Charlotte: Mayfield Bid, School Adoption, STI Rates

Carolinas News Notes

Mayfield announces state bid

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Out Charlotte City Councilmember and Democrat LaWana Mayfield has announced her bid for North Carolina’s State Senate District 38 seat, a run Mayfield says she will continue to pursue despite a recent court ruling which redrew North Carolina legislative maps and places her home in neighboring District 37.

In her announcement she said, “I am here to announce that I am running for North Carolina Senate District 38 because I want to connect people in Charlotte to Raleigh and make a difference for our community.”

When discussing her reason for running, Mayfield said, “I running to increase higher paying jobs, improve education and bring about better housing. As a member of the city council, I have worked to bring jobs to Charlotte. I have worked on behalf of youth and young people and I have seen the needs of children. I will connect and continue that fight for our children in the NCGA [North Carolina General Assembly]. I have worked on housing issues across Charlotte, and our seniors and working poor are being displaced from their homes. The fight is at the N.C. Legislature, and I am here for the fight. I ask the people of District 38 for their support and their vote.”

Mayfield has been a resident of the Queen City for over 30 years. She is taking on Democrat Joel Ford who occupies the seat currently, The Charlotte Post reported.

Although approached on previous occasions to run, she felt it was not the right time until now.

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“It took me four years to come to this decision,” she said. “…There were some clear things I wanted to get done as a council representative. I am blessed and honored that God has allowed me in six and a half years to get more done for my current district that I could’ve ever imagined,” the Post added.

Mayfield is currently serving her third term on the city council and represents District 3. In 2014, she was awarded the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship and completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government program. Mayfield serves on the National League of Cities REAL Race, Equity and Leadership Committee, as president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials and as board member of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. She also serves on the Centralina Economic Development Committee and is secretary of the North Carolina Black Elected Municipal Officials.

Mayfield told qnotes on Jan. 22 that she intends to continue running for the District 38 seat, despite news on Jan. 19 that the district had been redrawn. WSOC reported on the change.

“Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson said the decision means [Mayfield] will have to run in her new district,” WSOC reported on Jan. 19. “According to the North Carolina Constitution Mayfield would have to live in the new district 38 for a year before being eligible to run in the new district. Dickerson says it is highly unlikely this requirement would be able to be waived.”

info: votelawanamayfield.com. charlottepost.com. wsoctv.com.

Org adopts school

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Jan. 15 the Human Rights Campaign Charlotte adopted Greenway Park Elementary School in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service.

The organization collected school supplies for the 39-classroom school to assist educators with basic needs such as facial tissue, crayons, pencils, etc. And, 98 percent of the students at Greenway Park receive free lunches, so the need was tremendous.

At the halfway mark in the academic year, supplies begin to run low and teachers often are forced to pay for classroom items out of their own pockets, a challenge on a teacher’s salary.

The Charlotte organization sought contributions toward the initiative through an Amazon gift registry. Volunteers met on Jan. 22 to unpack boxes and created 39 classroom gift packages.

info: facebook.com/HRCCharlotte.

Org works to reduce STI rate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Planned Parenthood South Atlantic (PPSAT), which provides care and education in Mecklenburg County and beyond, is working to reduce the number of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the area.

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Charlotte, N.C. has the highest numbers of STIs in the state and Mecklenburg County’s chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are well above the national average.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that STIs are at an “unprecedented high” in the U.S. and that total combined cases of the most common diseases in 2015 reached the highest number ever. At the epicenter is the South, where five states with the highest STI rates are Louisana, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.

PPSAT is leading conversations and discussions in a safe, non-judgmental, professional healthcare environment to help offset those statistics.

“Education about STIs is key, and the earlier the better,” said Anna Williams, PPSAT community educator. “Often, people who are sexually active don’t know they’ve become infected, and don’t experience any symptoms or have their infection develop into a disease.”

The health center provides educational classes and distribution of no-cost/low-cost protective barrier methods such as condoms, internal condoms and dental dams. It also offers a range of services from basic gynecological and breast exams to family planning and testing/treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

“We’re working to decrease the stigma that surrounds sex and sexuality, and that includes honest talk about safe sex practices,” Williams says. “Don’t know the STI status of your partner? Ask. Protecting yourself and your health is always sexy.”

info: plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-south-atlantic.

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Share your news with us

Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@goqnotes.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBTQ issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.