North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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Ruckman, Michael J. Solender and Desiree Kane. They will be setting up a social-media center in a building near the arena for what they're calling PPL, a play on The People's Convention, the Demo- crats' nickname for the party's 2012 convention. PPL will include gallery space for artists, performance area for musicians and speakers, conference room and, most important, free Wi-Fi for bloggers, videographers and other multimedia and nontraditional journalists. All the major players involved in the convention reflect the diverse face of 21st-century American politics, from Obama, the nation's first black president, to Beverly Perdue, North Carolina's first female governor. "Vibrant, diverse and full of opportunity" is how first lady Michelle Obama described the city and state. As for Foxx — Charlotte's second black and youngest elected mayor — his entire life has been a dress rehearsal for the convention. Born in 1971, the year of the landmark Swann v. Char- lotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education ruling that put a spotlight on the city for its busing and school-desegregation policies, he excelled at West Charlotte High School in the 1980s. He became Davidson College's first black student- body president before earning his law degree at New York University. Since entering politics in 2005, he has worked to improve things such as transit and job growth in Charlotte's urban neighborhoods. He sees the 2012 Democratic National Convention as the beginning of a journey rather than as a destina- tion. "Charlotte has been planning and positioning itself to host something like this for many years." Success could pave the way for other large events, he says. "In the future, we will be competitive for things like Super Bowls and Republican National Conventions. I hope that one day our state and our region will be in a position to compete for an Olympics." North Carolina EDG ! """# $%$ &'()) *( +#,

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