Former councilman says RNC decision should not be political

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Liberal activists are calling on Charlotte City Council members to turn down the Republican National Convention in 2020 if the city is chosen to host it.

The two cities still in the running are Charlotte and Las Vegas.

The chairman of the Nevada GOP Michael McDonald took to Twitter to say hosting the RNC would be an honor.

"@GOP @POTUS @realDonaldTrump - Las Vegas welcomes thousands of conventions & millions of visitors every year. Being considered to host the #RNC2020 is an honor. We at the @NVGOP know that. #RNCinLV."

A decision on which one will host the convention is expected to come during the Republican summer meetings later in July.

It’s widely expected Charlotte will win. A city delegation is planning to head to Texas for when the announcement is made.

[RELATED: Councilman: 2020 RNC in Charlotte is all but guaranteed]

To this point, all discussions about the convention have happened in closed session. It’s expected, though, that if Charlotte gets chosen to be the host, the city will hold a vote to formally accept it.

Activists said they plan to protest at future meetings, and they’re telling people to email and call council members.

They want city leaders to not allow the event to be held in the Queen City.

One vocal opponent of the convention, Ray McKinnon, said the protests that will come with the event are not worth it.

“If we thought what happened in September after the Keith Lamont Scott shooting was bad, it's going to be worse,” McKinnon said.

Community organizer Robert Dawkins said he isn't a fan of President Donald Trump, but he has no issues with the convention being in Charlotte.

“It's coming from liberals who are willing to protest in other places but are scared to have it here. I call it NIMBY organizing,” Dawkins said.

He said he’s confident the Secret Service and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will be able to handle any protests.

He said it would be a mistake for city leaders to reject an event that will have a huge economic impact, especially for the hospitality industry.

“The least among us are going to make the most amount of money,” Dawkins said.

The only council member who has publicly said they are against hosting the RNC is Lawana Mayfield.

Former Councilman Andy Dulin said that despite not agreeing with President Barack Obama's policies, he was thrilled to host him for the convention.

The Republican is asking councilmembers to put aside politics and think about what the event will do for the city.

The nine Democrats on the Charlotte City Council will determine whether to accept the convention as a host site.

“I knew that having the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012 would be, quite frankly, a game changer,” Dulin said.

Even though he was a Republican, he never considered voting against hosting the DNC.

Dulin is hoping they don't choose politics over people.

Businesses are hoping the Queen City is chosen for the RNC.

Cole Gray is the pitmaster fat Saucemans in South End. The restaurant was the official barbecue for the DNC. Gray said the RNC will have a huge impact on his restaurant and other local businesses

“Definitely be a boom for the local economy,” Gray said.

The NCGOP Executive Director, Dallas Woodhouse, said in a statement "We are proud of the strong partnership between NCGOP, city, county and tourism officials to bring N.C. and Charlotte the 2020 RNC Convention. N.C. should be proud so many can set politics to the side for economic development opportunities."

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