Democrats have chosen Charlotte, North Carolina, as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a source with knowledge of the decision told CNN. The official announcement will be made Tuesday.
Well this is a state that barely went Blue for Obama, so it makes sense to highlight North Carolina, though Charlotte is not exactly a progressive city in comparison to the Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill Triangle area; it is, however, a center of banking and business and the convention will be a big boost for the local economy.
From the DNC eblast (sent as a message from Michelle Obama):
I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news. Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 46th Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an “up by the bootstraps” mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.
Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign — from the Atlantic Coast to the Research Triangle to the Smoky Mountains and everywhere in between. Barack enjoyed Asheville so much when he spent several days preparing for the second Presidential debate that our family vacationed there in 2009.
And my very first trip outside of Washington as First Lady was to Fort Bragg, where I started my effort to do all we can to help our heroic military families.
All the contending cities were places that Barack and I have grown to know and love, so it was a hard choice. But we are thrilled to be bringing the convention to Charlotte.
We hope many of you can join us in Charlotte the week of September 3rd, 2012. But if you can’t, we intend to bring the spirit of the convention — as well as actual, related events to your community and even your own backyard.
More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people. We will finance this convention differently than it’s been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte. This will be a different convention, for a different time.
To help us make sure this is a grassroots convention — The People’s Convention — we need to hear from you. We want to know what you’d like to see at next year’s convention, how and where you plan on watching it — and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors.
Friend, please share your input with us right now — how can we make The People’s Convention belong to you and your community?
I can’t believe it has been more than two years since my brother Craig introduced me at the 2008 Convention in Denver. It truly feels like it was yesterday.
As I looked out at a sea of thousands of supporters that night, I spoke about my husband — the man whom this country would go on to elect as the 44th President of the United States. I spoke about his fundamental belief — a conviction at the very core of his life’s work — that each of us has something to contribute to the spirit of our nation.
That’s also the belief at the core of The People’s Convention. That the table we sit at together ought to be big enough for everyone. That the thread that binds us — a belief in the promise of this country — is strong enough to sustain us through good times and bad.
Barack talked at the State of the Union of his vision for how America can win the future. That must be the focus now, and I know so many of you will help talk about our plans with your neighbors — that through innovation, education, reform, and responsibility we can make sure America realizes this vision.
But, conventions take time to plan, so please help us make sure that your thoughts and your ideas will ring all the way to Charlotte. Get started now:
Looking forward to sharing this together,
My initial reaction is “YAY, I won’t have to travel as far if PHB is selected to cover the DNC.” Of course it’s still a 3.5 hour drive from Durham, and I’d probably still fly (20 min flight), since I can’t handle long drives any more because of my fibromyalgia. Anyone want to chauffeur me around or provide lodging…?
Seriously this could be an opportunity for people to see the mid-Atlantic South — NC is definitely not the deep South, but it has a long way to go in supporting LGBT equality. And it has the infamous Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James. I’m sure he’ll try to find a camera to spew his ignorance.
Last week there was a dustup over a white supremacist conference that had booked its gathering in Charlotte. The Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel canceled its reservation, citing threats of protests. Jared Taylor, the head of New Century Foundation, which is hosting the con, declared foul, citing the blocking of free speech by the hotel.
A white nationalist leader said Monday he hasn’t given up on holding a weekend conference in Charlotte despite what he called “contemptible” efforts to dissuade local hotels from hosting it.
Taylor is editor of American Renaissance, a Virginia-based magazine of “racial-realist thought.” The magazine, published by the nonprofit New Century Foundation, had scheduled a weekend conference expected to draw more than 100 people to Charlotte.
The Sheraton canceled last Tuesday.
More than a dozen uniformed and plainclothed officers looked on as Taylor told reporters outside the government center that the hotel was told the group was controversial. Hotel officials disputed that.
“Upon learning of the extremely controversial views of the New Century Foundation, the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel elected to cancel this organization’s booking,” the hotel said in a statement. “No outside entities played a role in this decision. This event was originally confirmed only because those involved in the booking were unaware of the unique dynamics associated with this group.”
Taylor went on to heap blame for his dilemma because two black city council members lobbied to hotel to cancel. The Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out that the Renaissance conferences attract “racist ‘intellectuals’… Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.” That wouldn’t have exactly made Charlotte look good.
The South is always a mixed bag, with contradictions in abundance. This is also a chance for North Carolina’s LGBT community to play a visible role, kicking the closet door open.
Also, here’s Matt Comer of Charlotte-based QNotes:
Charlotte had competed with three other finalists: Cleveland, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minn.; and St. Louis, Mo. The convention will be held in September 2012 and will bring an estimated 35,000 delegates, media professionals and others to the Queen City.
Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said Charlotte’s choice as host to the convention gives the state, including Charlotte’s and state’s LGBT community, a unique and rare spot at center stage.
“North Carolina is truly a purple state,” he told qnotes. “Having the national spotlight, I think, is an opportunity to highlight how far we’ve come and how far we have to go as a community.”
“Today’s decision is fantastic news for North Carolina regardless of your political party. A national political convention is a keystone event that will boost North Carolina’s economy, while showcasing Charlotte and our state to the nation and the world. What they will see when they get here is what hundreds of businesses already know – Charlotte’s smart investments in infrastructure, cultural attractions and amenities have produced a climate perfect for work and play.”