Joe Solmonese, CEO of the DNC, (far left) spoke with Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski about what candidates can take away from Wisconsin’s 2018 election. (Photo by Ana Martinez-Ortiz)

The Democratic National Convention, which is being hosted in Milwaukee, is fast approaching. The convention is scheduled to take place in July and the planning committee is working hard to ensure that the convention will not only run smoothly but that the people of Milwaukee can benefit too.

Joe Solmonese, the CEO of the DNC committee, said that decision to have the DNC in Milwaukee was made for several reasons. In addition to Wisconsin residents themselves, Solomonese noted that in 2016 there was a failure to communicate with key states.

Wisconsin, which has long been seen as a swing state, turned red for the 2016 presidential elections, but two years later turned blue for the 2018 governor elections.

Solmonese sat down with Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski to discuss how they swung the state in their favor and Milwaukee’s role in the next presidential election.

Evers said that when he was running for governor back in 2018, there were a handful of candidates running the race alongside him. As a result, candidates were campaigning across the state and giving the same messages. Evers noted that this made him a better candidate and forced him to focus on specific issues in a pragmatic way.

Evers chose to hone in on issues regarding healthcare and the education system. When he was able to get specific, his message and platform became clearer.

Barnes likewise noted the importance of showing up.

“That’s the important thing, we need to show up everywhere,” Barnes said.

Barnes joined Evers’ team after campaigning himself. The governor’s team made sure Barnes made appearances in counties throughout the state. Barnes said that in their first year in office, the duo visited all 72 counties. Even after the election is over, people want to talk, he said, adding that a lot of people had been ignored for too long.

Solmonese said that Milwaukee in many ways is a microcosm for the country and a national battleground state, but the DNC will allow Milwaukeeans and by extension Wisconsinites an opportunity for their concerns to be addressed.

Some of the biggest concerns facing Wisconsinites right now is financial security, said Godlewski. It’s a topic that she hopes candidates address during the DNC. Young people are concerned about student loans and older people are concerned about their children’s plans for retirement.

Wisconsinites are hardworking people and a majority of them simply want a solid middle-class lifestyle, she said.

Solmonese said this year’s DNC will be less about spectacle and more about substance.

The DNC is scheduled to take place at the Fiserv Forum, 1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave., starting Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 16. To learn more about the Milwaukee and the DNC click here or go to