Why Charlotte in 2012? DNC Seminar Programming

Why Charlotte in 2012? DNC Seminar Programming

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Maha Neouchy
August 29, 2012

The fourth day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) academic seminar was filled with notable speakers, a reception and a renowned panel of North Carolina figureheads and major political power players.

 

The day began with programming at The Blake Hotel in Charlotte, which included speakers such as Tim Funk, Politics Reporter for the Charlotte Observer, and Israel Balderas, News Anchor for Fox TV Charlotte.

 

Students also heard about this upcoming election from the perspective of Congressman Melvin Watt, North Carolina (D) 12th Congressional District. Congressman Watt was the campaign manager of Harvey Gantt's campaigns for City Council, Mayor of Charlotte and the United States Senate. He was also nicknamed "the conscience of the Senate" during his term from 1985-1986, which he attributes that fact that he would just "stand up and say something, which the media had never traditionally seen an African American from North Carolina do before."

 

Congressman Watt wasn't the only highlight of the day. At 3 p.m., students made their way to UNC Charlotte's new Center City Campus, where they heard from:

 

The panel discussed how honored they felt that their great city of Charlotte was chosen as the DNC Convention city for the upcoming election. Each panelist provided some historical context about how the bid for Charlotte as this year's DNC city began. It all started with Susan Burgess, the mayor pro tem and City Council member, who died in 2010 after a 3 year battle with cancer. Her efforts are believed to be the reason why Charlotte won the bid to host the 2012 DNC this week. The three panelists hope that long after the convention ends that the city will continue to get the national recognition it deserves. Harvey Gantt remarked that he wants "to see grandpas telling their granddaughters what it was like for the world to turn their attention to Charlotte…it's a strong place, it has strong follow-ship, it's trying to solve its problems in a real way and it has the makeup in terms of what America looks like."

 

The panel followed with a reception, where staff and students had the opportunity to mingle with the panelists.

 

[View photos of events from August 29th on our Flickr channel]

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