More than 12,000 have applied to volunteer for the DNC in Chicago

More than 12,000 people have applied to volunteer for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago a little more than a month before the city’s first political convention in 28 years kicks off, Chicago 2024 Host Committee coordinators announced Wednesday.

The convention, scheduled for Aug. 19-22, is expected to attract about 50,000 people — including roughly 5,000 delegates as well as media members and party high rollers — to the United Center and McCormick Place where festivities will be held. Thousands are expected to fill restaurants and entertainment venues, generating an estimated $200 million to the economy.

The volunteers will greet, transport and direct guests and assist at events among other duties, according to a host committee news release. It’s the latest planning hurdle the committee has cleared, having recently said its close to meeting its fundraising goal of about $85 million for the event.

Chicago 2024 Host Committee Executive Director Christy George said the volume of volunteer applications showed excitement about the convention throughout the city and state, calling the achievement a “massive planning milestone.” Nearly 75% of the applications came from Illinois residents and people from every Chicago ZIP code applied to volunteer, George said in the release.

About 1,400 volunteers came through the committee’s Neighborhood Ambassadors program as part of a monthslong recruitment process, officials said. The program is geared toward bringing in volunteers from around the city and suburbs and relaying information between neighbors and convention leaders, according to the release.

It’s the first political convention in Chicago since the Democrats renominated President Bill Clinton at the United Center in 1996. Thousands of volunteers assisted during that convention, guiding delegates and others from party activities to social events.

This time around, volunteers will help in several ways at the city’s two airports, the two official convention venues and numerous hotels, officials said. Volunteers will be asked to, among other duties, greet guests, provide directions, assist with event check-ins and provide transportation for those who are credentialed as well as dignitaries.

How the convention will go off remains to be seen. For now, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to be renominated by the Democrats, but some leaders in the party have urged the president to step aside following his poor performance at last month’s debate with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Biden has rejected those calls and said he will remain the nominee.

Anyone interested in volunteering may still apply at the Chicago DNC website,

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