Article by Christel Best, City of Richmond Heights,  HRCC Civic Involvement/Economic Development Committee Chair

With the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland only 3 months away, the RNC Host Committee held its first briefing before the City of Cleveland Safety Committee on April 6.

RNC Safety

During the briefing, City of Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams stated that he has been working with the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure RNC safety for the duration of the 4-day event. During the convention, Cleveland Police and Fire Departments will be operating at more than 100% full staff with no vacations or non-emergency leaves being permitted. In addition, the City is contracting with two private ambulance companies to ensure quick and effective transport in the event of injury or illness. It is anticipated that safety forces in the City of Cleveland will be self-sustaining and not reliant on safety force support from Greater Cleveland’s suburban safety forces except in the event of a severe emergency.  As for the Heights-Hillcrest neighborhoods, safety service levels should be normal without being impacted by the RNC.

For more information about safety of your business during the convention, please visit the City of Cleveland web site for the date and time of the May 2016 Cleveland Safety Committee meeting during which time the Secret Service will be presenting information on a variety of safety topics to the public.

Business and Volunteer Opportunities

Host Committee Chair and Destination Cleveland President, David Gilbert indicated that the RNC will bring an estimated 50,000 visitors to Cleveland between July 17 and 21. Of these visitors, approximately 600 will be members of national and international media organizations and it will take around 17,000 hotel rooms to house all these visitors.

Gilbert estimates that the Host Committee will use the services of 7,000 volunteers to help guide and direct all these people. As Gilbert talked about the plans for the convention, he identified certain specific opportunities that I believe can benefit the Heights-Hillcrest community.  Seize the opportunities created by this momentous occasion by exploring the following Host Committee suggestions.

  • Is it your dream to help Cleveland and its surrounding communities demonstrate to the onlookers of the world that we are an absolute gem of a region? Or maybe you feel that your business would benefit either now or in the future if you could network with some of the visitors who will be in town during the convention. If any of these scenarios applies to you, you may want to consider volunteering during the convention. Be one of the 7,000 volunteers to help with a variety of convention tasks. If interested, go to and complete the online application form. Volunteer training will begin in May.
  • According to Gilbert, the Host Committee website will have a business guide where your business can be listed. Simply visit to register your business.
  • Gilbert explained that Howard Hanna Realty downtown is helping to direct potential tenants to people with homes to rent. It is expected that the need for housing will certainly stretch into the Heights-Hillcrest neighborhoods.

Whatever your political leanings may be, having the RNC in Cleveland will go down in history as one of our region’s greatest achievements. It’s worthwhile to take some time and determine how best to position yourself and your business to be a part of the convention happenings.