Rally an initial spark for future anti-amendment organizing

Organizers say Oct. 15 Uptown rally a starting point for volunteer recruitment, voter registration

CHARLOTTE — Community members met for a second time on Monday evening for an informal networking and organizing committee tasked with planning an anti-amendment rally slated for this Saturday, Oct. 15 in Uptown Charlotte. The grassroots, volunteer organizers say the rally is “just the beginning” of more sustained activism and campaigning against an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that will go before voters in May.

Lead rally organizer Jeff Enochs and his team members have pulled together several speakers and music for the event. On Saturday, they’ll begin forming at 11 a.m. for an informal march at the corner of N. Tryon and 9th Sts. The march begins at noon and completes at Independence Square on the corner of Trade and Tryon Sts. Guest speakers at the rally, which runs until 4 p.m., will include several local pastors, community members, activists and local, elected officials.

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Enochs hopes as many as 500 people will be at the rally. An “Occupy Charlotte” protest is also planned, but Enochs said he doesn’t anticipate any conflict with the anti-Wall Street group.

A Facebook event page shows several hundred planned participants. Additionally, an affiliated organizing group has over 1,000 members.

Scott Bishop, a volunteer organizer with the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina, said he hopes to use events like the rally for volunteer recruitment and voter registration. He passed out Equality North Carolina pledge cards to the organizers at the meeting Monday, asking each to pledge to vote against the amendment in May. He also led a short, volunteer recruitment training for those present.

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Bishop has said the impending anti-amendment campaigns will need to rely heavily on voter mobilization.

“This will be a get-out-the-vote campaign,” Bishop said at the organizing group’s first meeting last week. “We need to mobilize as many people as possible and get them to the polls on [May 8].”

A sign-making party will be held Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Loft, 1523 Elizabeth Ave. Materials will be provided.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.