Mayor Vi Lyles: Why I want the RNC in Charlotte

Throughout my career, I’ve focused on the importance of integrity, collaboration, inclusivity and communication to bring people together for the greater good.

It’s also exactly what the Charlotte City Council and I focus on each day – reaching across the aisle to inspire inclusion and support democracy regardless of background or political affiliation.

I want to exemplify those same values as host city of the 2020 Republican National Convention. If our city were selected to host the 2020 RNC, we would plan for an inclusive experience representative of what we know and love about Charlotte.

While our country is at a tipping point of incivility, Charlotte is a place where we value diverse experiences and inclusive dialogue. The current political climate, with its divisive rhetoric and harmful policies, does not represent my values or the values of most Charlotteans. But if Charlotte is the site for the RNC, we can show that our city is about inclusion and leverage it as an opportunity to demonstrate our values of respect while honoring our differences.

After all, the best opportunity to change minds and influence decisions is through engagement. I focus on inclusion, not exclusion.

Perhaps most importantly, the RNC’s economic impact on our city’s working class can make a genuine difference in the lives of families. This convention would provide our community with opportunities for employment and business growth.

That translates to more people eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores, new jobs for freelancers and additional shifts for our service industry. When I ran for mayor, I campaigned on values of community building, equity and job growth. The economic impact from the RNC is supportive of those values.

I love being mayor of this great city, and I respect that we may not agree on all topics. In fact, I think that our differing points of view help make Charlotte such a great place to live, work and play. The common ground we share, however, is a passion for our country and for Charlotte.

Let’s build on that together.

Lyles, a Democrat, is the mayor of Charlotte.