WASHINGTON — To win the 2024 Democratic National Convention, the Democratic National Committee required bidders to establish a line of credit, which is why the city of Chicago created a $30 million credit agreement with Amalgamated Bank in New York.
A spokesman for Mayor Brandon Johnson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the new mayor, who took office May 15, agrees to the line of credit agreement former Mayor Lightfoot signed May 12, in the last days of his term.
Since 2000, when the Democrats met in Los Angeles, their conventions have been privately funded.
As part of the city’s winning bid, beating out Atlanta and New York, the host committee, Development Now for Chicago, committed to raising $84.697 million. That figure is in the 59-page credit agreement between the city and Amalgamated obtained by the Sun-Times.
The DNC, in their request for proposal, wanted a credit facility as backup and a financial tool for smooth cash flow management in the short term, since contributions to the host committee do not arrive all at once.
The host committee, still in formation, has enormous fundraising power: It is led by Michael Sacks, a major Democratic donor and fundraiser. Billionaire Governor JB Pritzker is expected to be a major contributor.
No one anticipates that the City of Chicago will be in a bind for taxpayer dollars as a result of this line of credit.
Large anticipated donations from the Pritzker host committee sweetened the tone for the city’s DNC, which was already strong due to Chicago’s ability to run a turnkey operation; Illinois and nearby Democratic Midwestern states are a showcase for President Joe Biden’s policies; excellent hotels, restaurants, museums and other places in the union, as well as fantastic beaches and more.
On April 11, the DNC announced that Chicago will host the convention at the United Center from August 19-22, 2024, with other events at the McCormick Place complex.
When the contract was signed on April 12, there was still one part of the financial deal to complete: the line of credit agreement, which Lightfoot signed on May 12.
“The $30 million line of credit that the city put forward was a critical component to Chicago’s successful bid to host the 2024 DNC Convention,” Lightfoot told the Sun-Times by email.
“This line will help ensure that the Host Committee’s fundraising efforts are focused on raising the funds needed to provide a world-class experience for President Biden, Vice President Harris, Democratic Party delegates and attendees,” he said. .
The 2024 Democratic convention in Chicago will be funded primarily through three sources:
• The host committee committed to raising $84.697 million.
• The 2024 Inc. Democratic National Convention Committee will do its own fundraising subject to Federal Election Commission rules.
• Since 2004, host cities have received $50 million in federal funds to help pay for security costs. Congress is being asked to increase this to $75 million each for Chicago and Milwaukee, which will host the Republican presidential convention July 15-18, 2024.