Inside UNC Charlotte - 49er Democracy Experience Special Report #2

Uploaded by unccharlottevideo on 05.09.2012

>> Stephen Ward
Welcome Inside UNC Charlotte and the 49er Democracy Experience.
The University is engaged in Charlotte 2012 and in this special report, we check in with
more of the 49ers who are experiencing the activities firsthand.
We visit with a student who was a delegate to the other major party convention in Tampa.
And we hear from Charlotte leaders who gathered at our University to answer the question "Why
Charlotte?" as the host of a presidential nominating convention.
At venues throughout the city, day and night, the 49ers are volunteers, attending seminars,
and job shadowing national media, non-profits, and government and political organizations.
>> Ashleigh Thornton
This picture here is actually in one of the studios they had set up in Gold's Gym, they
being Bloomberg Press, and where the actual anchors were interviewing different politicians
and prestigious people and things like that.
So it was so awesome to get to sit there since my dream is one day to be a Bloomberg commentator,
and sit there and take a picture.
The person that I was job shadowing, Paul, who is the president of Bloomberg Business
He actually came up with the idea "why don't you go sit over there and I'll take your picture,"
so I thought that was really awesome, how down to earth he was, supportive and that
was a perfect photo op.
Here is a more enlarged shot of the acual studio that I had my picture taken in.
Again it was just awesome to me to see how they did this total transformation of the
entire Gold's Gym.
It didn't look like a gym at all, within a matter of days.
>> Tenbite Seyoum
My first tweet when we got our passes and that was interesting to be able to walk in
to see it.
I didn't realize they had transformed the Gold's Gym into that amazing venue.
It was just completely done up.
And when we got our passes, it just made it official so me and Ashleigh tweeted our picture.
So, all of our friends got to comment and see what we were doing.
>> Rachel Ward
I've seen the preparations and the media welcome party.
That was all very interesting, basically, the night before the whole week started, walking
around Uptown Charlotte and seeing all the streets so calm and quiet.
And then the very next day, having everything so hectic, it was kinda funny to watch that
evolve so quickly.
This is the control room for the Bloomberg television studios that I got to shadow one
of the people who was kind of in charge there and I got to see all that goes into putting
on a live TV show in this hectic environment.
>> Stephen Ward
There was another 49er watching the convention with great interest and a special perspective.
Meet Daniel Rufty, who represented the 12th Congressional District as a delegate to the
Republican National Convention in Tampa.
>> Daniel Rufty
Police everywhere...that is what I saw in Tampa and that is exactly what I see here.
These conventions are the easiest way to get involved.
You show up and you vote on things and it kind a just builds from there.
This was my first year going to a convention, first year, and I became a national delegate.
For me, I just drove down with some friends.
There is a fee in North Carolina that you have to pay to become a national delegate
which is $425.
And, it can get into the thousands for some people but for me it was close to about $800-$900
I’m finishing up my double bachelor’s at UNC Charlotte.
I’m in finance and political science.
And, from there, I plan on going to law school.
I plan on taking the LSAT this fall and applying to law schools in the spring and kinda go
from there.
I guess where I plan to go from here is to stay involved in the party or politics in
I think it’s important that we all do that.
These things affect our lives.
They affect our pocketbooks.
Affect our liberty, our decisions in business, and our personal lives and so we all need
to do our part and get involved.
It doesn’t take much.
I showed up for four conventions.
That’s it.
And I became a national delegate.
There’s a lot of influence that you can make as a national delegate.
>> Stephen Ward
Charlote leaders have noted several times that the city and region would pull out the
stops for Democrats or Republicans alike.
The hoped-for economic boost knows no party affiliation.
On the eve of the DNC, some of the leaders whose vision helped bring this year's convention
to the city looked back on the process of bringing it all home.
>> Harvey Gantt
Susan Burgess, in 2008, started going after this convention.
And she really saw what I call the Spirit of Charlotte, that’s been historical with
leaders from two or three generations out.
There was this notion in the city that we can do everything here.
We can do anything here.
Susan believed that the city had a lot to offer and she enlisted the support of a lot
of other folks in our town and it really was in the spirit of things we have seen happen
in Charlotte before.
>> Bob Morgan
I was the person who was asked early on in the effort, “Can you call Mayor Vinroot
and Gov. Martin and see if they would be willing to sign on to the effort, and get them to
write a letter?”
And I frankly wasn’t sure what to expect when I made that call.
But Richard Vinroot said, “How quickly can we do this?”
There’s nothing partisan about this; it's opportunity for Charlotte.
That is the spirit of what’s in the best interest of this city rather than what’s
in my best personal partisan interest that matters.
>> Richard Vinroot
Charlotte really is the main reason why our former Republican governor, Jim Martin, and
I wrote letters to Democratic leaders all over the country a couple of years ago advocating
their coming here.
But the truth is, five years earlier, a group of Republicans and Democrats wrote letters
to the Republican party asking them to bring their convention here, that ultimately went
to Minneapolis.
We got down to the final four, we didn't make the finals, but they did the same thing I
In the history of our city, it's the biggest — in terms of worldwide publicity - event
that we’ve ever had.
We’ll be on television, all over the world, for better or worse.
And as my friend Harvey said, “They’re gonna like what they see. This is a really
nice city. A really good city.”
>> Bob Morgan
In 1998, as Mayor Vinroot alluded to, three, I call them young turks, people who weren’t
that recently out of college, said “We can get a convention in 2000.”
We made the list of eight and we had some site visits, and we failed.
We lost.
Philadelphia got that convention.
But think about that.
That failure reverberates today.
And I’m sure it inspired Susan Burgess to say, “We can go get it.”
It inspired policy makers to say, “Why did we fail?”
And not to wallow in that failure, and feel sorry for ourselves, but to say what can we
do to be more competitive in the future.
We need more facilities.
We now have the Time Warner Cable Arena in the Center City rather than the Coliseum out
in the suburbs.
We need cultural facilities.
We need mass transit.
We need to create the kind of community that attracts young people from all over the country
and around the world.
>> Harvey Gantt
I consider ourselves to be one of the great urban laboratories in this country.
So it made a lot of sense for the Democrats to want to be in an up and coming city.
A city that can remake itself.
That can meet adversity, and then handle it by saying “We can do better. We can overcome.”
And I think that’s one of the reasons we were chosen.
Now, of course, as you indicated, from 2008, as we changed the perception of North Carolina
from a state that was in the red column and, President Obama won by 14,000 votes, all of
the sudden we became like Ohio and Missouri and other places where it’s a toss up.
>> Richard Vinroot
I think it’s important even for the symbolism of it, that we’re here in a American city
nominating a president and, in this case, renominating a president and, in the process
as Harvey talked about earlier, to try to make some permanent impact on this city and
bring to the attention of a whole lot of people the importance of minority businesses being
involved as part of the business.
This is the right city to do that.
>> Stephen Ward
We bring this Webcast to a close with some more of the sights in Uptown Charlotte during
this week of the convention.
>> UNC Charlotte Students
Staking our Claim at the DNC! Woooo!