New York's local, state and federal elected officials are eager to show off Brooklyn to a Democratic National Committee scouting team in town Monday and Tuesday to assess the logistics of New York City's bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The 15-member technical advisory team will travel by charter bus Monday morning in dedicated traffic lanes from their hotel in midtown Manhattan -- where most convention lodging would be -- to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the proposed convention hall, City Hall officials said.
"I will be there greeting them, telling what a great stadium Barclays is, what a great location for the convention" it is, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday. He added that a DNC concern is that "it'll take too long to get to Barclays" from Manhattan, but said it takes him 15 minutes to drive between his Manhattan office and his Brooklyn home in off-peak hours. It would take delegates even less time with dedicated travel lanes, he said.
Past Democratic and Republican conventions have been held at Madison Square Garden, blocks from Manhattan hotels.
To give the DNC a taste of what the city offers, Mayor Bill de Blasio's team said it has organized meals and meetings with elected officials, and cultural and business leaders at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockefeller Center and Gracie Mansion in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Barclays in Brooklyn.
Public Advocate Letitia James, who, like Schumer, lives in Brooklyn, said she also will be at Barclays Monday. "We offer diversity, we offer culture, we offer vibrancy," she said. "Brooklyn is now a branded destination, and I would urge the DNC to be part of the hottest borough on the planet."
The NYPD and the city Department of Transportation will ensure smooth travel for the delegates between boroughs, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said. As for raising what City Hall projected would be between $80 million and $100 million in private funding to supplement about $8 million footed by taxpayers, Adams said, "This is the place where top Democratic donors are located."
New York City and Philadelphia are expected to be the top contenders for the convention, with Columbus, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; and Phoenix as other candidates.