CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Donald Trump landed in Charlotte just before 1 p.m. Friday, capping off a busy week two days after his impeachment trial wrapped up.
Channel 9 was there as Air Force One landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and taxied to a stop before Trump exited the iconic plane, waving to supporters and flashing a thumbs up.
The president visited the Queen City to speak at the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit at Central Piedmont Community College. It’s a housing and urban development program that promotes economic growth in what are called “opportunity zones.”
Those are low income or economically distressed parts of towns where developers get grants or tax breaks to build.
President Donald Trump called opportunity zones, “the hottest thing you’ve ever seen.” Some of Charlotte’s opportunity zones include Eastland, Rozzelles Ferry and Beatties Ford.
During his speech, President Donald Trump highlighted Tony Rankins. Rankins is a formerly homeless veteran who found a job working construction for a company that does work on opportunity zone projects.
“They not only gave me a job, they gave me a second chance to grow,” Rankins said. “It is amazing.”
That company is called R Investments. Its CEO Travis Steffens is in the process of closing on the company’s first project in Charlotte, a 176 veterans-only housing complex in east Charlotte near the Walmart.
Steffens said community involvement is crucial to prevent gentrification
“You have to work with the people who are there because pushing people out and pushing people around does not solve any problems,” he said.
Protesters, supporters turn out for presidential visit
A group of protesters and supporters were set up outside CPCC Friday, standing on opposite sides of the street.
“That we’re watching him. That what he’s been doing is not acceptable and, frankly, I want the Senate to know we’re watching them, as well,” said protester Jodee Collins
Channel 9 reporter Glenn Counts said everybody seemed to be getting along, but there are a lot of police officers around just in case.
“We’re here to show Trump that we support him after all the impeachment and for the past three years and we just want him to know that he still has supporters out here,” said supporter Carrie Barker.
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