It’s official, Charlotte will host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Charlotte beat out 3 other cities including Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo.; and Minneapolis, Minn.
“We’re honored that the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host its 2012 convention,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “Thanks to the hard work and support of so many throughout our community, we have an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte. As we tell the story of Charlotte, and what a great place our city, state and region are to live and do business, we also will tell the story of America to our fellow citizens and our neighbors around the world.”
Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chairs the Charlotte In 2012 organizing committee with Mayor Foxx, added, “Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature. Only a few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. The economic and reputational significance of being chosen for this honor cannot be overstated.”
The convention, scheduled during the week of Sept. 3, 2012, will attract an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 delegates, national and international media and key policy and political leaders.
Charlotte’s walkable, well-designed center city will offer delegates and visitors easy access to a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment and attractions, ranging from the four-venue Levine Center for the Arts to the newly completed NASCAR Hall of Fame.
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue and other political leaders in North Carolina and South Carolina played key roles in supporting Charlotte’s bid for the convention. “Today’s decision is fantastic news for North Carolina regardless of your political party,” said Gov. Perdue, honorary chair of Charlotte In 2012. “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.”
Charlotte’s bid also was backed by Republican leaders. “Some issues are partisan. This one is not,” wrote former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin and former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot in a Charlotte Observer opinion column. “We are proud Republicans. But we are also proud advocates of Charlotte and North Carolina, and believe that bringing the 2012 Democratic Convention to Charlotte represents an unprecedented economic development opportunity.”
Will Miller, acting executive director of Charlotte In 2012, said there will be a multitude of opportunities to participate in planning and hosting the convention. For details, watch for updates on www.CharlotteIn2012.com, Facebook (www.facebook.com/CharlotteIn2012) and Twitter (@CharlotteIn2012).