Milwaukee gets a little more exposure during night two of virtual DNC

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett kicked off convention proceedings on Tuesday night. Photo credit: Alex Hanel/DNCC

Last updated on August 21st, 2020 at 03:16 pm

The second night of the 2020 virtual Democratic National Convention brought Milwaukee slightly more air time than the first.

Mayor Tom Barrett gaveled in Tuesday evening’s primetime program, live from the Wisconsin Center. He opened with remarks on the missed opportunity to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to convention’s host city this week.

“The good people of Milwaukee and I were so excited when we learned that our resilient city was chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. It was the first time a major political party chose Wisconsin to host a convention, but these are not conventional times,” he said.

Barrett also touted the Democrats for prioritizing public health and safety in their decision to hold a virtual event rather than an in-person one.

During a virtual delegate meeting Monday, Wisconsin’s top Democrats, including Barrett, criticized President Donald Trump’s response to COVID-19, blaming him for the lost opportunity to host a full-scale convention.

About half way through the DNC’s two-hour program on Tuesday, Jason Rae, secretary of the Democratic National Committee, called the roll of all 57 states and territories, live from the stage set up at the Wisconsin Center. Rae also serves as president and CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

When it was Wisconsin’s turn to officially cast nomination votes for president of the United States, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes appeared on screen, live from the Wisconsin Center. Barnes took the microphone for about 30 seconds, calling attention to “historical injustice” particularly within Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code where he grew up.

“What many don’t see is the joy, the resilience and opportunity that lies within this community and so many others across America just like it, hard working people fighting to provide for their families and build a better future,” he said.

Milwaukee later received one more mention during a segment focusing on health care. Biden heard from a panel of voters, including Julie Buckholt of Milwaukee, who spoke about her experience as a mother of two daughters who suffer from a disease, called myasthenia gravis.

But the city also garnered what some saw as unwanted media attention this week as a result of the convention. During “The Late Show” Monday, host Stephen Colbert joked about Milwaukee’s shattered convention dreams with a tour of “Virtual Milwaukee.” The segment took jabs at the city’s abandoned factories and segregated neighborhoods as historic sites and played up the usual Milwaukee stereotypes.

VISIT Milwaukee wasn’t having it after producing 30 video vignettes to promote Milwaukee to the 50,000 visitors that would have descended upon the area this week.

Meanwhile, activity outside the Wisconsin Center has remained largely uneventful, aside from a couple small protest groups and media.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is scheduled to speak during night three of the DNC Wednesday.

Below is a collection of original and contributed shots from the first two days of the 2020 virtual DNC.

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Maredithe Meyer
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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