For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Contact: Kristie Greco
Democratic National Convention Committee Announces Mayor Villaraigosa Convention Chair

CHARLOTTE – The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today announced that Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will nominate Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa Permanent Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz’s nomination of Mayor Villaraigosa will be presented to the Convention Rules Committee and then voted on by the delegates to the 2012 Convention at the opening session.
DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz, Mayor Villaraigosa and DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan will discuss the announcement on a conference call TODAY at 12:20 EST/9:20 PST. 
“Mayor Villaraigosa has dedicated his career to civic engagement and empowering people at the grassroots,” said DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz.  “And that’s exactly what we need to be successful at this convention—input and engagement from Americans across the country.”
The Permanent Chair presides over the convention proceedings, ensuring order, decorum and efficiency as the party nominates its presidential and vice presidential candidates, adopts the national platform and conducts other important business.  The Permanent Chair also acts as another national spokesperson for the convention.
“It’s an honor to be nominated as Permanent Chair of the convention,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “The president began his journey five years ago with a conversation—friends reaching out to neighbors and families talking around the dinner table.  At this convention we want to engage Americans in a conversation about how we can strengthen the country in a way that creates more opportunity for all.”
The DNCC will also release a web video today with Mayor Villaraigosa calling on people to raise their voice and let convention planners know what they can do to make the 2012 Democratic National Convention more open and accessible.  People can share ideas and watch the web video here.
The DNCC announced in late January changes in format and venue that will allow tens of thousands more people to be engaged in the convention.  Convention week will open with a family-friendly Labor Day event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, September 3, that will be open to people from across the region and around the country.  Delegates will vote on Mayor Villaraigosa’s nomination at the convention’s opening session and he will preside over convention proceedings at Time Warner Cable Arena, on Tuesday, September 4, and Wednesday, September 5.  And on Thursday September 6, the President will accept the nomination at Bank of America Stadium, where once again, the public will be invited to attend.
As a high school student, Villaraigosa volunteered with the farm workers movement and led student walkouts. Before he was elected to public office he worked as a union organizer.  Villariagosa is currently serving in his second term as Mayor of Los Angeles, and also serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.