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OP-ED: Charlotte, N.C. Models Inclusion at a Human Level While Disagreeing at a Political Level

Today, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced it had unanimously voted to select Charlotte, N.C. as host of the 2020 Republican National Convention. As I wrote in an oped for CNN, the city council modeled for the country inclusion at a human level even with disagreement at a political level.

By voting 6-5 in favor of making a bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC), the Council — which comprises nine Democrats and two Republicans — showed that bipartisanship is possible and created a model for moving our nation beyond conflict. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles — a Democrat and the city’s first black female mayor — showed true leadership as she championed the bid, recently writing that: “While our country is at a tipping point of incivility, Charlotte is a place where we value diverse experiences and inclusive dialogue … 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 … As a former resident of the Charlotte metro area, I’m proud to see this leadership. I would have been equally disheartened if Provo, Utah, my former residence in a deeply conservative place, had chosen to reject Democrats seeking to gather there.

At a time when tensions are high in America, leadership like Charlotte’s is what will help us reset and start to unify. This will keep us on the path toward Martin Luther King Jr.’s beloved community. Charlotte’s Southern Hospitality is one step in building that community.

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