Democrats give Charlotte the thumbs up

Charlotte beat out three other cities to become the host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The convention, scheduled during the week of Sept. 3, 2012, will attract between 30,000 and 35,000 delegates, national and international media and key policy and political leaders. The other three American cities considered were Cleveland, Ohio, St. Louis, Mo. and Minneapolis, Minn.

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

Officials this week invited the thousands – and their dollars – that will flock to the city in 2012 to enjoy uptown Charlotte.

“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,” spokesman Ken Gepfer said.

But don’t expect the crowds to stay in uptown. Even Michelle Obama recognized what else those visitors can find.

“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,” Michelle Obama said in a news release. “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.”

Local officials also point the significance of Charlotte being selected.

“Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature,” said Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chairs the Charlotte In 2012 organizing committee with Mayor Foxx,. “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.”

Will Miller, acting executive director of Charlotte In 2012, said there will be opportunities to participate in the convention. For more information, visit www.CharlotteIn2012.com, and www.facebook.com/CharlotteIn2012.

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