NEXTPittsburgh asked local leaders: Should Pittsburgh be in the running to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016. They respond:

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto

The story of Pittsburgh is intimately intertwined with the values and vision of the Democratic Party. Pittsburgh was the cradle of the scientific and technological innovations that built the world’s modern cities, it was the cradle of the labor reforms that built our middle class, and it was the cradle of the environmental movement that has cleaned our air and our water and made legends of natives like Rachel Carson. We have pulled ourselves back from the brink of economic collapse to emerge as one of the strongest economies in the country, attracting the world’s tech giants, some of the nation’s best education and medical centers, advanced energy research and manufacturing hubs, and some of the world’s most highly educated and entrepreneurial immigrants.

I am confident that Pittsburgh is well-equipped to meet the needs of the Democratic Party and host a convention that will highlight our shared vision and progressive values through the lens of the rebirth of a great American city. I look forward to submitting a formal bid.

Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive

Absolutely. Pittsburgh is representative of the new dynamism that this nation embodies. As a city on the move that’s heading in the right direction, it’s (bringing the convention here) emblematic of what the Democratic Party is doing. President Obama turned around an economy that was heading in the wrong direction. Pittsburgh is very emblematic of that, a former rust belt city that’s moving into a 21st century economy, becoming younger and younger all the time, showing the future what the country and Democratic Party represents.

Craig Davis, President and CEO VisitPITTSBURGH

Pittsburgh has built a reputation for successfully executing high-level conferences and events that require community and organizational collaboration. The G-20 is just one of many examples. We believe we have the infrastructure and capacity to host the Democratic National Committee.

Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington)

Hosting the Democratic Convention would be another great way to spotlight the city and its comeback. From the MLB All Star Game in 2006, the G-20 summit in 2009, and major conventions and conferences that take place in Pittsburgh each year, Pittsburgh has been on a national and international stage. Our region has successfully transitioned to a 21st Century information and technology driven economy while maintaining our strong manufacturing base.
I think hosting the convention would be yet another way that we can show the country that Pittsburgh is forward thinking and focused on innovation, education, and sustainability.

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared in Fast Company, Ozy and Pittsburgh Magazine.