TurnOut NC Rally in Raleigh
by Jerry Yelton
It isn’t every weekend that a group of almost forty volunteers knock on doors and make phone calls to swing a state for equality, but that’s exactly what happened Halloween weekend October 2016 just before one of the most divisive presidential elections. The volunteers, some students, and others with a simple passion for equality had only one goal in mind: to ensure progressive voices are heard loudly and clearly in North Carolina.
To start the morning, volunteers crowded in front of the iconic Raleigh “All Are Welcome” rainbow mural to hear from progressive North Carolinians and statewide leaders. HRC President, Chad Griffin, opened the rally to thunderous applause and excitement in spite of the wind and chill of an early NC fall morning. Griffin emphasized the importance of down-ballot races, driving home the necessity of making connections with voters to be certain they head to the polls early or on Election Day.
Griffin then introduced Executive Director of Equality NC, Chris Sgro, who reiterated why all of our volunteers, voters, and staff have joined together for a weekend of action. He called for our supporters to be sure that North Carolina is the progressive marker of the South that we once were. Following Sgro, two local candidates discussed their tight races for NC House in Wake County. Cynthia Ball and Judge Joe John joined the rally to show that they will stand proudly with the LGBTQ community to fight for equality in our state.
With a brisk October wind behind him, Candidate for NC Attorney General Josh Stein addressed the rally of volunteers and voters. “It is a great and beautiful day to be an American because you all have the power to shape the type of state and type of nation that we are,” Stein said. “Every voter you inspire is going to be a vote to elect an attorney general who is with the people first; [every voter you in inspire] wants to put Deborah Ross in the United States Senate, move Hillary Clinton back into the White House, and take the Governor's Mansion back so we can move North Carolina forward!”
To ensure that pro-equality candidates are elected, that HB2 is repealed, and that North Carolina takes the vital steps necessary to redeem itself, the most important thing you can do besides VOTING is to volunteer. In 2008, President Obama won NC by an average of just two votes per precinct. Your efforts knocking doors and making phone calls with TurnOut NC will have a significant impact in turning out those extra voters to swing elections for pro-equality candidates down the ballot. Your voice and vote are important, and using those to fight discrimination can make the difference in which way the election sways in the swing state that is North Carolina.