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Pittsburgh should welcome 2024 conventions

The Republican and Democratic National committees have conventions planned for 2024. Each would bring thousands of people to the lucky city that is chosen as host to their almost week-long celebrations and partying.

Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake. But in advance of being even considered a finalist, Pittsburgh’s opportunity seems to have been dashed by ... a drum roll, please ... politics. The Pittsburgh Democrats were very quick to jump on the mere suggestion of having all those smelly, moldy Republican dollars being passed around through the hands of Pittsburgh vendors, restaurant owners and hotel managers.

No sir, we would take a hard pass rather than run the risk of Pittsburgh being seen as welcoming and capable of hosting such a major event. We can assume that the same persons will feel the same way about all the negative possibilities that could occur if the Democratic Party would choose Pittsburgh.

Surely, the same threats of violence from the rioters of 2019-20 are still as likely as the rioters from Jan. 6. We don’t want Republicans destroying our government buildings or the Democrats torching police cars and burning our shops and neighborhoods while demanding the defunding of the police.

Are you people all nuts? Tourism dollars are very hard to get. The tourism industry is very competitive. If either national convention would select Pittsburgh, it could mean not only major dollars for the tourism industry, but also countless dollars’ worth of publicity for the many attractions we have to offer. Maybe we could even skim enough off the top to purchase Bob Nutting a shortstop and a couple of pitchers good enough to make other teams minor league rosters.

Yes, security would be needed to keep Browns and Eagle fans from venturing into town and making Yinzers look bad. All emergency type of personnel would be mobilized and the coffers stuffed full of outsider money would fit the bill for our efforts to please our guests. If it is done right, we could even get other large conventions to look at Pittsburgh as well.

But already the naysayers have put partisan politics first and planted the seeds that Pittsburgh couldn’t be trusted to do these conventions safely and well. Well, bull-hockey. The Democratic Party should be ashamed for not giving their new Democratic mayor, Ed Gainey, a chance to shine and to give him his opportunity to really show off the city. He wasn’t afraid of it, so why are the other elected officials?

We suppose it would be a waste of breath to say that if the RNC is turned away, we should try even harder to get the DNC. Why? Because the same acts will take place on the Republican side of the issue. It is beginning to look like the political powers are just as scary as Antifa, the Proud Boys, the KKK and the Little Rascals.

There is probably no amount of money or an orator with the verbal skills to solve this problem today, but when we are watching the convention in Nashville and wishing all that money was being spent in the Pittsburgh market, just remember what could have been if professional political Yinzers would have listened.

— RV

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