Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Charlotte selected as site of 2012 Democratic National Convention

Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, has been selected as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the party announced today.

Charlotte, North CarolinaThe Queen City beat out St. Louis, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota for the honor of hosting the Democratic Party's next quadrennial gathering, where Barack Obama is expected to be nominated as the standard-bearer for President of the United States.

To the right: Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, as seen from the Westin Hotel. Photo: Willamor Media. Republished under a Creative Commons license.

“We’re honored that the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host its 2012 convention,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx in a news release.

“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.”

"More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people," First Lady Michelle Obama told members of the Democratic National Committee in an email revealing the party's choice of host city.

"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," she added.

The Charlotte Observer, the city's newspaper of record, has been having a field day in the wake of the announcement. It's already published a half-dozen convention related articles, analyzing the logistics, economic impact, and security apparatus of the convention:
Observer editor Mary Newsom also has a blog post up making fun of some of the traditional media outlets for using outdated photos of the city to accompany their stories about Charlotte getting picked to host the convention.

Reading her tongue-in-cheek commentary makes me glad I selected a more recent photo (taken in 2008) for visual relief in this post.

Charlotte's selection will probably not please UNITE HERE, the hotel workers' union. UNITE HERE had earlier asked the Democratic Party not to choose Charlotte because the city has no unionized hotels.

However, organized labor in North Carolina is supportive of having the convention in Charlotte. Some union leaders have suggested that the convention's presence could serve as catalyst for organizing efforts within the Queen City, as was the case in Denver, Colorado. (At least one hotel in Denver unionized in advance of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and the labor movement achieved other concessions as well).

While we're sympathetic to UNITE HERE's concerns, we would urge its leaders to consider the selection of Charlotte as an opportunity. UNITE HERE could launch a campaign to organize hotels in the Queen City in advance of the convention, concentrating its resources in a place where they are undoubtedly sorely needed.

Given that North Carolina will be a key battleground where Democrats will be playing defense (Barack Obama carried the state in 2008) it makes sense to hold the convention there. The Republicans will also be in the south, having chosen Tampa for their convention.

St. Louis would also have been a decent choice, but the decision has been made, and the convention is going to Charlotte.

Congratulations to the people of Charlotte and to North Carolina progressives. We look forward to visiting your state in 2012.

POSTSCRIPT: BlueNC and Pam's House Blend, two well-known progressive blogs in North Carolina, each have threads about the host city announcement.


Post a Comment

<< Home