All Politics is Local

It’s a long ways to the DNC, even once you’re there

So you want to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, July 13-16 in Milwaukee.

Washington will have 107 delegates, of which 30 are reserved for elected officials, party leaders and others who get “automatic” spots.

Presuming you aren’t a Democratic big shot, you will need to be elected as one of 58 delegates from Washington’s 10 congressional districts during May 30 caucuses or as one of 19 at-large delegates during the Washington State Democratic Convention, June 12-14 in Tacoma.

If you make it through that process, you must pay all your costs — transportation, lodging, food and incidentals — to attend the national convention. The Washington State Democrats‘ website suggests you plan on spending $5,000 to $7,000 to cover the whole shebang.

Here’s the kicker — or maybe the final kick. The convention may be in Milwaukee, but you won’t be staying in the city.

In fact, you won’t be even bedding down in the same state.

You and other Washington delegates will be required to stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago O’Hare Airport in Rosemont, Ill. You must attend a breakfast each morning to collect your convention credentials for that day’s session.

In case you’re curious, it’s 81 miles from the delegation’s mandatory hotel to convention central, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

You will have a lot of company in Rosemont, which has a plethora of hotel rooms. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, several large states with big delegations, including California, Texas and Florida, also will stay at Rosemont hotels.

The newspaper reports that 2,926 hotel rooms will be used for delegates in Wisconsin, plus 2,841 hotel rooms for delegates in northeast Illinois.

Delegates from Oregon, our neighbor to the south, will be much closer to the action, in Wauwatosa, Wisc., a Milwaukee suburb.

There is a smidgen of good news.

First, the host committee provides daily transportation to and from the convention site, which likely means a 90-minute (or longer) bus ride at the beginning and end of each of the convention’s four days. That doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, but it’s better than a rental car or Uber.

Second, it’s a little bit cheaper and definitely more convenient to fly into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport than Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport.