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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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.