Host Committee Finally Ready to Do its Thing

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After more than five months of meticulous planning, cajoling and trying to anticipate problems before they arise, the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention is ready and eager to witness the fruits of its labors.

After more than five months of meticulous planning, cajoling and trying to anticipate problems before they arise, the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention is ready and eager to witness the fruits of its labors.
Committee Director of External Affairs Jordan Schwartz is confident his people have done all they can to prepare the city for what’s coming. Yet he’s still anxious to make sure it all comes together.
“We are in the final sprint preparing for this convention to come to town,” said the 37-year-old Schwartz, son of longtime former U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who’ll be an elected delegate on the floor in support of Hillary Clinton next week. “It really has gone remarkably to plan.
“With any plan there will be changes and updates. But the pieces have all come together, and we’ve gotten a lot of support from stakeholders across the city. We feel ready to go.”
Much of their work has focused on recruiting volunteers and securing hotel space for the masses that will descend upon the Wells Fargo Center and surrounding areas in the next few days. According to Schwartz, that’s been a resounding success.
“Our volunteer effort has exceeded our own expectations,” he said. “We had an initial goal to recruit 10,000. We’ve exceeded that number and have about 15,000. They’ll be out in force during the week of the convention.
“And every hotel in the city and region will be filled to the gills. We have a section on our website [phldnc.com] on how visitors can get the most out of their visit to Philadelphia.”
Meantime, the committee is putting the finishing touches on three invitation-only events. On July 21, prior to the start of the convention, they’ll host an appreciation party for all those volunteers at Penn’s Landing.
Two nights later on July 23 — with the Phillies out of town — Citizens Bank Park will become the place to be, as the committee welcomes 15,000 to 20,000 national and international media members. To accommodate such a throng during the actual convention, a massive media tent has been constructed, which engulfs much of the surrounding parking lot.
Finally, on July 24 two separate parties will be held for the actual delegates and other dignitaries. Some will go to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The others will head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And then, once the parties are over, the “fun” of the convention will finally begin.
“We all have different roles during the convention week,” Schwartz said. “Some of us will be inside the arena. Some [will be] elsewhere in the city.
“But this has been an incredible experience working with this team. Now we get to roll out everything that’s been planned for the better part of two years.”
Contact: jmarks@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729

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