By: Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-New York) and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D).
Why should New York City host the Democratic National Convention in 2016? Because of our unparalleled diversity, eternal resilience and unmatched financial strength.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Latino constituency in choosing our next president. As Univision’s Jose Zamora noted last week, “there is a very simple political reality — Hispanics will decide the 2016 presidential election.” It is equally impossible to overstate New York City’s ethnic diversity and the unprecedented outreach to the Hispanic community here.
Last week, the city announced that New Yorkers will begin adding municipal city identification cards to their wallets. Available to residents over the age of fourteen regardless of immigration, homeless or gender status, IDNYC allows access to city services and is accepted by the NYPD. This free, government-issued photo identification card provides a safe and secure way to identify who we are — New Yorkers. In less than a week, an astonishing more than 100,000 people have already signed up to receive their IDNYC cards.
It is the most ambitious municipal identification card program in the country. The spirit behind it is also a reason the Democratic Party should bring its 2016 convention here. New York is an American city that stands for what America can and should be — a place that realises that we have shared experiences and responsibilities as a community. That what affects my neighbour affects me. That what makes America isn’t where you were born or where your parents lived but that you believe opportunity and the American dream should be equally accessible to all. In addition, the New York City Council has been a national leader on immigration — having created and funded a landmark public-private partnership for lawyers for unaccompanied minors and supporting projects aimed at keeping immigrant families together. On immigration, New York has been unafraid to lead.
As everyone knows, our sense of community has been tested in New York City over the past two months. We are incredibly proud, though, to say that, like so many other times in our city’s history, we’ve emerged better and stronger for it. First, the incomparable men and women of the New York Police Department worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of those exercising their right to protest, while maintaining a safe environment for everyone else. The NYPD’s unrivalled expertise at handling difficult situations, particularly of a political nature, is a critical asset to any city hosting major events like a political convention. In the last few weeks, we’ve also seen our political leaders and our law-enforcement community work collaboratively to resolve important but natural differences and move forward. For example, New York’s City Council worked closely with the NYPD just last week on a multimillion dollar program to equip New York’s Finest with 13,000 new bulletproof vests. While New York City will never be without controversy, it is our unfailing ability to weather any storm and emerge stronger on the other side that sets us apart from other cities.
Perhaps nothing distinguishes us more, though, from the other cities vying for the honour of hosting the 2016 Democratic convention than the financial stability of our bid. Since the first of the year, we’ve raised more than one million dollars, bringing the total raised in support of the bid to $US16 million. Put simply, political conventions are as expensive as they are important. The unquestioned fundraising ability of New York City’s bid is vital to the ultimate success of the convention.
New York is a city that embodies and embraces diversity and has consistently prioritised the enfranchisement of its most vulnerable communities. It is a city that not only overcomes controversy but learns and improves from it. It is a city that can financially support an event of this magnitude like no other.
New York is a city that embraces the tenants of the Democratic Party, so what better place to hold the 2016 Democratic National Convention than New York City?
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