By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now that Pope Francis is gone, are you ready for the next big national special security Event in the city?
The Democratic National Convention is less than ten months away, and the host committee is confident they’ll be ready.
You might think the visit of a religious leader couldn’t be more different than a political gathering, but both rely on the good will of residents, the enthusiasm of volunteers and the money of businesses and foundations, all of which were heavily taxed by the Pope’s visit.
DNC host committee chair Ed Rendell, though, says there are enough differences to ease possible “event fatigue.” Take fundraising. Yes, the committee has to go back to some of the same donors who were just tapped for the Pope, says Rendell:
“But the good news for us is a lot of the money contributed to conventions is national businesses — the Coca Colas, the Microsofts. They weren’t hit up for the Pope and they’ll still be fertile grounds for us.”
Rendell says the Convention will be a smaller event, with activity and security focused on the stadium area:
“I think there will be very little interference in the daily lives of Philadelphia residents and businesses. In fact, we think Philadelphia businesses will do very well.”
Rendell says the committee is about a quarter of the way to its $85-million goal. He adds it’s also already signed up 900 volunteers, again drawing on a very different pool of people.