Community member Mark Wisniewski writes to The Charlotte Observer on his views regarding the city’s bid to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the city’s treatment of LGBT citizens.

He writes:

I’ve been watching with interest the push for Charlotte to land the honor of hosting the Democratic National Convention in 2012 while reviewing the DNC platform and where Charlotte stands in relation to other candidate cities. When it comes to attractions, infrastructure and narrative, Charlotte seems to be consistently at the top of every list. Unfortunately when it comes to equality for the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens, the results are not so good.

As Matt Comer of QNotes has already written in a detailed study, Charlotte ranks a distant last among the four candidate cities in the categories of equality, protections and recognition of LGBT citizens. I have written the DNC inviting them to address this as a strategic weakness in Charlotte’s bid. I have also raised this issue with the Charlotte bid committees’ marketing people on Facebook.

The “study” he mentions were written on my personal blog, and consist of two posts: “Open letter to the DNC: LGBT Charlotteans need the 2012 Democratic Convention”, including a detailed “State of LGBT Charlotte” and “How do potential DNC 2012 host cities compare on LGBT equality?”.

Wisniewski goes on to detail his specific views on the possibility of Charlotte as DNC host but offers four suggestions on how city officials could start to reach out to LGBT citizens. They are, indeed, phenomenal suggestions. City leaders should take note.

Read Wisniewski’s piece in today’s Observer, and catch our Aug. 21 print edition for his full, unedited commentary.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.