conventions were designated National Special Security Events and dozens of law enforcement agencies coordinated on security operations under the direction of the U.S. Secret Service (+).  The City of Philadelphia received a $49.9 million grant from the Department of Justice for security, most of which will go to covering overtime costs of the various law enforcement agencies. 

There were protests.  Sanders supporters held marches, rallies and events (+) ranging from a "DC to DNC March for Democracy" to a "Revolutionary Celebration for We the People" (+).  Americans Against Fracking held a "March for a Clean Energy Revolution" the day before the convention opened (+).  The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign did a "March for Our Lives" on the opening day of the convention (+).  Socialist groups from across the spectrum were represented at various events (1, 2).

Finally, some fifteen thousand media representatives covered the activity at the Convention.

Gabriela Hurtado-Ramos

Recent Conventions: 2012 Charlotte  - 2008 Denver - 2004 Boston - 2000 Los Angeles