Minneapolis loses ’08 Green Party bid

Anna Ewart

Minneapolis and two other cities were beat out by Chicago as host for the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominating convention.

According to an Aug. 30 Green Party news release, the other two competing cities were Oakland, Calif., and Detroit.

Delegates from the Party’s National Committee made the decision using instant run-off voting.

Ruth Weill, co-chair of the Green Party’s Annual National Meetings Committee, said organizers sought strong infrastructure and a large Green contingent.

“The factor that played the biggest role was that people wanted a big hub city. Having Green elected officials is important, which Minnesota has a lot of,” she said. “Transportation played a big role. (Chicago) O’Hare is a major transportation hub. People will be coming from all over the world.”

According to its Web site, the Chicago Airport System had 595,624 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2006. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s Web site claims only 475,668 airport operations for 2006.

Despite this discrepancy, Weill said Minneapolis ranked fairly high in the final decision.

The upper Midwest has played host to national conventions in the past.

The Green Party held its 2004 convention in Milwaukee, Wis. The Democratic Party also held its 1996 convention in Chicago.

Green Party members from the four bidding cities submitted proposals to host the 2008 convention, which will be held from July 10 through July 13.

Minneapolis’ Ward 2 city councilman Cam Gordon led the campaign to bring the Green Party’s national convention to Minneapolis. He expressed regret about the national Green Party’s decision and hope for 2012.

“We were very hopeful about Minneapolis having a chance, and it was disappointing not to get it. Ö I’m convinced that Minneapolis would be a great city for the convention, and I’m still interested,” he said.

The Green Party of Minnesota claims Cam Gordon as a Green Party-endorsed office holder. Also in Minnesota are Annie Young, the commissioner at-large of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Russ Stewart, the Third District Duluth City Council member.

Other political parties have been interested in the Twin Cities as a host for their national convention.

Within months of the Green Party’s convention in Chicago, the 2008 Republican National Convention will be held in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center and at other various Twin Cities sites from Sept. 1 through Sept. 4.

Matt Burns, spokesman for the 2008 Republican National Convention, said the convention could incorporate students.

“The party is always interested in getting young Americans involved. Ö Certainly, there will be opportunities for students to volunteer,” he said.