The 2020 Republican National Convention will be different from any other because of the uniquely horrifying Trump administration.
City leaders across the country know this. Several cities bid to host the Democratic National Convention in 2020, but only one — Charlotte — publicly submitted a bid. The other choice, Las Vegas, submitted its bid privately and against the wishes of the city council.
The majority Democratic Charlotte City Council is likely to be chosen by the RNC at their meeting in August because Las Vegas might have a timing conflict with their convention center and the city council isn't all in. Members of the Charlotte City Council are already planning to attend the RNC's meeting in August. Council Member Mayfield is the ONLY member of the Charlotte City Council to speak out against hosting the RNC in 2020.
Although Mayor Lyles and member of the City Council have touted the economic benefits to the city with the hope of bringing the same economic impact to Charlotte's economy as the 2012 Democratic convention, all signs point to a lesser impact in 2020, considering the decreased impact Cleveland sustained after hosting the 2016 convention due to the decreased attendance because of Trump.
After four years of the Trump administration's policies that harm this country in innumerable ways, which have caused even lifelong Republicans to leave the party, the 2020 convention will be a bust, attendance-wise.
Aside from economic reasons, we call for the city council of Charlotte, a majority-minority city, to say NO to the RNC for the following reasons:
Hosting the RNC gives rubber stamp approval to everything the Trump administration has done.
- President Trump promotes racist policies, such as the Muslim ban and locking up migrant children away from their parents. He had help from the Russians to win the election, and the president has consistently praised dictators, denigrated our allies and regularly uses speech counter to democracy, such as calling the media the enemy. We should not tolerate his behavior.
The GOP values don't mirror the values of this city and for what we voted for.
- We elected a supposedly progressive city council that we want to send a message that challenges the GOP values, which harm women, LGBT, immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, and African-Americans. Cities hosting a national political convention typically see an uptick in votes for that party in the next election, which means increasing GOP votes in Mecklenburg and surrounding swing counties.
Republican policies continue to hurt this city and are not what we should abet.
- Our city has had the struggle of economic mobility and access to good-paying jobs. The GOP platform continuously attacks this message, and their message would create a lasting negative impact on workers, despite any possible small benefit to the city's economy.
The Trump administration and the supportive GOP actively promote policies of racism and xenophobia.
- The president and his administration regularly use racist and xenophobic rhetoric to describe people. He called those of Mexican descent "rapists and murderers," during his campaign, and in recent months has used wording like "infest" and "animals" to describe immigrants. He called majority black and brown countries "shithole countries" and suggested that America seek immigrants from countries, like Norway, which is majority Caucasian. Aside from the damage that using racist rhetoric has caused, the Trump's administration's policies have targeted communities based on this racism with the Muslim ban and removing babies, toddlers and children from their asylum-seeking parents and incarcerating them separately.
No to subsidizing the RNC with taxpayer money.
- Although the exact amount has not been released, cities typically must find and give at least $70 million to host the RNC.
This will end in violence and increased incarcerations
- Given the explosive nature of the GOP's policies, the city cannot host its national convention and not expect violence. Other cities declined to submit bids to the RNC in part because of the expected at least 15,000 protesters that would descend on the city. No doubt that this will bring violence, and sustained protests, and we are not equipped to manage this. Furthermore, protests are bound to attract counter-protesters, as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last year did, which resulted in a white supremacist killing a young woman was there to stand against hate. During Charlottesville, the media reported groups of white supremacists targeting African-American neighborhoods to march through and instill fear in residents. The President called the white supremacist marchers "very fine people."
We remember the Extraordinary Events Ordinance.
- In preparation of the 2012 DNC convention in Charlotte, the city council enacted the Extraordinary Events Ordinance, which infringed on the rights of its citizens and expanded the authority of local police officers. It took years for activists to convince the city to strike this anti-democratic law and we have no intentions of fighting a similarly egregious fight again.
No to militarizing our police force.
- Even if the city receives funding from the federal government to provide security, they will undoubtedly spend those funds on further militarizing our police force, which in particular harms communities of color. There is also a question as to whether the funding provided will cover the enormous costs, another reason other cities declined to bid.