Equality North Carolina: Our Road Map For 2020

Political Voices

It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of the elections this year taking place across our state. From the entire North Carolina General Assembly to the Governor’s Mansion to your local Board of Education, the number of races on this year’s ballot is nothing short of massive. Not to mention our congressional and presidential contests.

North Carolinians have a crucial opportunity in 2020 to elect pro-equality legislators and change the course of history for this state — and America. We are living in dire and terrifying times for some of our community’s most vulnerable members — particularly transgender and gender-non-conforming (GNC) people of color and other individuals living at the margins. These voters deserve leaders committed to creating a more equitable and safer world for them to live, work and raise families. We all deserve lived equality.

That’s why Equality North Carolina (ENC) is putting so much work into our endorsement process this year. On Jan. 21, we released our first round of endorsements for the North Carolina House and Senate and select seats in the Council of State and the U.S. Congress. We will continue to release more endorsements in the coming weeks and months, and you can stay up to date on our website and social media channels.

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Each election cycle, our political action committee makes careful and meaningful choices surrounding who we decide to endorse as an organization. These endorsements are informed by an intersectional commitment to LGBTQ equality coupled with a desire for more diverse representation in the halls of our government, i.e., more women, more people of color, more transgender and GNC folks, immigrants and more working-class people. It’s important to our entire staff and board that our friends and supporters make informed decisions when they walk into the voting booth. We hope you’ll take these endorsements into consideration and do your own research when deciding who to vote for this year.

Beyond just voting for the right folks, it’s on all of us to roll up our sleeves and get into the trenches of the electoral process. Change isn’t going to happen by relying on others to put in the work — your voice, time and energy-matter and are crucial parts of this process.

Throughout 2020, Equality North Carolina is building out chapters across our state dedicated to establishing and sustaining communities of pro-equality voters. With such a massive amount of ground to cover, we’re only as strong as our volunteers and everyday citizens who feel called to put in the work.

Currently, we have functioning chapters in the Triangle and Charlotte-Mecklenburg areas. We’re working on creating a chapter for the Triad and, down the road, we’re hoping to create chapters in the Western and Eastern parts of our state. Each of these chapters has its own Facebook group connected to the ENC page and is overseen by a local civic engagement coordinator. The project as a whole is overseen by our new Director of Civic Engagement and Politics Jessica Hulick. If you’re interested in getting involved in this process, you can contact her at jessica@equalitync.org.

These local chapters are important in not only helping transform the political infrastructure of our state but creating space for you to have your voice heard. Your thoughts and opinions about the electoral process are important to ENC and will help guide the decisions we make throughout the course of 2020.

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This Saturday, Feb. 8, is also the 14th Annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Moral March on Raleigh! ENC will be marching and organizing a cohort that will meet at the LGBT Center of Raleigh at 8:30 a.m. Sign up on our Facebook page or please contact katherine@equalitync.org.

HKonJ is an annual assembly where thousands of people rally against racial hatred and discrimination and march toward a society where all individuals have equal rights. It’s organized by the North Carolina NAACP and is an important day for progressive groups committed to racial equity and liberation to come together for a demonstration of solidarity and support.

Throughout 2020, we will continue to use this monthly column with qnotes as a tool to keep you updated on our work and events — but also as a way to help you get involved. We all need to get engaged this year. Whether you are using your voice, time or resources, invest them in the future of this state that we call our home.

It’s on all of us to help build the North Carolina that we want to see for our friends, or families, and ourselves.

We’ll see you out there.

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