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BROCKTON, Mass. – For some time, Boston has been gearing up to host the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and Brockton Credit Union President/CEO James Blake has been in the thick of it all. Blake was recently re-elected chairman of the MetroSouth Chamber of Commerce here. More than 500 city officials and supporters attended the recent Chamber’s annual meeting. While there, the Convention, scheduled to take place at the Fleet Center July 26-29, was discussed. Blake and others will be involved with the Convention’s $65 million budget, which includes $25 million for security since FBI officials, the Secret Service and other federal agencies deemed the DNC a “National Special Security Event.” Boston officials are still trying to raise another $28 million, mostly from private sources. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told meeting attendees one way to bring even more dollars to the city is to educate uninformed residents about unclaimed earned income tax credit payments. Menino is hoping that the extra money, will entice residents to spend. Blake compared the example of a company with 300 employees, each earning $40,000 annually, to what the total amount of unclaimed earned income tax credits would be – $12 million. The Chamber is planning to work with the city’s departments, the school district and non-profit organizations to educate residents about the tax credit. DNC organizers expect the Convention will generate $150 million through tourist spending. An expected 35,000 people will attend the convention including 6,000 delegates; 15,000 members of the media, area dignitaries, diplomats, and foreign honored guests. More than 4,000 people have applied for volunteer positions at the DNC. Brockton, which serves more than 95,000 members and has $1 billion in assets, will change its name to HarborOne Credit Union in early 2004.

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