Friday, February 06, 2015

City's optimistic DNC wrangler thinks delegates will trek for pizza in Staten Island and get in the door at Roberta's

From Crain's Source lunch, Mayor's chief of staff hopes to lure DNC to B'klyn: Laura Santucci boosts the borough's prospects for 2016 Democratic convention.:
When Laura Santucci isn't serving as chief of staff to Mayor Bill de Blasio, she's helping run the city's bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The California native is a natural fit for the job: She served as executive director of the 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C., and was chief of staff for the Democratic National Committee for two years before that.
To bring next year's convention to Brooklyn, Ms. Santucci is going against the grain of the inequality-focused de Blasio administration by highlighting the city's deep pockets.
She contends that it might cost the city $10 million but reap benefit to local businesses, that the city can manage peaceful demonstrations, and that the tensions between NYPD and the mayor do not concern the Democratic National Committee.

Here's where I raised an eyebrow. When she cited local businesses, she said:
That will be managed by the convention team in the host city. We certainly have those resources. But industries will include local food and beverage retailers. A lot of those are right there in Brooklyn. Even Barclays as a venue, all their concessions are locally owned restaurants.
Well, not quite. As the Times reported:
The cart, like all stands, is owned by the arena and will ultimately be run by Levy in consultation with each vendor. Mr. Freeman and Ms. Giasullo, like other vendors, will be at the arena in the early days, working alongside Levy employees to ensure that the final product pleases both.
Asked how do you persuade delegates to visit Staten Island or the Bronx, she responded:
The great thing about New York is we have unlimited options. We're proud of Staten Island and the Bronx and what they have to offer. It's up to the delegates to go where they want to go. Would someone be interested in jumping on the ferry and hopping over to Staten Island and taste their best pizza?
Actually, none of the best pizzas of Staten Island are easily accessible by ferry. You need a vehicle.

She also said a successful convention "would also be knowing that we have upwards of 15,000 visitors to the city who tasted Roberta's pizza in Bushwick or saw a great Broadway show."

I think the latter is more likely than the former. There are a good number of shows. Roberta's only takes reservations for groups of at least ten, with at least one week's notice.

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