Feb. 14, 2017
During a Q&A session with CIAA Commissioner Jacquie McWilliams this morning, a Forum participant revealed a project initiated in 2015 to boost the role of Charlotte-area entrepreneurs in the business activity created by Charlotte’s annual hosting of the CIAA Tournament.
Longtime Forum participant Isaac Applewhite didn’t get very far with Forum leaders. McWilliams did not respond, suggesting that he hasn’t gotten very far with the CIAA, either.
At minute 1:12:55 in the morning’s video, Applewhite rose to ask for more than the questioner’s alloted 30 seconds to report that “We have some questions that are of concern to citizens groups, developed over a year and a half. I have it in writing. I’d like you to read it. I’m going to provide a copy so it can bee seen.” Aplewhite’s document is here.
Forum co-founder Sarah Stevenson interrupted to ask Applewhite for his question. “Will you accept this information and read it and get back with us on it?” he said. Facilitator Mary Johnson then cut off the inquiry and moved to the next question.
The five-page document outlines an inquiry begun in 2015 by a group seeking to boost local entrepreneurs’ inclusion in CIAA Tournament Week business. An Aug. 16, 2016 “ issue paper” attributed to CCEI (Concern(sic) Citizens for Ecomonic(sic) Inclusion) lists “The Ask” at “2.3 million+” and seeks support from City of Charlotte economic development activities, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Chamber of Commerce, CMS school system and Mecklenburg County. The funds would support youth retraining, scholarships, summer jobs programs and mentoring programs.
The 2016 issue paper does not include a proposal included in a summary of two November 2015 meetings, that a group identified only as TMB “could get up to 12.5% or more for co-sponsored fund raising at facilitated events, held at requested venues.” The Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum has been meeting since Dec. 16, 1980 but has never had a legal or nonprofit status that would allow it to accept money from outside groups.
At a Jan. 12, 2016 Forum, Applewhite and others raised issues over inclusion of local businesses in Tournament activity. League officials promised to reach out.