Friday, June 15, 2007

Colorado Springs to host 2008 Colorado Democratic State Convention!

The 2008 Colorado Democratic State Convention will be held in Colorado Springs!

The Road to the White House will go through Colorado Springs!

The following is from the blog of Colorado Democratic State Party First Vice Chair Dan Slater:

Remember Weld County? Remember how they were so red for years that the election of Jim Riesberg to represent Greeley in 2004 was seen as a fluke by many? Then, do you remember how we held our 2006 State Assembly in Greeley? Maybe you didn't notice, but people came from out of the woodwork to help put on a great event in Greeley for us. Those volunteers didn't just go back home and sit in their easy chairs after the Island Grove Events Center was cleaned up. Instead, they spread out across the communities of Weld County and worked for victory in 2006.

Then, something amazing happened. Bill Ritter -- a Democrat -- won Weld County. Now, I'm not saying it was all due to that little soiree we held at Island Grove in May that did it. But I think most folks would agree that it helped.
Last night, the members of the State Party's Site Selection Committee made another historic decision: they are recommending that the road to the Democratic National Convention in Denver go through Colorado Springs. They are recommending that the road to the second Democratic United States Senator from Colorado go through Colorado Springs. To be fair, the decision was not easy. Broomfield Democrats put together an amazing bid; I was foaming at the mouth to be able to produce a state convention and assembly at the new Broomfield Events Center. But there were just too many advantages to going to El Paso County to ignore, and that's why the decision by the Committee was unanimous.

Here's some of the Party's press release this morning:

DENVER, Colorado

The Colorado Democratic Partys Site Selection Committee last evening unanimously voted to recommend that the 2008 State Democratic Convention and Assembly be held at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. The decision followed intensive work, including site visits, by leaders of both Colorado Springs and Broomfield to woo the Democrats to their respective communities. Pursuant to Party rules, the Partys Executive Committee will vote in July on whether to accept the recommendation.CDP First Vice Chair and Site Selection Committee Chair Dan Slater talked about the process. "The members of the Site Selection Committee have worked extremely hard over the past two months to ensure that every possible angle of these bids have been examined. While we were very impressed with the bid from Broomfield, in the end, the bid from El Paso County Democrats excelled in every area: technical, political, and in terms of community support. El Paso Countys Democratic Party has proven to be one of the most energetic in the state, and we are confident that they will be the ideal hosts for us in May of 2008."
State Party Chair Pat Waak praised the work of the Committee. "I am very pleased that we had such a hard-working group of people willing to work on this task. Im confident the Executive Committee will support their recommendation, and Im excited to nominate our next United States Senator in Colorado Springs." Waak said that the choice of historically-Republican El Paso County meshed well with the Partys "64-County Strategy". "Were competing in all parts of this state. Democrats have better ideas, are better organized, and have better candidates. To consistently win statewide, we have to be willing to take on Republicans everywhere, and were doing that. Colorado Springs is changing, as weve seen with the elections of Representative Michael Merrifield and Senator John Morse. Were proud to honor those changing dynamics by bringing the state to Colorado Springs next May."
This was the second time the Colorado Democratic Party had used a competitive site selection process to choose the site for the state assembly/convention. In 2005, the Party chose Greeley as its site for the 2006 State Assembly, and the resulting energy from that event is partially credited by many for Governor Bill Ritters historic victory in Weld County in 2006. The Site Selection Committee is comprised of 10 members, plus a non-voting chair, appointed by the State Party Chair. Of the ten members, at least one must come from each of Colorados seven Congressional Districts, guaranteeing geographical diversity. A Request for Proposals was sent out to each county Democratic chair in April, 2007, with Broomfield and Colorado Springs submitting bids in May, 2007.As noted, the decision has yet to be ratified by the State Executive Committee, which will likely be meeting on July 21 in Pueblo. But I'm hopeful that the Executive Committee will see the same advantages we saw and endorse this decision.
Dan Slater: "I had to drive through Colorado Springs to get back home last night. Since there was already a fundraiser for Representative Michael Merrifield and Senator John Morse going on, I thought I'd stop by and somewhat-informally congratulate the El Paso Dems on their success.
There just happened to be a reporter from the Colorado Springs Gazette there, and here's some of what is up on the Gazette today:
A site-selection committee for the state party unanimously agreed Wednesday that Democrats hold the partys 2008 state convention in Colorado Springs. The partys executive committee still must ratify the recommendation next month, but several sources said thats merely a formality. The May convention will be a two-day affair at several hotels and the World Arena, culminating in the expected nomination of Congressman Mark Udall as the partys U.S. Senate nominee. It is a separate event from the weeklong Democratic National Convention that will be held next summer in Denver. Still, the state convention is expected to attract 6,500 peo- ple, most of whom will come from outside the area, staying at city hotels and eating in local restaurants. No figures were available late Wednesday on the exact economic impact, but Mayor Lionel Rivera, who wrote a letter to support the bid, said Republican state conventions that have been here have typically filled all the hotel rooms in the southwest part of town. "Were going to play everywhere, including the reddest parts of the state," Dan Slater, chairman of the selection committee, told Democratic leaders at The Warehouse restaurant. "This county is in play." His optimism as well as the idea of a state Democratic convention in El Paso County would have seemed laughable in mid-2002, when no Democrats held local office and Libertarians put more candidates onto the ballot here. State Rep. Mike Merrifield, a Colorado Springs Democrat elected in the fall of that year, said he would have been "shocked" by such an announcement at that time. But local Democrats put together an enticing package this year, showing that hotels and the convention could be within walking distance of each other. They also emphasized the importance of El Paso County Democratic votes to winning statewide races. "Pretty clearly, the state party recognizes the tectonic shift thats occurring in El Paso County," said state Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs. A tectonic shift indeed. And we're just beginning...
As a resident of Colorado Springs, I am thrilled by this exciting news -- and I look forward to a strong show of support for Governor Richardson -- at BOTH of next year's Colorado conventions!!
Together, we're going to change America!
Richardson for President ~ I Believe!

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