The Charlotte City Council has voted 6-5 in favor of approving contracts to host the 2020 Republican National Convention should the selection committee approve the bid.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Monday you will have a chance to weigh in on whether Charlotte should host the 2020 Republican National Convention. More than 120 people are signed up to speak at a public hearing.
“It’s not a convention like any other because Donald Trump is not a president like any other,” says WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis.
After hearing from the public, council will take a vote whether to approve the contracts needed if Charlotte wins the bid.
“Right now, it looks like the council has enough votes to approve it, but you don’t know until they take that vote,” Curtis says.
In the past few days, some council members have expressed concerns about protests and potential harm a convention could do to the city’s reputation.
“Particularly when you see things that have happened in Charlottesville, and other places, there’s a real sense that they don’t want those kinds of images to be coming out of a convention where we want things to be peaceful,” Curtis says.
But supporters say the economic benefits outweigh all those risks – money going to hotels, restaurants, and potentially boosting the city’s image.
“If things go off smoothly, as they did for the Democratic National Convention in 2012, that will raise the status of the city,” Curtis says.
The RNC could announce it’s decision this week. Las Vegas is the only other city in the running.
“You see a lot of cities that initially expressed interest pull back because they looked at everything that would benefit and said you know we’re gonna pass this time on this particular president and this particular convention,” Curtis says.
Assigned seating for 130+ people who will speak at public hearing on RNC in CLT.
Debate begins among City Council after hearing from more than 100 people for and against RNC in Charlotte..
Council member Harlow votes “No.” Worried about safety & message it would sent to host RNC.
Mayor Pro Tem Eiselt supports bid, and says there’s a “need to work together on common goals.”
Council member Ajmera says $50 Million in grant money isn’t enough & argues economic impact is only temporary. Says Charlotte would be known for hosting a “toxic convention.”
Council member Bokhari says he is a “strong yes.” Argues there are many misconceptions about RNC in CLT. He says safety is a concern, but is confident in CMPD.
Council member Winston comes out against bid. He argues he doesn’t see Donald Trump as a Republican, but as a “human avatar of white supremacy.”
Council member Driggs says it’s not a surprise he supports hosting the RNC. He argues it would create employment and spotlight the city.
Council member Mayfield has been against hosting RNC from the beginning. She says the city is still reeling from fallout from HB2. She says RNC debate is taking away focus from city’s priorities.
Council member Phipps supports RNC bid. He says “democracy is bigger than one person or party.” Argues city should, “Honor our intentions so we don’t undermine our reputation.”
Council member Newton says he will not support RNC bid. He says he’s heard vitriol on both sides & worries what would happen.
Councilman Egleston argues it’s wreckless to lump all Republicans in with Donald Trump. He argues Republicans on City Council are working in good faith.
Council member Mitchell supports RNC bid.
Mayor Lyles says hosting RNC is not an endorsement of Donald Trump, but an opportunity. She says it’s one of the hardest decisions she’s ever made. Now calling for unity, and saying she plans to be in Austin this week if Charlotte wins the bid.