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Charlotte making preparations for 2012 DNC

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Albany/HV: Charlotte making preparations for 2012 DNC
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The countdown is on. There are just five months until the Democratic National Convention takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina this September. The chair of the convention, the mayor of Lost Angeles, is visiting the city, getting an update on preparations. Our McKinsey Harris has more.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s his first time in the Queen City in 12 years and also the first time Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has visited Charlotte since being nominated chairman of the Democratic National Convention.

"Just going through this city, you could sense that it’s a city that’s very comfortable with itself and one that I think is going to show the world very well just what North Carolina’s all about," said Villaraigosa.

Roughly 150 days from away from the kick off of the convention, Villaraigosa had the chance to tour facilities being used for the DNC and get an update on preparations with the Charlotte mayor and CEO of the DNC committee.

Villaraigosa said, "We want to make this, as you’ve heard us say again and again, the most accessible convention. One where we’re soliciting a broad cross-section of North Carolinians, but also Americans to get involved in the convention."

He says they want to engage in conversations with constituents about the future of our country.

He was asked about the importance of the Latino vote.

"Yes, the Latino vote’s going to be important in this election. As is the African American vote, the evangelical vote, the union vote, there’s a broad cross section of America that we want to speak to," said Villaraigosa.

Politics did manage to slip into his visit as he was asked about a hot topic both nationally and in North Carolina: Gay marriage.

"I’ve made that pretty clear. I think I’ve said that I do believe it should be a part of the plank, but I respect the wishes, just as I respect the will of the voters of this state and have my own views, I also respect the delegates and theirs," Villaraigosa said.

But so far, the convention has been pretty drama free, however, he says it’s likely some conflicts will arise, at some point.

“I love our democracy, I believe it’s important for us to engage in the battle of ideas and I look forward to having the conversation with folks from the other side about the future of the country and I think that’s what we’re all looking forward to," said Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa says he plans to visit the Queen City several times between now and September as preparations for the 2012 Democratic National Convention continues. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP