Opinion

We need you, Charlotte, to make RNC 2020 great

Since my wife and I moved to Charlotte in 1983, we have had the pleasure of watching our city grow into a magnet for business opportunity and build upon an exceptional quality of life. I’ve been lucky to work on efforts to expand transportation, develop housing options for our residents, improve our public schools, create cultural and entertainment venues that have attracted new companies, and watch our small businesses grow with the economic health of our region. With my co-workers, neighbors, and friends, we have embraced the can-do spirit to make our city better.

One year from now, the 2020 Republican National Convention will be our chance to show the world the best of Charlotte – the diversity and talents of our people, the amenities that make our neighborhoods special, the power of our education and training programs that build a thriving workforce, and our inviting business environment which continues to attract capital investment and thousands of new jobs each year. We grow stronger and better every day.

The divisive and sometimes destructive rhetoric around the country and the world doesn’t reflect the essence of Charlotte and who we are. We unite across our differences and embrace our common interests. Varied passions, causes, and beliefs have created a welcoming city with a spirit of warmth and a story of determination.

It’s this spirit and story which influenced the Charlotte Host Committee to seek the 2020 Republican National Convention. We recognized the positive impact this event would bring to Charlotte for the same reasons our city pursued the 2012 Democratic National Convention – job creation, global exposure, economic impact, and a greater appreciation for our city. Regardless of one’s political leanings in 2012, we could all agree it was a good decision for our city and we are better from the experience.

We are a 501(c)(3) not for profit economic development organization with no political affiliation, responsible for hosting and funding the 2020 Republican National Convention. Everything we do aims to showcase the Charlotte region and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina as a premier business environment and world-class convention and event destination. Our mission is to promote hospitality, job creation and investment opportunities.

International events bring income to thousands of service and hospitality employees and their families. Our efforts will bring construction and technology jobs. We will hire small businesses to provide transportation, event services, printing, music, and entertainment. These opportunities and their execution require hard work, but they are labors of love which positively impact real people.

These events empower us to sell the Queen City on a global platform. With warmth and determination, we host extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that allow others to see our region the way we do.

One of the lasting impressions from the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was how our city made the weekend special, not just for those who attended the games but for thousands of families that experienced the best of pro sports throughout our city for nearly a week. After the convention, we will turn to the 2021 President’s Cup. The success of three major, international events hosted by our city over three years would not be possible without our spirit of warmth and determination.

We need you, Charlotte. To host a memorable convention, we seek energetic volunteers to welcome guests and visitors during their time in our city.

Volunteer for the convention by visiting our website: charlottein2020.com. Once we know you want to get involved, we will follow up in the coming months to match your interests and availability.

Before we know it, August 2020 will be upon us. Together, we’ll showcase our people, our city of opportunity, and our welcoming spirit. Get behind Charlotte in 2020 and help us make this convention an exceptional and lasting experience for our entire community.

John Lassiter is CEO of CLT Host 2020, Inc.
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