Republican National Convention committee is looking for volunteers. Thousands of them.

Charlotte skyline
Charlotte Skyline (2016) - Image by Nan Palmero

CHARLOTTE — The host committee organizers for the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC) being held in Charlotte are looking for thousands of volunteers.

Planning and executing a convention event as massive as this will require big time recruitment of volunteers and the process is underway.

“We think we’ll need approximately 8,000 people to welcome 50,000 visitors to Charlotte and tell them about our city, our region, our state and be the smiling face for the folks who are coming here for the national convention next summer,” said John Lassiter, CEO of CLT Host 2020 Inc.

Lassiter is the current president of Carolina Legal Staffing and is a former chairman of North Carolina’s Economic Development Partnership board. He has strong ties to Charlotte having served as a Charlotte City Council Member-at-large (2003-09) and as a vice-chair/member-at-large of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School board.

Lassiter said there will be “all sorts of roles” and an “opportunity for everyone” from meet and greets at the airport, to helping attendees find a bite to eat to logistics of the back and forth between the arena and the convention center.

“We really do appreciate folks’ willingness to support what we’re trying to do to draw attention to our city and our region and our state,” said Lassiter.

“The beginning step is getting those folks to our website which is,” said Lassiter. “They can register. They will get a response back that tells them we have it, and it will let us know who you are or what you want to do and what your availability is.”

Lassiter added that as the event gets closer, there will be a background-check process to make sure that “people are who are they say they are.”

“I understand that the world is increasingly complex, and we need to make sure that somebody is wearing our shirt I’m promoting our brand for this convention and that we have confidence that they are who they say they are,” Lassiter said.

The host committee currently estimates that visitors will spend around $200 million while in the Charlotte area during the convention which will run from August 24 to 27.

When Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012, fundraising to cover the event was a big issue. The Democrats were unable to raise the needed amount, and because the head of Duke Energy was the DNC committee chair, Duke shareholders ended up paying $6 million of the $10 million line of credit that had been extended to the DNC.

Lassiter says fundraising won’t be an issue and that they’ve already made good headway towards a $70 million goal.

We are very confident we will meet our goal and we’ve made great progress to date. We run it like a business, we pay our bills and we will make sure that we end up, hopefully, with a surplus that can help us put some more dollars back into unmet needs in our community,” Lassiter said.

The convention’s logo was recently unveiled on August 1 while kicking off the start of volunteer recruitment activities. The logo features the iconic Charlotte crown in blue in the background and an elephant in red marching forward in the foreground.

About A.P. Dillon 539 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_