The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is moving its state convention to an all-virtual format.
The party had already announced plans to scale back the two-day event to just June 12. Now, it has decided to forgo any in-person activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision comes a week after the Wisconsin Republican Party told members it was pushing back its state convention two months to July. That prompted blowback from critics, because the move came as GOP lawmakers sued to prevent enforcement of an extended stay-at-home order from the Evers administration.
State Dem spokeswoman Courtney Beyer said the party had considered simply pushing back the convention, as well as other options. But the party decided it’d be best not to “kick the can down the road.”
Also, the national Dem convention is scheduled for August in Milwaukee.
Beyer said the party was still working on details for the June 12 virtual convention, including the logistics of running such an event online.
She said there will be some speeches from elected officials, but less than the usual lineup.
“We’ve already made the decision to scale back a lot of programming,” Beyer said.
The party is forgoing the debate on rules and resolutions, caucus meetings, and any constitutional changes that are typically part of a state convention. But it will move forward with the election of new terms for DNC members, though it was still working on logistics.
The current DNC members include state Sen. Janet Bewley, who was recently elected Senate minority leader. The other three are: Martha Love, a former state party chair; Khary Penebaker, a businessman who ran for the 5th CD in 2016; and Andrew Werthmann, an Eau Claire alderman.
This year’s convention was supposed to be in the Wisconsin Dells. The party has already signed a contract to be in Green Bay next year.