NYC mayor, hotel workers union make TV ad to bring Democratic National Convention to city
NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams and the union that represents New York City’s hotel workers are bringing their pitch to host the Democratic National Convention to Washington, D.C., this week in a television ad that’s set to start airing Tuesday.
The ad, which is slated to run on CNN and MSNBC in the D.C. metro area, features Adams and members of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council touting the Big Apple’s diversity and labor-friendly bona fides and is intended to get the attention of President Joe Biden and members of the Democratic National Committee, who will ultimately decide where the 2024 convention is held.
“The DNC belongs in NYC,” Adams says in the ad. “Welcome to New York. We are waiting for you.”
New York City is vying with Chicago and Atlanta to host the convention. Houston, another city that was initially being mulled as a potential host, is now no longer considered to be in the running.
The one-minute spot, which was paid for by the union and obtained in advance by the Daily News, focuses almost solely on the fact that New York City is a union town — something Atlanta cannot claim. Labor leaders leaning toward bids in Chicago and New York have homed in on this fact as one of the key arguments in picking either one of those cities.
“We’re a union town — labor strong and worker proud,” the ad’s narrator notes. “We’ve been through tough times, but we never give up.”
Whether this sort of messaging will prove effective in persuading Democrats to choose New York City is still unclear, but Biden did make strengthening the labor movement a theme of his State of the Union speech this month, stating at one point that Congress should pass the PRO Act, which would strengthen union protections.
“I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing,” Biden said during his Feb. 7 address to Congress. “Workers have a right to form a union. And let’s guarantee all workers have a living wage.”
New York City’s pitch to land the convention, which will likely serve as Biden’s formal kickoff to run for a second term, centers on the city’s hotel, transit and convention space infrastructure, as well as the fact that it’s one of the most union-friendly town in the U.S.
If selected, Madison Square Garden would serve as the convention’s main venue with the Javits Center acting as a secondary hub.
Both Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul have been trying to make the case for the city over the last several months. Last summer, Hochul contended that the city best exemplifies Democratic Party values like inclusivity and diversity, and Adams’ highlighted the city’s hotels, restaurants and nightlife.
Adams and several members of the city’s congressional delegation announced in May that the city was submitting a bid. If successful it would be the first time a Democratic National Convention was held in the city since 1992, when President Bill Clinton was elevated as the party’s presidential nominee.
A decision on who will host the convention could come as early as this month, according to a source looped into the process.
The hotel workers union, which boasts about 35,000 members in the five boroughs, is targeting Washington because it’s hoping the ad will influence decision-makers outside New York City and the Northeast, where support for the city’s bid is strong. But it will also stream inside and outside of D.C. on platforms like YouTube, Hulu, Roku and Amazon Prime. Those streamed ads will be targeted toward the White House and Democratic National Committee headquarters.
The spots will run for at least a week, according to a union spokesperson.
“NYC has the best hotels run by the best hospitality staff in the country ready to roll out the red carpet for President Biden and the DNC. Our members and everything they’ve achieved are a shining example of what the Democratic Party stands for — excellent jobs with middle class wages, free family health care, and workplace protections that empower a diverse workforce,” said Rich Maroko, president of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council. “With more unionized hotels and workers than any other city, we’re proud to call on President Biden and the DNC to choose NYC for this convention.”