MILWAUKEE — Putting together an event as large as next year's Republican National Convention takes a huge amount of help.
Figuring out who will do that is part of Allison Prange's job.
In her role as Chief Operating Officer of the host committee, she is responsible for getting the word out to anyone who may be interested in participating and supporting them through the process.
“We really wanted to look at engaging businesses, so it is representative of every corner of the city and to show people the South side, the North side, and the opportunities there are to partner with businesses from all backgrounds,” said Prange.
Right now, out of the 1500 businesses that are in the RNC vendor portal, nearly 30 percent of them are considered diverse.
That distinction falls under four categories: minority, women, veteran, or LGBTQ-owned.
Prange says this commitment to inclusion came early, as far back as when the framework agreement between the host committee, the Mayor's office, and the national committee was being written up.
“As a non-native Wisconsinite, I think sometimes people don't know the Midwest and don't understand the diversity that our state has, but particularly the diversity that Milwaukee has,” said Prange.
One business that checks three of those boxes is Alas Creative.
As a woman, minority, and veteran-owned business, owner Jessica Salas says the host committee has been very supportive in making every resource available.
“I think it is really important to use those avenues to really amplify who we are and bring people together. So, whether it's the RNC or the DNC or whatever political party is coming to town, it's a great way to get into that space,” said Prange.
Prange says the host committee is focused on continuing that effort as we head into 2024 and get closer to the big event.
“It's a changing, thriving city and it's a great opportunity to show that it's not homogenous, and our businesses aren't homogenous,” said Prange.