Convention isn’t going anywhere

Following the passage of Amendment One in North Carolina, an outpouring of petitions have sprung up online in response to the decision. The majority of these petitions have one focus, to move the DNC out of Charlotte as a retaliation measure against the passage of the anti-LGBT amendment. Within 24 hours of the primary results on May 8, over 25,000 individuals had already signed one petition like these. Despite the influx of petitions, there has been no report that the DNC is considering relocating.

Taking a different approach on the issue, North Carolina mother and ally Shannon Ritchie has created a petition through asking the DNC to add gay marriage to the party platform. Her petition went live following President Barak Obama’s public support of gay marriage and has received as much support as some of the petitions trying to move the DNC out of Charlotte.

DNC Chair Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has already spoken out in support of adopting marriage equality to the Democratic platform in 2012, as have many others.

Healthy children, healthy families

A new effort is underway to promote healthy living for young people in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, as well as addressing childhood obesity. The Healthy Weight, Healthy Child initiative is part of a bigger community action plan called The Blueprint for a Healthier Generation, 2020.

The goal is to promote and encourage active living and healthy eating for all children and their families. The Host Committee for the 2012 Convention supports this important issue by including it as one of its Legacy initiatives: Healthy Children; Healthy Families.

On May 20, DVA Charlotte (DVA stands for donors, volunteers and ambassadors) dug into its third Legacy volunteer project. Green thumbs gathered at Winterfield Elementary in East Charlotte to work in its community garden. Volunteers helped to weed, plant, paint garden benches and donate gardening books for the students. This project supports one of the main Healthy Weight, Healthy Child goals, namely to create edible school gardens that integrate gardening and nutrition education while providing opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating.

These events come following DVA Charlotte’s inaugural service events held on April 15 when DVA members worked together to refurbish the Amay James Recreation Center — which will give neighbors and students at Reid Park Academy a place to go for physical activities — and teamed up with residents at Moore Place to build a community garden.

It’s time you joined DVA Charlotte. Open to all area women, the non-partisan network is joining together to support the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention. The grassroots effort of Donors, Volunteers and Ambassadors — DVAs — provides opportunities for leadership, service, education, and celebration.

Official BBQ sauces selected

Speaking of healthy eating, the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee recently held a contest to pick the Convention’s official BBQ sauces, the winners of which can be purchased online. The Carolinas boast a proud rivalry in their different approaches to BBQ sauces and preparation. BBQ in the Carolinas is usually pork and is served pulled, shredded or chopped. The pork is slow-cooked and smoked, generally for a minimum of 16-18 hours at a very low temperature.

Eastern Carolina BBQ typically uses the “whole hog,” where the entire pig is cooked and the meat from all parts of the pig are chopped and mixed together. Eastern Carolina sauce is a thin, vinegar and pepper-based sauce and is used both as a “mop” (or baste) on the meat while it is cooking, and then as a finishing sauce at table side.

Western North Carolina BBQ is typically made only from the pork shoulder and uses a thicker, sweetened tomato-based sauce that is often called “dip.”

South Carolina BBQ is often “whole hog” and typically uses a sauce made from a mix of yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar and spices.

In February, the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee called upon BBQ sauce makers to compete to become the convention’s official mustard- vinegar- and tomato-based BBQ sauces to showcase the different BBQ styles from around the Carolinas and be sold in Charlotte in 2012’s online merchandise store. Kathleen Purvis, food dditor for The Charlotte Observer, served as one of the judges deciding on the winning sauces.

The sales of the “Flavor of the Carolinas” sauces are part of a grassroots fundraising effort, the proceeds of which go toward funding the convention. Charlotte in 2012 is the first Host Committee in modern convention history to not accept monetary contributions from corporations, lobbyists or political action committees. Instead, monetary contributions now come from foundations and charitable organizations and individuals like those who purchase these winning sauces online. : :