City leaders begin to prepare for DNC

City leaders begin to prepare for DNC

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by DIANA RUGG /NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianaRuggwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 6:33 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 23 at 6:33 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In just over four months, thousands of delegates and media will pour into uptown Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, and city leaders want everyone to know it's still open for business.
 
They're reaching out to thousands of people who live and work uptown, to let them know what to expect. 
 
Restaurant owner Cassie Parsons has already started making plans for September 4-6, when the main events will take center stage at Time Warner Cable Arena.
 
Her restaurant, Harvest Moon Grille, is just down the block at the corner of N. Tryon and W. 6th streets.  Her food cart is also parked nearby for the lunchtime crowd.  She knows there is a lot to do to get ready.
 
"There's a lot of logistical stuff, like how are we going to get the food from the farmers here?" said Parsons.  "Are we going to be able to do that in a mindful way? Is the cart going to be able to go out to the street?"
 
The city is thinking about those details too.  After meeting with business owners and uptown residents, they're putting together "outlooks" that map out what has to be done. 
 
The outlooks are being prepared 30, 60, 90, and 120 from the start of the convention.  The first outlook, the 180 day outlook, outlined traffic management and public transportation guidelines.
 
It also encouraged uptown businesses to create their staffing plans now, and determine how employees would get into uptown and how deliveries would be made.
 
The city will also be sending postcards to 30,000 homes within the uptown loop with a website where residents can register to get e-mail alerts about convention logistics.
 
The card directs residents to a city website, DNCinfo.charlottenc.gov, which lets them sign up.  The website won't launch until June 1 but residents can sign up for the eNotify alerts now.
 
Gwen Mackins lives in the fourth ward, and said she's not thrilled about so many people coming at once.
 
"There's so much traffic, a lot of traffic," said Mackins.  "We're not looking forward for this convention coming."
 
Her neighbor Cathy Duffy is trying to look on the bright side.
 
"If you put on a hat that this is good for the city, and try to be more upbeat about it ," said Duffy, "I think it will be exciting."
 
Cassie Parsons is ready for the challenge to feed the people who line up at her door -- or her cart.  She's determined to get the ingredients she needs to make it happen.
 
"If I have to fly them in and drop them off by airborne, we will work it out," she said.  "I'm not worried about having not enough food here for what we need to do."
 
Check wcnc.com regularly on our "DNC Countdown" tab for the latest on convention news.
 
 

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