By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 11, 2019 at 9:59 AM

Social media and the entire internet is already buzzing with the news: Milwaukee has nabbed the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

So much for the idea that Mayor Tom Barrett would announce it at the State of the City address this morning or that the honor would go to former First Lady Michelle Obama at her Thursday appearance here.

The convention is slated for July 13-16, 2020. It is the first time that Democrats have hosted their national convention in the Midwest outside of Chicago since 1916.

"If we’re going to take back the White House, restore the guard rails of our democracy, and make government work for American families, we need to earn it," said DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement. "We need to fight alongside our brothers and sisters in labor to build a brighter future together, and empower the diversity of our party and country. This choice is a statement of our values, and I'm thrilled Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

"The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people. We saw in this last election what we can accomplish when we come together, invest, and fight for working people, and that was proven right here in Wisconsin. I want to thank the leaders in Houston and Miami for all their hard work throughout this process. They both put forward competitive proposals that I’m sure will lead them to hosting future conventions."

The process for selecting a city to host the 2020 convention was spearheaded by site selection process was led by Jess O’Connell, who runs NEWCO, a consulting firm based in Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C., and included experts in a range of subjects, including security, transportation, infrastructure, accessibility, housing, and arena and production logic, according to the DNC statement.

The committee behind Milwaukee's bid included Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry.

"This is a great day for the city of Milwaukee and for the State of Wisconsin," said Barrett in the statement. "Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase Milwaukee on one of the largest stages in the world."

According to the Democratic National Committee, the convention is expected to bring more than 50,000 visitors to Milwaukee, along with a $200 million financial impact.

The expectation is that there will be about 1,500 events connected to the convention, which itself will be held at the Fiserv Forum.

"We’re thrilled that the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be held at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee," said Fiserv Forum and Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin. "This selection is the result of an incredible collective effort to progress Milwaukee’s revitalization and status as a premier global destination.

"The state-of-the-art venue will offer best-in-class hospitality, technology and accessibility for the thousands of visitors coming to our city, making for a seamless experience throughout the entire event. We thank the Democratic National Committee for recognizing that Fiserv Forum and Milwaukee will provide the ideal setting for the Democratic National Convention."

The Milwaukee Common Council has called a special meeting for 1:30 p.m. today to discuss business related to the convention announcement.

Milwaukee is READY!

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.