- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A luncheon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. A walk through a waterfront park with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Even personalized Brooklyn Nets jerseys.

Brooklyn will be showcased to the Democratic National Committee next week in a two-day tour meant to demonstrate that the borough has emerged from Manhattan’s shadow and is now a bastion of urban edginess and liberal cool, and would be the best choice for its candidate’s nominating party in 2016.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who calls the borough home, and other elected officials will play tour guide to demonstrate that the city has enough to offer the DNC to buck the recent trend of holding conventions in swing states. De Blasio administration officials will argue that the energy created in deep-blue Brooklyn - which has become its own urban brand - will produce a televised spectacle that will electrify the party base and sway undecideds.

“We believe that New York City is the most diverse, progressive and advanced city in America and would be a great host for our nominee,” said Peter Ragone, a senior de Blasio adviser, who unveiled portions of the plan Friday.

The tour will begin Monday at the Barclays Center, the gleaming home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, which will host the convention’s main events. The Democratic National Committee’s Technical Advisory Group - which is also considering four other cities - will be met by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, the mayor’s wife, Chirlane McCray, and a stack of Nets jerseys emblazoned with their names.

Though the convention will largely be based in Brooklyn, the borough’s relative lack of hotel rooms means many of the guests will stay across the East River in Manhattan. Though the de Blasio team will use its glamour locations - including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop garden - to dazzle the DNC officials, they also want to demonstrate that travel logistics won’t be a problem.

The city will stress that its subway system, which includes a major stop directly under the Barclays Center, can handle the influx of out-of-towners. Officials also are considering creating dedicated bus lanes along some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares - including Broadway through Times Square - to get delegates from their rooms to the convention.

De Blasio himself will attend several events, including dinner at the mayoral residence Gracie Mansion, and the city’s host committee - made up of business leaders - will use events at Rockefeller Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music to show that the city can raise the more than $130 million in private money needed to host the convention. The city is expected to pay an additional $8 million.

The DNC is expected to make its choice early next year. Its short list also contains Philadelphia; Phoenix; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Alabama.

With Phoenix and Birmingham located in Republican strongholds, and Columbus’s bid potentially undermined by the GOP’s decision to host its convention in nearby Cleveland, most observers believe Philadelphia and Brooklyn are the leading contenders.

New York last hosted a convention in 2004, when the Republicans chose the city in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Democrats were last here in 1992, when Bill Clinton was nominated. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who represented New York in the U.S. Senate, is the party’s leading prospective candidate in 2016.

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