News

    Twin Cities in Spotlight for Republican National Convention

    The last time the Republican National Convention came to the northern state of Minnesota was in 1892. Benjamin Harrison was the Republican nominee for President of the United States. More than a century later on 1 September 2008, Minnesota is once again hosting the Republican nominating convention in what are known as the 'Twin Cities' - Minneapolis and St. Paul. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, even though the convention itself takes place in the state capitol of St. Paul, the city is sharing security responsibilities and economic benefits with its neighboring cities and states.

    When Republicans looked at possible locations to host their National Convention this year, Host Committee President Cyndi Lescher admits St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center was the biggest selling point to win the honor. "Obviously the facility with the adjacency of the RiverCentre," she said. "The infrastructure to make it happen, hotel and venues, and the spirit of the host committee."

    Putting on a convention is an economic windfall for a host city, which sees an influx of cash and people like Joanne Burgos, Press Secretary for the Republican National Convention. She says she started planning this year's big event in 2006.

    "Some of us have been living here for 18 months," Burgos said. "We really have become a part of the community and a big emphasis for us was to boost the local economy. During the four days of the convention, we expect to pump in $160 million."

    That is in addition to the $50 million federal grant awarded to the city of St. Paul to help pay for extra security needed in and around the convention site. The Federal Election Fund also contributed $17 million towards convention spending.

    But the money benefits more than just the city of St. Paul.

    Across the river 16 kilometers away stands Minneapolis, a city that also stands to gain as much from the convention as St. Paul. Travis Bunch is with the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. "When we learned that the region was going to get the RNC [Republican National Convention], even though most people associate it with St. Paul, we knew that it was really going to be the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis St. Paul and Bloomington area," Bunch said.

    Most hotels in the downtown Minneapolis St. Paul area, are already booked for the convention, and restaurant reservations are filling up quick.

    While the short-term benefit is an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars of cash into the local economy, Travis Bunch is focused on the long-term benefits. "I think hopefully what we'll see as the real benefit from this is the opportunity to promote the region and try to get workers to come relocate here, try to get more visitors to come and be a tourist here, and try to get businesses to maybe look at MSP [Minneapolis-St. Paul] as a potential opportunity to expand their business and relocate their business too," he said.

    While the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are engaging in a friendly competition to take in cash spread around during convention time, the national spotlight is also on another city in another state. Denver, Colorado takes the political stage first by hosting the Democratic National Convention a week before the Republican gathering.

    That doesn't bother Cyndi Lesher, who insists there is no rivalry or competition between the convention cities, "Only the media seem to care about that," Lesher said. "We're just focused on putting on a great convention in Minneapolis St. Paul and that's what were all about."

    One roadblock that could stand in the way of Lescher's hopes for a great convention is the large number of protestors expected.

    Minneapolis is sending about 550 policemen to join 500 St. Paul police personnel to help maintain security at the convention. Police from other towns and even some other states will be assigned, for a total of 3,500.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora