||This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The last updates to this article may not reflect the most current information. (July 2016)|
|2016 presidential election
Clinton and Kaine
|Date(s)||July 25–28, 2016|
|Venue||Wells Fargo Center|
|Keynote speaker||Elizabeth Warren ofMassachusetts |
|Notable speakers||Barack Obama
|Presidential nominee||Hillary Clinton of New York
|Vice Presidential nominee||Tim Kaine of Virginia
|Votes needed for nomination||2,383 (majority)|
The 2016 Democratic National Convention is the gathering at whichdelegates of the United States Democratic Party will choose their nominees for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States in the 2016 national election. It began on July 25, 2016, and will conclude on July 28, 2016, at the Wells Fargo Center inPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, with some caucus meetings at thePennsylvania Convention Center, beginning exactly one week after the 2016 Republican National Convention.
There are expected to be 4,769 delegates (worth 4,765 delegate votes) to the Democratic National Convention. A candidate needs a majority of delegate votes to win the presidential nomination, which in this case is a minimum of 2,383 votes.
In 2016, both the Republican and Democratic conventions will be held in late July before the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, instead of after the Olympics as in 2008 and 2012. One reason why the Republican Party scheduled its convention in July was to help avoid a longer, drawn-out primary battle similar to what happened in 2012 that left the party fractured heading into the general election. The Democrats then followed suit, scheduling their convention the week after the Republicans’ convention, to provide a quicker response.
Choice of Philadelphia for convention site
Philadelphia was selected by the Democratic National Committee on February 12, 2015, as the host city for the party’s 2016 Convention. The primary venue, where the nominee will be selected, will be the Wells Fargo Center. The Pennsylvania Convention Center will also be used for some events. The last convention held in Philadelphia was the 2000 Republican National Convention. The last time the city hosted the Democratic Convention was in 1948. Philadelphia was selected over finalistsColumbus, New York City, Birmingham, Cleveland, and Phoenix. Edward G. Rendell, the former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania, played a crucial role in securing Philadelphia as the host city.
The 2016 Philadelphia Host Committee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was the official and federally designated presidential convention host committee for the convention, charged with the task of raising the necessary funds to hold the convention. The Host Committee is composed of 10 prominent Philadelphia business executives, civic and other community leaders. The Reverend Leah Daughtry is the CEO.
By May 19, 2016, five organized groups of Sanders supporters had applied for demonstration permits from the Philadelphia police department. A joint rally between the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and the Green Party of the United States was denied a protest permit, but both groups planned to go ahead with their protest regardless. The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, the Green Party, and other groups obtained permits for their demonstrations on July 7 after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit that resulted in the city lifting its ban on rush-hour protests during the DNC. On July 12, workers at Philadelphia International Airportvoted 461-5 in favor of striking during the DNC in order to seek “better scheduling, clarity on sick pay, a more predictable disciplinary system, and to be able to unionize.” The city of Philadelphia expects 35,000 to 50,000 protesters throughout the convention.
Nomination and balloting
Presumed delegate count
|Candidate||Pledged delegates||Presumed Count, including superdelegates|
|Total delegate votes||4,051||4,765|
Final delegate count
The Platform Committee is co-chaired by former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin and Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy. The four vice chairs are Nellie Gorbea of Rhode Island, the Rev. Cynthia Hale of Georgia, San Francisco mayorEd Lee, and Greg Rosenbaum.
Prior to the meeting of the full Platform Drafting Committee, eight meetings in four regions (Mid-Atlantic, Southwest,Midwest, and Southeast) were held: a forum with testimony in Washington, D.C. on June 8 and 9; a forum with testimony inPhoenix, Arizona, on June 17 and 18; a drafting committee meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 24 and 25; and a platform committee meeting in Orlando, Florida, on July 8 and 9.
The Drafting Committee heard testimony from 114 witnesses across the United States, and an additional “1,000 Democrats submitted written or video testimony weighing in on the platform.” The drafting committee concluded its work on June 25, sending the draft platform to the full platform committee.
The Drafting Committee consists of fifteen members. Under party rules, the chair of the Democratic National Committee had the power to name all fifteen members of the Drafting Committee, which has typically been done in the past in consultation with the White House (if a Democratic president is sitting) and the presumptive nominee. In 2016, however, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz opted “to allocate 75% of the committee’s seats to the presidential campaigns, awarding the slots proportionally according to the current vote tally” in a bid for wider representation of party members. As a result, Clinton appointed six members to the committee, Sanders five, and Wasserman Schultz four.This was the outcome of an agreement between the Bernie Sanders campaign, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and party officials, and was viewed as a victory for Sanders, who obtained some influence on the party platform as result.
The drafting committee members, named in May 2016, were as follows:
Hillary Clinton committee appointees:
- Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
- Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and formeradministrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois
- Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece
- Ambassador Wendy Sherman, former senior State Department official
- Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, “longtime Clinton confidante”
Bernie Sanders committee appointees:
- U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, one of the highest-ranked elected officials to endorse Sanders
- Bill McKibben, environmentalist
- Deborah Parker, Native American activist
- Dr. Cornel West, author, racial justice advocate
- James Zogby, DNC official, president of the Arab American Institute
Debbie Wasserman Schultz committee appointees:
- Former U.S. Representative Howard Berman of California
- U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland (chair of the drafting committee)
- U.S. Representative Barbara Lee of California
- Bonnie Schaefer, executive
The Clinton Campaign’s Senior Policy Advisor Maya Harris and the Sanders Campaign’s Policy Director Warren Gunnels represented their respective campaigns as official, non-voting members of the Drafting Committee. Andrew Grossman was named Platform Executive Director.
The full Platform Committee approved the Democratic platform following heated debate in Orlando on July 10, 2016; the platform will be formally approved at the convention itself in Philadelphia.
The platform adopted by the platform committee was described by NBC News and by columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel as the most progressive in party history, largely reflecting the influence of platform-committee members appointed by Bernie Sanders. The platform committee-drafted platform was praised by both Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Bernie Sanders’ campaign, with Sanders policy director Warren Gunnells saying his campaign achieved “at least 80 percent” of its goals. Although Sanders could have chosen, under party rules, to force a vote on the convention floor using a “minority report” process, he decided not to do so, with Gunnells telling supporters that the campaign had successfully secured the adoption of many of its platform goals and “that further platform fights would be portrayed in the corporate media as obstructionist and divisive.”
The platform expresses support for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to inflation, a plank supported by Sanders. The adoption of this point was a boost for the Fight for $15 movement. The platform also calls for ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and workers with disabilities, and for twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave.
On health care, the platform committee adopted a provision supporting a public option for the Affordable Care Act and for legislation to allow Americans ages 55 and over to buy into Medicare. The platform committee voted down a more ambitious Medicare for All proposal supported by Sanders. The platform “repeats the Democratic Party pledge to empower Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs” and also calls for “doubling support for community health centers that provide primary health-care services, particularly in rural areas.
The platform expresses support for Wall Street reform, the expansion of Social Security and the abolition of the death penalty, all points supported by Sanders. This marked the first time that a major U.S. party had called for ending capital punishment in its platform.
On financial regulation (Wall Street reform), the platform supports “a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act to keep banks from gambling with taxpayer-guaranteed deposits,” calls for the breakup of “too big to fail” financial institutions, and supports atax on excessive speculation.
The platform expresses support for criminal justice reform, calls for an end to private prisons, and reforms to boost police accountability to communities. The platform calls for shutting “the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington,” calling for “a ban on golden parachutes for bankers taking government jobs, limits on conflict of interest, and a two-year ban on financial services regulators ‘from lobbying their former colleagues.'”
On taxation, the platform pledges “tax relief” to middle-class families. The platform also calls for the end of overseas tax deferral and the carried interest tax loophole, as well as a crackdown on corporate inversions.
On K-12 education, the party’s platform was revised “in important ways, backing the right of parents to opt their children out of high-stakes standardized tests, qualifying support for charter schools, and opposing using test scores for high-stakes purposes to evaluate teachers and students.” The platform calls for “democratically governed great neighborhood public schools and high-quality public charter schools,” and opposes “for-profit charter schools focused on making a profit off of public resources.”
On workers’ rights, “the platform endorses expanding and defending the right of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively.” The platform supports the ability of workers to organize via card check and “calls for a ‘model employer’ executive order that would give preference in government procurement to employers who provide their workers with a living wage, benefits and the opportunity to form a union.”
The platform committee approved compromise language on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), calling for increased federal, state and local regulation of the practice but not a wholesale ban, as Sanders had pushed for.
The platform drafting committee twice voted down an amendment, supported by Sanders and advanced by one of his appointees, Rep. Keith Ellison, to commit the party to opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The committee instead backed a measure that said “there are a diversity of views in the party” on the TPP and reaffirmed that Democratic Party’s stance that any trade deal “must protect workers and the environment.”
In a close, 81-80 vote, the platform committee approved language supporting the removal of marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, “providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization” of marijuana.
The platform maintains the Democratic Party’s longstanding support for Israel, with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultzterming it the “strongest pro-Israel” platform in the party’s history. The platform includes a provision condemning the BDS movement and calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.” Proposals for language that would have condemned settlements and called for an end to the Israeli occupationwere rejected in the platform committee.
On July 23, party officials announced that Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not preside over or speak at the convention. The announcement came after the leak of 20,000 emails by seven DNC staffers from January 2015 to May 2016, during the Democratic primary season. The emails showed the staffers favoring Clinton and disparaging Sanders. Wasserman Schultz’s removal from convention activities was approved by both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns. In her place, the Rules Committee named Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio as convention chair. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post described this as “a remarkable snub for a sitting party chair.”
On July 24, the DNC Rules Committee voted overwhelmingly, 158–6, to adopt a superdelegate reform package. The new rules were the result of a compromise between the Clinton and the Sanders campaigns. (Sanders had pressed for the complete elimination of superdelegates.)
Under the reform package, in future Democratic conventions about two-thirds of superdelegates would be bound to the results of state primaries and caucuses. The remaining one third—senators, governors and U.S. representatives—would remain unbound and free to support the candidate of their choice.
Under the reform package, a 21-member unity commission (to be chaired by Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, a Clinton supporter, and vice-chaired by Larry Cohen, a Sanders supporter) is to be appointed “no later than 60 days” after the November 2016 general election. The commission would report by January 1, 2018, and its recommendations would be voted on at the next Democratic National Committee meeting, well before the beginning of the 2020 Democratic primaries. The commission was to consider “a mix of Clinton and Sanders ideas, including expanding ‘eligible voters’ ability to participate in the caucuses in caucus states (a gripe of Clinton’s campaign) and encouraging ‘the involvement in all elections of unaffiliated or new voters who seek to join the Democratic Party through same-day registration and re-registration’ (a Sanders demand).” The commission drew comparisons to the McGovern–Fraser Commission, which established party primary reforms before the 1972 Democratic National Convention.
- First night (Monday, July 25): Theme: “United Together.”
- U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota
- Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association
- U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona
- State House Speaker Tina Kotek of Oregon
- Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU
- U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III of Massachussetts
- Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Massachusetts
- Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut
- Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL–CIO
- U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon
- U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez of California
- Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME
- Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO
- Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers
- Demi Lovato, singer
- Jason and Jarron Collins, professional basketball players
- Eva Longoria, actress
- Pam Livengood, New Hampshire grandmother who spoke on the opioid crisis
- Karla & Francisca Ortiz, mother and daughter
- Anastasia Somoza, disability rights advocate
- U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
- U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and comedian Sarah Silverman
- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (keynote speaker)
- First Lady Michelle Obama (headliner)
- DREAMer activist Astrid Silva (headliner)
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (headliner)
- Second night (Tuesday, July 26): Theme: “A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families”
- Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation and future interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (effective at the end of the convention)
- Former State Senator Jason Carter of Georgia
- Former President Bill Clinton (headliner)
- The Mothers of the Movement (mothers of children killed by gun violence)
- Third night (Wednesday, July 27): Theme: “Working Together”
- U.S. Representative GK Butterfield of North Carolina
- U.S. Representative Judy Chu of California
- Ilyse Hogue, president of the Human Rights Campaign
- Rear Admiral John Hutson, U.S. Navy (retired)
- The Reverend Jesse Jackson
- U.S. Representative Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico
- Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
- Former Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
- Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List
- Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund
- President Barack Obama (headliner)
- Vice President Joe Biden (headliner)
- Fourth night (Thursday, July 28): Theme: “Stronger Together”
- General John R. Allen, U.S. Marine Corps (retired)
- Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign
- Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters
- U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Sarah McBride
- U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland
- Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton (headliner)
- Presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton (headliner)
On July 21, the convention organizers released an alphabetical list of other confirmed speakers (with time slots not yet set), as follows:
- State Representative Raumesh Akbari of Tennessee
- U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty of Ohio
- U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra of California
- Mayor Stephen K. (Steve) Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina
- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California
- U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Representative Bob Brady of Pennsylvania
- Governor Jerry Brown of California
- U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
- U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Representative Joaquín Castro of Texas
- U.S. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina
- U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley of New York
- Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York
- Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota
- Former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont
- Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City
- Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit, Michigan
- State Representative (and House Majority Leader) Crisanta Duran of Colorado
- U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico
- Mayor Luke Feeney of Chillicothe, Ohio
- State Representative Peggy Flanagan of Minnesota
- U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona
- Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, California
- Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords & Captain Mark Kelly, both of Arizona
- Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, Florida
- Former Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan
- U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois
- Former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa
- Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party
- Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado
- U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas
- U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the presumptive vice presidential nominee
- Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- State Senator Ruben Kihuen of Nevada
- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
- U.S. Representative Ted Lieu of California
- U.S. Representative Nita Lowey of New York
- State Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky
- Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia
- U.S. Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin
- U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut
- Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California
- Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia
- Former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California
- Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia
- U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada
- U.S. Representative Adam Schiff of California
- U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York
- Former State Representative Bakari Sellers of South Carolina
- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
- State Senator Pat Spearman of Nevada
- Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
- U.S. Representative Maxine Waters of California
- Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint, Michigan
- Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, retired professional basketball player – will speak
- Lena Dunham and America Ferrera, actresses – will be speaking together
- Star Jones, journalist – will be speaking
- Debra Messing, actress – will be speaking
- Chloë Grace Moretz, actress – will speak at the convention on Wednesday
- Snoop Dogg, rapper – will perform at a concert following convention’s final night
- Fergie Duhamel, singer – will headline charity benefit show at convention
- Cyndi Lauper and Idina Menzel, singers – will be performing at women’s luncheon
- Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, and DJ Jazzy Jeff will be performing a “Camden Rising” concert at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey (across the Delaware River from Philadelphia) on the afternoon of July 28. The event is co-hosted by George E. Norcross III.
Other celebrities who are attending include Alicia Keys and Katy Perry. Unlike in past conventions, sitting Cabinet members will not be speaking at the event; the White House has decided that barring Cabinet officers from addressing the convention will “send a signal about the primacy of the Obama administration’s responsibility to manage the government and serve the American people” and avoid legal or political difficulties.
Al Franken and Sarah Silverman
|“First Lady Michelle Obama”, 2016 Democratic National Convention, C-SPAN|
Minnesota Senator Al Franken introduced fellow comedian Sarah Silverman, who is also a Bernie Sanders supporter. In her speech, she urged other Sanders supporters to back Hillary Clinton and later said that Bernie or Bust people “are being ridiculous”. The New York Times has called her speech “the perfect breath of fresh air.” The Washington Post and Politico called this one of the most memorable moments of the night.
“And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”
In her speech, Michelle Obama defended Hillary Clinton and urged Democrats to vote for Hillary focusing on Clinton’s role as a woman and a mother.Obama alluded toDonald Trump‘s actions as reasons to vote for Clinton. In her speech, Obama tried to heal the fractures within the party. She also narrated her experience as a black woman who is living in a “house that was built by slaves,” referring to the White House, as a reason to be hopeful about the future because she is African American and therefore is descended from those slaves. She says that America has always been great. The Atlanticdescribed the speech as the best of the night while saying that it is “for the ages.”
Vermont Senator and former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders spoke on the first day of the Democratic Convention, urging his supporters to vote for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. In his speech, he compared Clinton with himself and implicitly stated that he and her are similar to each other and that their policies and views are alike.