I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news. Charlotte, North Carolina, will host the 46th Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an "up by the bootstraps" mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.
Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign -- from the Atlantic Coast to the Research Triangle to the Smoky Mountains and everywhere in between. Barack enjoyed Asheville so much when he spent several days preparing for the second Presidential debate that our family vacationed there in 2009.
And my very first trip outside of Washington as First Lady was to Fort Bragg, where I started my effort to do all we can to help our heroic military families.
All the contending cities were places that Barack and I have grown to know and love, so it was a hard choice. But we are thrilled to be bringing the convention to Charlotte.
We hope many of you can join us in Charlotte the week of September 3rd, 2012. But if you can't, we intend to bring the spirit of the convention -- as well as actual, related events to your community and even your own backyard.
More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people. We will finance this convention differently than it's been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte. This will be a different convention, for a different time.
To help us make sure this is a grassroots convention -- The People's Convention -- we need to hear from you. We want to know what you'd like to see at next year's convention, how and where you plan on watching it -- and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors.
Rafael, please share your input with us right now -- how can we make The People's Convention belong to you and your community?
I can't believe it has been more than two years since my brother Craig introduced me at the 2008 Convention in Denver. It truly feels like it was yesterday.
As I looked out at a sea of thousands of supporters that night, I spoke about my husband -- the man whom this country would go on to elect as the 44th President of the United States. I spoke about his fundamental belief -- a conviction at the very core of his life's work -- that each of us has something to contribute to the spirit of our nation.
That's also the belief at the core of The People's Convention. That the table we sit at together ought to be big enough for everyone. That the thread that binds us -- a belief in the promise of this country -- is strong enough to sustain us through good times and bad.
Barack talked at the State of the Union of his vision for how America can win the future. That must be the focus now, and I know so many of you will help talk about our plans with your neighbors -- that through innovation, education, reform, and responsibility we can make sure America realizes this vision.
But, conventions take time to plan, so please help us make sure that your thoughts and your ideas will ring all the way to Charlotte. Get started now:
Looking forward to sharing this together,