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DNC spending reached diverse groups, organizers say

By Celeste Smith
cesmith@charlotteobserver.com

Local Democratic National Convention organizers announced Thursday that they exceeded a goal to spend at least one-third of contract dollars with businesses owned by a diverse range of groups.

Among contractors used, 47 percent of them were diverse vendors, according to organizers. They defined diversity as minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community. Diverse groups were included in large subcontracts, such as construction, production and transportation, according to organizers.

The level of involvement among diverse businesses “shattered any previous convention records,” said Mayor Anthony Foxx, co-chair of the local host committee

But organizers did not disclose the total dollar amount spent on contracts, or how much of that money went to diverse groups.

Planners of September’s Democratic convention had announced the unprecedented diversity spending goal in March. Their announcement came not long after a local coalition of minority entrepreneurs sent a letter to convention organizers urging significant minority involvement. That group, the Carolina Regional Minority Partnership Coalition, later criticized convention organizers as not being transparent enough about where convention dollars were being spent.

“The committee was dedicated to diversity and inclusion from the day Charlotte won the bid to host the convention,” said Dan Murrey, local host committee CEO. “I am proud that we surpassed the goal and took major steps to further strengthen our community’s commitment to shared prosperity for all.”

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