CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The LGBTQ Democrats of North Carolina held their state convention on Oct. 14 at the Wadsworth Estate.
Kicking off the event was a showing of Cindy L. Abel’s ground-breaking and award-winning documentary film “Breaking Through: Out of the Closet, Into the Halls of Power” followed by a short panel discussion with LGBTQ and allied elected officials and candidates. Panel participants were: Al Austin, former Charlotte City Council member; Mark Kleinschmidt, former Mayor of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Wendy Ella May, candidate, U.S. Congress; Christian Cano, candidate U.S. Congress; and LaWana Mayfield, current Charlotte City Council member.
During the proceedings, they made changes to their bylaws which included: adding queer/questioning to its name; adopted language to allow for multi-county clubs where membership rolls are low; revised language to use gender-neutral “they” pronouns; added gender expression to the diversity and inclusion section and changed the county clubs’ dues to $5 per year.
Additionally, elections were held and the new President’s Council for 2017-19 are: Ginger Walker, president, Mecklenburg County; Matt Hughes, vice president, Orange County; Nattiel “Nat” Turner, secretary, Mecklenburg County; Pat Warren, treasurer, Caswell County; and Arsidez Leon, vice president of college/university outreach, Wake County. Some congressional district representatives were also elected and Walker has expressed a desire to appoint outreach coordinators from the transgender, African-American and Latinx communities.
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