The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee is looking for 8,000 volunteers to help welcome the 50,000 visitors to our region in July. While enthusiasm throughout the local community has been strong, there is a misconception that only Republicans should volunteer.
It’s important to note that the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee is not affiliated with the Republican or any other political party. And the call to Clevelanders to volunteer for the Convention is based on pride for our beloved city, not on politics.
But don’t take our word for it. Hear what Brian Breittholz, executive director of Cleveland State University Alumni Association (and lifelong Democrat), had to say about why he’s so excited to be part of the Republican National Convention efforts in Cleveland.
Q. You label yourself as a lifelong Democrat. What made you want to volunteer for an organization hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention?
A. I was so excited when Cleveland was selected as the site of the Republican National Convention. There is so much great energy here, and there will be such colorful characters coming to Cleveland. The magnitude of the event is just so impressive – how could you not want to be a part of it?
Q. What excites you most about the Convention in Cleveland?
A. I am fairly new to Cleveland and have only been here three years. When I was being recruited to Cleveland State, I didn’t have a great perception of Cleveland, because I didn’t know much of it. I had only heard the Rust Belt and the fire-on-the-river kind of stories.
When I came here, I was so pleased with what I discovered, and I have loved this city ever since. I feel like I have been here my entire lifetime. So for the RNC to come here and discover the specialness that we have here; I’m just thrilled by it. We’ve come a long way as a city in a short period of time, and I think this Convention will propel us further.
Q. What’s the one message that you hope visitors, delegates, media, etc. will walk away with?
A. Cleveland is a friendly place, a city of the future and one that welcomes you.
Q. What would you say to those who are hesitant to volunteer to help with the Host Committee because of their political beliefs?
A. This is such a great opportunity for Cleveland. If we’re all committed to the advancement of Cleveland, we need to be a part of this experience.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland?
A. We have incredible restaurants, and my waistline shows it. I had no idea this was such a foodie place. We have wonderful architecture and we have cultural places like the museums, Playhouse Square and other sites that are really top caliber and would compete with New York and Chicago on any day. These are the gems of the city.
Q. Where do you see Cleveland 5 years, 10 years from now?
A. We’ll continue to see momentum Downtown with more residents living right in the heart of the city. I think we’ll continue to see both young people, as well as empty nesters call Downtown their neighborhood. I think we’ll have a lot of expansion in the city and it will be a place where people will want to live and work.
Q. Anything you’d like to say to those thinking of volunteering?
A. As a community of Clevelanders, we have a wonderful opportunity ahead of us to put our best foot forward. This really should be a shared commitment to the continued progress of Cleveland. This is a great city; it’s been too much of a secret and we need to it out there.
If you're interested in volunteering for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, click here.
Groups of 25 or more are encouraged to participate as well! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on group volunteering.