Psychic Mary Beth Wrenn: "Charlotte is a new thriving Mecca. It's the new green city." Wrenn moved to Charlotte's rival in the South, Atlanta, last year. But she started the New Year moving right back to the Queen City (that's Charlotte, not Cincinnati.)
Herb White, editor of The Charlotte Post: "Charlotte is a town that's still looking for something that's identifiable to be specifically Charlotte. This town is in the midst of a transformation when we're still trying to be a bit of everything to everybody."
Wachovia employee Rich Setaro went to high school in Charlotte and left to go to college. His view of Charlotte now is: "Charlotte has a small-town community feel, but it's growing into a much larger city. It's good for the economy."
Decker Ngongang, community and youth activist: "Charlotte's identity is a living, breathing drama series evolving kind of like the show 90210. You have this clique that runs everything (main characters: Donna, Brendan Walsh, Zach and the token black guy here or there -- aka the banks and different families that run stuff) and the whole show (aka city) revolves around them and their goals, pursuits, fights ... etc. On 90210 around season four, the producers started introducing all these new characters (aka the '90s boom of Charlotte and the transplants) and a whole crop of issues arises from these new folks. Charlotte's identity is that we are not only a city but a mass of personalities trying to make what they think are the best decisions to create a great city."
Monica Simpson, grassroots fundraising coordinator & community activist: “What is Charlotte's identity? I had some difficulty answering this question because I feel like Charlotte is suffering from an identity crisis. There are some things that she can not deny: (1) She is a Southern city with Southern charm and appeal and (2) she is full of banks! Over the years she has become more diverse and culturally savvy. However, as if like an adolescent, she is growing awkwardly and searching for her grounding. I believe that in search for her identity she has fallen for peer pressure and is joining the bustling gentrification train and is looking to build immigrant detention centers that could taint her beauty and charm. Although some find this inevitable, I believe that she should look at other cities, like herself, as examples and learn from their mistakes and their accomplishments.”
Pat McCrory proved that he has the mayor thing down pat, besting all opponents that come his way. He even called out Raleigh because of broken lights on local interstates. He was quoted as saying "if the governor had to drive these roads, those lights would be fixed."
So what does the mayor say Charlotte's identity is?
Well, our mayor didn't return any of the messages left with his office, so we have no clue as to how he'd define Charlotte's identity.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James says the same thing as McCrory: nothing. James also failed to return calls to Creative Loafing.