Charlotte remains one of the largest cities in the country without a non-discrimination ordinance after the council failed to pass one earlier this year. TurnOUT! Charlotte, a partnership of Equality North Carolina, MeckPAC and HRC, endorsed Charlotte City Council candidates this year based on their support for a fully inclusive LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.
Seven endorsed candidates won tonight, including at-large candidates Julie Eiselt, James “Smuggie” Mitchell and Vi Lyles and district city council candidates Patsy Kinsey (District 1), Al Austin (District 2), LaWana Mayfield (District 3) and John Autry (District 5).
“The strong showing by pro-equality candidates tonight makes clear that Charlotte is more than ready for a non-discrimination ordinance,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Everyone in Charlotte should have an equal opportunity to work hard, earn a living, and provide for themselves and their families, including LGBT people. Congratulations to all of our endorsees who prevailed tonight, and to every pro-equality candidate who stood up for fairness and equality for LGBT people.”
“Last nights’s victories in Charlotte are so important for North Carolina,” said Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina. “Last night, Charlotte voters sent a clear signal that they support elected officials who are ready to stand against discrimination and stand up for all families.”
“MeckPAC was proud to partner with the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina as we launched the unprecedented TurnOUT! Charlotte program,” said Scott Bishop, Chair of MeckPAC. “We’ve known for some time that the only way forward in Charlotte was by changing who had a seat at the table on Council. I’m proud of our LGBT community and this partnership for helping to reset the table with pro-equality voices.”
The TurnOUT Charlotte! program made tens of thousands of phone calls to registered voters, sent over thirty thousand pieces of direct mail and mobilized the Charlotte LGBT community in unprecedented ways. HRC and Equality North Carolina staff were deployed in the Primary elections to work with directly with MeckPAC and local LGBT volunteers to ensure that the LGBT community had a strong and visible voice in this year’s election.