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Chicago Democratic party leaders make official announcement about 2024 national convention

Illinois Democratic leaders make 2024 Chicago DNC announcement
Illinois Democratic leaders make 2024 Chicago DNC announcement 02:48

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Plans for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next year became clearer on Wednesday – a day after they were first announced.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, city and state leaders and Democratic Party bigshots gathered Wednesday to reveal new details about how it will all come together.

Democratic Party leaders made their official announcement Wednesday on the Shedd Aquarium patio.

Planning for the 2024 convention is in the early stages, so details are scarce. But energy most assuredly was not.

"We are looking forward to celebrating right here in Chicago!" said Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison.

Harrison turned on the enthusiasm during the Democratic Party's official 2024 convention announcement on Wednesday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot echoed it.

"We're pledging not only our time, our commitment, our resources, but our reputation to say that this is the right thing to do," Mayor Lightfoot said.

The announcement, not surprisingly, took the tone of an Illinois Democratic Party love fest – and brought out all of the state's political heavy-hitters.

In addition to Mayor Lightfoot, Gov. JB Pritzker, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Westchester), former Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz were also all present.

Official 2024 DNC announcement brings new information from Democratic leaders 02:01

Those on the podium took a few questions, including how the city will keep delegates, and convention sites, safe.

"I can't get into, obviously, all the specifics about the plans – but we're going to be working hand in glove as we would always do and you would expect, with our federal partners, with the Secret Service, with the FBI, and others to make sure that the convention sites themselves are incredibly secure," Lightfoot said.

Kozlov also asked what sort of infrastructure improvements were expected to be necessary in the city prior to the convention.

"Because of President Biden, the infrastructure dollars are there for us to make the investments – they're enormously important," said Gov. Pritzker.

"We don't want to have specific dollar amounts that we're going to put on the table today, but whatever is necessary, we're going to get it done," said Mayor Lightfoot.

Lightfoot said Duckworth first brought the idea to host the DNC more than a year ago – and that was when the work began. But Mayor-elect Johnson will be the convention's host – equating himself to a member of the last three championship Bulls teams of the 1990s.

"You know, Michael and Scottie, they didn't know who was going to take the final shot – so they asked Steve Kerr, so I'm obviously Steve Kerr today," Johnson said. "So I took the final shot – here we are, Chicago."

In 1996, Steve Kerr, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen were all still playing basketball at the United Center – which also hosted the DNC that year. The United Center will also host most of the events in 2024.

But Chairman Harrison pledged all parts of the city will benefit.

"We want to make sure that the dollars that flow out of this convention are flowing into all of our communities – not just a select few," Harrison said.

Mayor Lightfoot said a lot of the improvements that were made for the 1996 convention still hold up today – so much of that work around the United Center is already done.

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