The host committee of the Democratic National Convention is slashing staff by more than half as the coronavirus pandemic continues to saturate virtually every aspect of American life, including the Democrat Party’s upcoming convention.
The nonprofit Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee announced on Thursday that it is reducing staff by more than half, going from 31 employees to just 14. While eleven staffers have been offered other positions, including with the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee, six staffers have been laid off, although the committee said they will receive health insurance benefits through August.
What is more, the committee, which needs to raise $70 million for the convention, has only raised half of the needed amount.
“The entire nation is facing the unprecedented challenge of responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and unfortunately, the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee is no different,” Raquel Filmanowicz, CEO of the host committee, said according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“In this climate of uncertainty, we must adjust our plans to match the new reality we’re facing as a nation,” he added.
According to the paper, Filmanowicz “remains steadfast” on the convention proceeding in August, after moving from its originally scheduled dates in mid-July.
Former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe, who also served as governor of Virginia from 2014-2018, suggested on Wednesday that Democrat Party officials consider “creative” options for the convention.
“Sure, it’s possible we have a convention,” he stated, casting his doubts. “I personally think it’s probably most unlikely that we have one.”
“The TV networks are going to give you the equal time that you would have at the convention, so come up with something clever around the country to do it to get the same media exposure,” McAuliffe told USA Today.
“You can build, obviously, a stage anywhere you want, but there are a lot of creative that you need to do,” he added.