Cover Story: Committee for Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A who's who of leaders past and present from across the Carolinas are joining the effort to bring the Democratic National Convention to town next year.

But the group is made up of more than Democrats.

Organizers have reached out to the GOP and independents as well to pull off this convention.

Leaders say for Charlotte it's not about Republican red or Democrat blue but about green - money.

"The time for action is upon us."

Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt and others calling up the troops at a news conference in Uptown Tuesday.

In just 48 weeks from now 35-45,000 people - delegates, media, volunteers, law enforcement and protesters will descend on Charlotte for days for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

And to host a spectacle like that you need an army.

"These people represent the finest of the Carolinas and they represent different groups of people throughout our region," says Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

The Charlotte in 2012 Committee on Tuesday released the names of people serving on the host and steering Committees for the convention.

[TAKE: ---------------LOSE HEADLINE SUPER---------------]


The list includes a governor (Bev Perdue), former governor (Jim Hunt) and U.S. senator (Kay Hagan).

Members of Congress present and past, former UNC president (Erskine Bowles).

State lawmakers and mayors, city council members and county commissioners.

And representatives of the faith community and non-profits.

Former South Carolina Congressman John Spratt is one of the 117 committee members.

"One of the things I'm really interested in doing is going out and tapping this talent, locating it, finding it and trying to match up the talent with people willing to contribute time and effort and money in hopes that they can be part of this event," he said.

The Host Committee has already made a splash hosting rallies and they've reached beyond their political base inviting all three Republicans on the Charlotte City council, Andy Dulin among them, to be on the host committee.

"Am I going to get more Democrat paraphernalia than I ever wanted? Sure. But this is ultimately about a business decision I made to help bring the convention to the citizens of Charlotte. And I'm pleased to help," Dulin said.

In addition to showcasing Charlotte to the world the convention is expected to pump $150 million into the region's economy.

Local organizers have to raise $36 million for the DNC to throw the party.  Again Tuesday they wouldn't say how much money they have.

"We're doing really well. We're very pleased with our progress," said Host Committee CEO Dan Murrey.

Host committee co-chair Jim Rogers of Duke Energy told us last Friday, "I'm really not going to talk about how much.. because again we're trying to build momentum and it's very important that in building momentum we're not saying we're at X.. we're at Y."

Members of the Host Committee and the Steering Committee will be responsible for helping raise money, rounding up volunteers and assisting organizers of the convention.

The Charlotte in 2012 Committee says it's non-partisan and non-profit.  Leaders say the goal is to make Charlotte shine and boost the city's bottom line.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.