Debate gets louder less than two weeks before RNC decision

Pressure mounts to reject 2020 RNC

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The city of Charlotte should know in less than two weeks whether it will play host to the 2020 Republican National Convention. However, the debate surrounding whether that is a good idea is only getting louder.

On Friday, Councilman Justin Harlow announced on Twitter that he would not support the RNC coming to the Queen City. Councilwoman Lawana Mayfield also says she will not support the convention.

Community groups, including the Young Democrats of North Carolina, have signed petitions to try and keep the convention from coming to Charlotte.

"I would have thought they would have been kicking around those thoughts earlier. Like, four months ago," said former Charlotte Councilman and current North Carolina Congressman, Andy Dulin.

Those same thoughts are echoed by several other current council members.

"What I do have a problem with is that the time for that was four months ago. Now, we are basically sitting at the alter with the RNC. We need to follow through," said councilman Tariq Bokhari.

Ray McKinnon is the co-founder of New South Progressives and is staunchly against having the convention come to Charlotte.

"Why did they not seek public input sooner." said McKinnon. "This has everything to do with the president's rhetoric."

McKinnon says he is not anti-conventions and understands the large economic impact, but believes this will not be a 'conventional' convention.

"The only city in the entire nation to publicly bid on this. Other cities know what we are refusing to see," said McKinnon.

Dulin and Bokhari see it differently. They say the issue is not about party politics but about the economic engine it would create.

"That is a lot of material for workers that are in need of that upward mobility that we are always talking about," said Bokhari.

"Think about all the folks that clean the rooms. The folks that prepare the food for these people. That will be on fire," said Dulin.

According the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the 2012 DNC created more than $200 million in economic impact.

"Those numbers might be a bit inflated, but I have not seen any numbers that show there is not some positive impact," said Bokhari.

The city council will meet July 23 and should know who the RNC committee has selected. Like in 2011, the council may take a vote on whether to accept that offer.

"Every vote that says we are putting the city on the hook for dollars. I want the council to vote no," said McKinnon.

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