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GoGedders talked with Joe Solmonese, CEO of the DNC Committee.

Joe Solmonese on aiming to make the most inclusive DNC of all time and more

Last week I got the chance to interview Joe Solmonese, the CEO of the DNC Committee, live at the Milwaukee Rotary Club. At this point, you probably heard that the DNC will be hosted in Milwaukee, that it is projected to bring 50,000 visitors and that it's projected to have an economic impact of over $200 million on our city.

What you may not know is the backstory of Joe Solmonese, the man leading the charge to bring this event to life, and how this opportunity could change both the outside perspective and the overall growth trajectory of our city.

As I dove into my research for this interview, it didn't take long to realize that Joe is a great fit for the job. He is a career activist that has played a role in helping pass key bills that have changed the lives of millions in our country. Aside from working numerous government jobs and on many campaigns, he was the CEO of Emily's List, an organization that helps Democratic women get elected, and played a key role in passing the Fair Pay Act (2009) which states that all should get equal pay regardless of gender.

After leading at the helm of Emily's List, Joe took a job as CEO of the Human Rights Committee. Over his tenure, some of his key accomplishments were putting an end to the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy, which barred all openly gay, lesbian and bisexual persons from serving in our military, helped pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and also played a key role in legalizing gay marriage.

On a less serious note, he also appeared on a couple of segments of "The Colbert Report" when Colbert started a segment called "Better Know a Lobbyist" because "Lobbyists pick up the lunch bill and sign the legislative bill." Joe held his own, and I highly recommend taking 10 minutes out of your day to watch it (after you listen to the podcast).

After his time at the HRC, Joe started the management consulting firm Galvin/Solmonese, published the book "The Gift of Anger: Use Passion to Build Not Destroy" (2016), and most recently served as Transition Chairperson of Planned Parenthood Federation of America before taking on his role as CEO of the DNC Committee. Although his friends thought he was crazy to take this new gig, Joe was inspired by the decision to bring the convention to Milwaukee and the opportunity to make an impact not just on the city but throughout the state.

In the podcast we cover a lot of ground:

  • What Milwaukee needs to do to take advantage of this opportunity
  • The arc of the convention and what needs to happen from now to July 2020
  • What happens if the Bucks make a late run to the Finals leading up to the convention
  • How the convention will spread far beyond Downtown Milwaukee
  • The biggest concerns leading up to the convention
  • Milwaukee's outside perception and how this can change it
  • Joe's backstory and what motivates him

Joe also spoke on his intentions to make this the most inclusive and diverse DNC of all time, which is vital for a city with a long history of segregation. He talked about how diversity and inclusion are core values of the Democratic Party, how the DNC Committee plans to bring diverse experiences and voices to the convention, and their commitment to having the right infrastructure in place to make this event a success.

In closing, I would like to thank the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Joe Solmonese, Thad Nation and the DNC Committee for making this interview happen. I encourage to listen to Joe's full interview and, regardless of politics, get involved as this is such a huge opportunity for our city.

If you have any feedback on the podcast or would like to suggest guests or topics, I would love to hear from you, so shoot me an email at


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