It’s been a hair-raising week for the LGBTQ and progressive communities. We all sat and watched the election returns with anxiety and anticipation. Would we be able to find a way to stop the runaway train of discrimination and hatred? Would it come in time? Can we hang on just a little more to hope that our world can become a more just, peaceful and tolerant one?
It seems that our prayers and pleading was met with some positive results. Nationally, we have at least on house in Congress that will be swinging back our way when the new representatives are seated (can we do this yesterday?). And, maybe we can convince the evil senators to be less soldiers of destruction and more patrons of civility and kindness. I can only hope, right?
Across the state, we had some super decisions on the judicial side. Anita Earls bested her opponents for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Joining her on the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a Progressive win is John Arrowood who is poised to take the bench as an elected official instead of an appointee. You go, Anita and John…I mean, your honors!
Up in the State Capitol, we’ve finally got control back in both chambers of the General Assembly (the Supermajorities have become broken — no need for duck tape or glue, folks) and two of the ballot measures were voted down that put a stronghold on our governor’s ability to make appointments. Finally some mercy for our beleaguered Gov. Roy Cooper. He’s going to catch a break on this score.
But nothing gives me more pleasure in this election than to see the Mecklenburg County Commission race take a clean sweep and push the Republicans out the door. At long, long, long, long last — Bill James has gotten the boot! Ding dong, the last of the Gang of Five is gone. RIP. He now joins Joel Carter, Tom Bush, Hoyle Martin and George Higgins as a Has-Been. For those of you who need a refresher, in the mid 1990s the commissions’ “five” out of nine voted to strip the $2.5 million annual county contribution for the Arts & Science Council due to controversy over the staging of Charlotte Repertory Theatre’s “Angels in America.” “Angels” is a play (in two parts — “Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika”) about the 1980s AIDS crisis and that won a Pulitzer Prize. The vitriol and venom that was spewed out during those days became a national embarrassment for Charlotte and its quest to be a progressive city in the New South.
So, Bill, I guess that 11 terms was enough for the Queen City and the county. Frankly, one was more than enough for me. Now, our crown can shed its brilliance and polish and truly become a “world class city,” complete with a group of folks who do not let bigotry and bias become the rule of law. We are so much better off for it.
Let’s keep the momentum going. Don’t stop now. Continue to campaign for, champion and vote for leaders who stand for the basic principles of American life — the right for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — but more so, justice for ALL!