Tom Still, Tech Council president, wrote a letter to Reince Priebus on May 25 in regards to Milwaukee hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention. Read the letter below. 

The board of directors for the Wisconsin Technology Council wish you and the host committee the best of luck as you wrap up the city of Milwaukee’s bid to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.

As a former journalist who attended eight national conventions – four Republican and four Democratic – I can tell you the city would make for an excellent site for all the right locational and logistical reasons. From the Fiserv Forum to its fine hotels, to its lakefront elegance to its cultural and architectural history, the city has what it takes to put on a first-class national convention.

You already know that, of course. I am writing to underscore the scientific and technology assets of Milwaukee and Wisconsin as reasons to bring the convention to Milwaukee.

America’s major cities have been through lot of late … the pandemic, areas of neighborhood decline, and loss of some industrial jobs. Milwaukee symbolizes a rebirth of the economies in such cities, with lessons that can be transferred to our nation’s other great urban centers. Here are some examples:

  • The Brookings Institution ranked Milwaukee 17th among more than 300 U.S. cities in late 2019 as a place likely to become a tech hub. That study served as background for two research and development bills pending in Congress, where a conference committee including three Wisconsin members has been appointed. Only 36 of nearly 400 cities made the Brookings list.
  • Milwaukee has academic research and development centers that collectively attract about $500 million in sponsored research each year. That research creates jobs and opportunities for the region, as well as breakthroughs for people across the nation and the world.
  • It was ranked No. 10 for job seekers among all U.S. cities (MoneyGeek 2021)
  • It has been ranked as one of the nation’s most affordable cities, meaning young people can afford to live here
  • It has 18 Fortune 100 headquarters, all of which employ tech workers
  • It has the 6th highest concentration of college students among large metros
  • It has been cited by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s best cities to start a business
  • The Water Council and the related freshwater hub for water research is one of the best in the world, which is timely at a time of pressure on global water supplies

The Tech Council, which has entered in 20th year, has been a part of the transformation in Milwaukee since 2003. Its programs and policies have supported efforts to build a greater Milwaukee that can meet 21st century economic challenges, all the while doing much the same of the rest of Wisconsin.

We have worked with tech-related and academic institutions in Milwaukee, many of which are represented on our board of directors. In fact, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Concordia University are all members.

On June 1-2, we will again host the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee, which speaks to our confidence in the city and the region.

If Milwaukee is named the site for the convention, the Tech Council would offer its expertise in helping to devise programmatic avenues for delegates, alternates, press and others to highlight the city’s tech-based economy. The Cream City will rise to the top!


Thomas W. Still, president