Entering politics on the Charlotte city council
Gantt describes his foray into politics with a 1974 appointment to the Charlotte, North Carolina, city council. His political career began before then, though, with his work for the American Institute of Architects, an organization that studied city planning.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- LYNN HAESSLY:
Let's turn to Charlotte politics. It was not that long after
you ended your involvement with Soul City that you got your first
appointment to a council seat here.
- HARVEY B. GANTT:
Well, it was three years. I mean, I got that appointment that December of
1974 to fulfill a term. I didn't come here with the
intentions of going into elected politics. But I did come here and got
very much involved in architectural type activities with the AIA,
American Institute of Architects, and got involved in a task force study
of the planning and development going on here in Charlotte that got a
lot of attention in '74. I think that ultimately gave me the
visibility that you wouldn't normally get because of what we
said in that planning study. A lot of what we said then we have started
to take up over the twelve years I've been involved in local
politics, which is much more now than we have
had in the past. A greater degree of relationship between land use and
transportation which is important to a city. So, in that period from
leaving Soul City to coming to Charlotte by way of involvement in civic
activities with the AIA, we got a little bit of attention and ultimately
got appointed to fulfill an unexpired term. When I served that one time
I liked it so much I decided to run again.