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Social Media Outcry Continues After Council's RNC Vote

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Calla Hales / Twitter

Pressure was building on social media against the bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention before Monday’s vote with Democrats complaining there wasn’t enough debate about the bid ahead of time. That boiled over in last night’s council hearing and protests at the government center.

Andrea Nenque was one of the first people to tweet on the hashtag #NoRNCinCLT. She says she was frustrated by the lack of transparency by Charlotte’s City Council.

"I feel that they should have brought this to a public vote so that we could have had this conversation in February or March," Nenque said.

Nenque was able to share her opinion with the council during the special hearing last night, one of more than 100 people who signed up to speak during a time for public comment.

The hashtag gained prominence the same day City Council member Braxton Winston made a Facebook live video saying he hoped there would be, “robust and organized public discussion,” before the vote.

Last night, in the special meeting, Winston said the council should have done more to include the public in their decisionmaking.

"There are things we could have talked about in public, like really get an answer to what the economic impact is, talk about the public safety impacts, these are things that we deal with in committee all the time and we could have discussed out loud," Winston said.

Still, Winston thought social media did help in cultivating public discussion.

Charlotte’s Mayor Vi Lyles had a more positive take on the council’s engagement with the public, citing the section for public comment and feedback the council had already received.

"I think the community spoke out, we’ve heard all of these views through social media, emails, and all kinds of opportunities that citizens have had to speak to us," Lyles said.

After the vote, many tweets were sent on the hashtag #NoRNCinCLT, including one by Andrea Nenque that read, “The mayor reached out to all of the city’s business leaders before bidding on the RNC. Too bad she didn’t also reach out to regular people and groups that had supported the dem council.”