News • October 22, 2022

A champion for our communities

Early voting is upon us! Have you voted yet? At Equality North Carolina, it's crunch time in the election cycle – but it's also LGBTQ+ History Month. As we move through this monumentally important election, we're taking a moment to reflect on the powerful stories of our Out Electeds – openly LGBTQ elected officials – whose work is central to building a more equitable North Carolina for us all.

Today, we're uplighting the story of Durham City Council member Jillian Johnson who has served the Durham community since 2015. Jillian is a beacon of pro-equality leadership at the local level, and we're proud to call her an Out Elected.

Since moving to Durham, Jillian has served as a champion of underrepresented communities. From her time at Duke working with United Students Against Sweatshops to her work in recent years to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance for the city of Durham, Jillian has brought a pro-equality lens to all that she does.

While not currently up for reelection, Jillian is clear on the threats facing the LGBTQ community this election cycle and the need for voters to mobilize their friends and family.

"There's a very clear right wing anti-LGBTQ policy agenda, and we need pro-equality candidates to be fighting against that at the state and federal level." -Jillian Johnson

Jillian is also adamant about the ways that North Carolinians can plug into the election cycle and ensure they make an impact in the weeks ahead: organizing their communities, canvassing, volunteering, and donating to support the work of pro-equality candidates.

Can you donate today to support ENC's slate of key, pro-equality candidates in the Midterm elections?

For Jillian, local candidates, while not passing bills and laws, can provide a different form of pro-equality leadership that has a tangible impact on peoples' lives. She knows this firsthand from her experiences on the Durham City Council.

"At the local level, there isn't going to be as much direct policy that we can make, but we can do things that have a local impact. We can send the right message. We can create the right culture, We can march in Pride. We can be openly queer on the internet and celebrate {ride and celebrate Bisexual Visibility Day, National Coming Out Day. Just make it clear that LGBTQ folks are welcome in the community, that people can be out at work if they work for the city, that people don't have to hide who they are." -Jillian Johnson

Early voting is happening NOW and our key candidates are all facing tough races across this state. Your contribution – no matter the size – will go directly towards funding our pro-equality efforts.

Thank you, Jillian, for all that you're doing for our communities. Happy LGBTQ+ History Month!

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