DNC host committee launches portal to recruit 15,000 volunteers

10,000 people have already expressed interest

Liz Gilbert was fired from her role as president of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.
Liz Gilbert was fired from her role as president of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.

Last updated on January 31st, 2020 at 12:04 pm

The local host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention says more than 10,000 people have already expressed interest in volunteering during the July event. But 5,000 additional volunteers are still needed to meet recruiting goals.

Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee on Thursday announced the launch of its online volunteer portal, where people can register and apply for volunteer opportunities on a rolling basis.

The committee plans to enlist a team of 15,000 volunteers to lend a hand in a number of capacities such as greeting visitors at hotels and the airport, responding to phone and online inquiries, producing content for social media, making deliveries and assisting with technology, IT and media logistics needs.

“Members of our volunteer corps will be the primary ambassadors for everything this community is and everything this community has to offer,” said Liz Gilbert, president of 2020 Milwaukee Host Committee.

As part of recruitment efforts, the committee has partnered with the Milwaukee Public Library, which has set up registration sites at its 13 branches.

People can use designated computers to access the volunteer portal, and library staff members are available to assist with the registration process when needed.

Designated computer stations with instructional signage have been set up at MPLs 13 branches.

Gilbert said the partnership aims at breaking “down barriers to civic engagement” by making volunteer registration accessible to all.

“Libraries have historically served as a forum for community gatherings, the exchanging of ideas, learning about history and fostering a sense of civic pride,” Gilbert said. “It’s why we’re eager to partner with the library system.”

Additional volunteers and community partners will be present at the Mitchell Street, East, and Martin Luther King branch libraries on Saturdays in February and March to assist individuals who need language, technological, or other support during the registration process.

“Our mission at Milwaukee Public Library is to help residents read, learn, and connect, not only to our resources but also with each other and with their community,” said Paula Kiely, director at the Milwaukee Public Library. “As we look to promote civic literacy and engagement throughout the city, we’re proud to support the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee in their efforts to reach volunteers from every neighborhood.

As of Thursday, those who had already signed up to volunteer via the host committee’s website have received instructions to visit the portal and create a profile as the next step of the process.

There are volunteer opportunities both during the convention, taking place July 13 to 16, and in the months and weeks leading up it, Gilbert said. Volunteers working during the convention must be at least 16 years old.

Since it was formed, Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee has touted efforts to put on the most diverse and inclusive DNC in party history, with plans to contract diverse-owned, local businesses and ensure the DNC’s estimated $200 million in economic impact benefits the entire area, not just the immediate downtown.

The committee contracted Rosterfy, a San Fransisco-based event workforce management company to create the volunteer portal. Calls for a volunteer management software system were made in October as one of the first RFPs issued by the host committee.

The deal involves a local component: Rosterfy will donate a 12-month subscription for its service to a Milwaukee-area organization after the convention.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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