DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines is in the running to host the NAACP National Convention for the year 2022.
Tuesday morning, the Polk County Board of Supervisors approved a funding commitment for the convention that would be used by Catch Des Moines if we are the chosen location.
Leaders at the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP and Catch Des Moines say they've been working toward being a host city for the convention for several years.
“We have been, and when I say we I mean the national NAACP, has been around for 110 years, which is a strong statement in itself, but it has never been held in Iowa. So this opportunity is extremely important for us. It would be groundbreaking. It would be historic,” Iowa - Nebraska NAACP President Betty Andrews said.
Catch Des Moines President Greg Edwards said they recently hosted national NAACP members that brought them a step closer.
“Most recently we hosted their Board of Directors meeting here just about a month ago to really show them Des Moines and show them we are a great city, lots of things to do, great convention center, great hotels just the whole package,” Edwards said.
He said most national conventions also give the local economy a boost.
“It would be in the millions of dollars this convention would bring in,” Edwards said.
Andrews said it would also shed light on the efforts they’re pushing for in all branches of the legislature.
“Racial profiling legislation and racial profiling ordinances. We feel that this would be a strong boost for that work in terms of being able to kind of put Iowa in the spotlight in terms of making sure people see yes this is a great state here in the middle of the country but we also do need to make some changes,” Andrews said.
Edwards said this convention would bring about 5,000 people to the area for about a week.
Catch Des Moines will be bidding on the opportunity at this year’s NAACP convention in Detroit next month.