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Columbus2016 Submits Bid for Democratic National Convention

For Immediate Release 
June 6, 2014
For More Information:
John Ivanic, City Council, 645-6798
Tyneisha Harden, Mayor’s office, 645-2425
Beth Ervin, Experience Columbus, 222-6127

Columbus2016 Submits Bid for Democratic National Convention
Host Committee to Include Elected Officials and Community Leaders

Touting ease of transportation, walkable districts, great food and world class facilities, Columbus 2016 today submitted a bid to the Democratic National Committee to host the 2016 National Convention.

"Hosting a national political convention will command the eyes of the world on Columbus," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "We've done significant work to build a great American city and we are confident in our ability to host a phenomenal event.  Our team is diverse, smart and creative, and they have what it takes to put on a historic event of this magnitude."

The convention could draw as many as 45,000 people, including 15,000 international media, and could bring an estimated $150 to $200 million in economic impact to Central Ohio. After reviewing the RFP and considering the fit for the area's hotel, convention center, arena and event space package, Columbus decided it was ready to bid on the 2016 event.  Columbus' bid book includes approximately 300 pages of details, letters of support and answers to planning questions about the city's hospitality, security and transportation infrastructure.

“This is among the world’s greatest conventions and we are going to make sure that Democratic national leaders know that Columbus is ready to host their event and make it fun for delegates,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. “We’ve built an excellent hospitality industry, with hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, new parks and more, but the real key is our welcoming spirit and winning attitude.”

Columbus2016 first explored hosting the convention back in February by holding a cocktail reception in Washington D.C. for members of the Democratic National Committee during their Winter Meeting. Since that time, local leaders and a group of volunteers led by Experience Columbus has put together a concise bid package and formed an impressive host committee to support the effort.

“Columbus is a 21st Century American city,” said U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty. “It is a progressive beacon in the heart of the battleground state of Ohio. And the people of this city are ready to get to work and elect the next President of the United States.”

“The leadership of this City, in both the public and private sectors, stands ready to welcome the DNC to Columbus,” said Council President Andrew J .Ginther.   “With the entire community behind this effort, we can easily demonstrate our ability to host the best possible national convention for the Democratic Party.   I look forward to seeing everyone in 2016.”

“Central Ohio and Franklin County are prepared to host this historic and important convention,’ said Franklin County Commissioner President Marilyn Brown. “From our vibrant, thriving neighborhoods which offer visitors the opportunity to shop, enjoy a good meal or see a show, to our community’s experience welcoming and hosting large events, we’re eager to get started.”

Columbus2016 Host Committee:

Board of Directors

Chair, Brian Ross, CTA, President & CEO Experience Columbus
Vice Chair, Stephen J.H. Lyons, Executive Vice President, Columbus Partnership
Christie Angel, CTA, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Michael B. Coleman
Don L. Brown, CTA, Franklin County Administrator
Tom Katzenmeyer, CTA, President & CEO, Greater Columbus Arts Council

Elected Officials

Joyce Beatty, Member of Congress
Heather Bishoff, State Representative
Kevin Boyce, State Representative
Paula Brooks, Franklin County Commissioner
Marilyn Brown, President, Franklin County Board of Commissioners
Terry Brown, Franklin County Recorder
Michael B. Coleman, CTA, Mayor, City of Columbus
Hearcel Craig, Columbus City Council
Mike Curtin, State Representative
Andrew J. Ginther, President, Columbus City Council
John and Annie Glenn, former U.S. Senator
Tracy Maxwell Heard, State Representative, Minority Leader
Mary Jo Hudson, Member, Columbus Board of Education, and Attorney, Bailey, Cavalieri, LLC
Honorable Jerry MacArthur Hultin, Senior Presidential Fellow, New York University, President Emeritus, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, and Former Under Secretary of the Navy
Zach Klein, Columbus City Council
David Leland, Partner, Carpenter, Lipps and Leland, LLC, and former Chair, Ohio Democratic Party
Ed Leonard, Franklin County Treasurer
A. Troy Miller, Columbus City Council
Michelle Mills, Columbus City Council
John O’Grady, Franklin County Commissioner
Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, Clerk, Franklin County Common Pleas Court
Eileen Paley, Columbus City Council
Chris Redfern, Chairman, Ohio Democratic Party, and State Representative
Fran Ryan, former Chair, Franklin County Democratic Party
Zack Scott, Franklin County Sheriff
Michael Stinziano, CTA, State Representative
Priscilla Tyson, Columbus City Council

Community Leaders

Misha Barnes, Managing Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Yvette McGee Brown, former Justice, Ohio Supreme Court and partner, Jones Day
William Burga, former President, Ohio AFL-CIO
TaKeysha Sheppard Cheney, Founder & CEO, The Women's Book & TWB Media Group
Joel Diaz, Chief Development Officer, AIDS Resource Center Ohio
Alex Fischer, President and CEO, Columbus Partnership
Thomas Grote, Chief Financial Officer and stakeholder, Green Biologics Limited
Elyzabeth J. Holford, Executive Director, Equality Ohio
Donna James, Managing Director, Lardon & Associates LLC
Nancy Kramer, Founder and Chairman, Resource, and member, Columbus Partnership
Ronald A. Pizzuti, Chairman and CEO, The Pizzuti Companies
Joseph Rugola, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Public School Employees/AFSCME Local 4
Frances Strickland, Educational Psychologist and Former First Lady of Ohio
Abigail Wexner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Whitebarn Associates, member, Columbus Partnership 
David and Degee Wilhelm, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Hecate Energy 
Becky Williams, President, Service Employees International Union District 1199

The selection process for the DNC will continue through the summer of 2014. As part of Columbus’ advocacy, local leaders will host and attend events with the DNC in Washington, D.C. and other cities to meet the delegates and the leaders who vote on the site selection committees.

Columbus 2016 includes representatives from the City of Columbus, Columbus Partnership, Experience Columbus, Franklin County and local political leaders. More information on Columbus 2016 and the city’s bid for the DNC can be found at Or by following @Columbus2016dnc on Twitter.