Welcome to 2017!

We held our first meeting of the new year last night, and not only did we have a lovely turn-out, but we were honored to have with us Jamie Hildreth of MeckPAC (a political action committee focused on LGBT+ rights in Mecklenburg County). Jamie spoke to the group about what we as advocates can do in the year to come in order to affect the political process in our area for the better. As we move forward into a new presidential administration, we are encouraged to focus our efforts not on the national goings-on but rather on our local and state elections. Jamie urges us as members of the Charlotte (and surrounding areas) community to engage our local representatives through phone calls, e-mails, and personal office visits, expressing the concerns that we want to see addressed not to the powers-that-be in Washington but rather to the men and women who serve us directly.

As we look to the future, it will be important for our members who are interested in becoming politically active not to get bogged down by large, national campaigns. Instead, Jamie suggests that we focus our energy on individual issues for maximum impact, and that if there is change that we want to see in our community, we must seek out that change ourselves. As Diane said on Monday night, one of the best things you can do is “VOTE!”

Aside from Jamie’s visit, we also discussed our plans for the year. PFLAG will be submitting its annual grants, one of which will be focused on allowing us to continue our Healthcare Outreach Program — an amazing endeavor that strives to provide healthcare professionals in our area with information about better serving transgender individuals — as our major project for 2017.

We have also decided to attend the Women’s March on Charlotte on January 21st, and anyone interested in joining us are welcome to attend. The event itself is free, but our group will be donating $300 so that PFLAG Charlotte will be an official sponsor. We’ll have hats with our group’s name on them for those who attend, and we’ll be walking the (approximately) 2 miles uptown in the name of equality and togetherness. More information on where we’ll meet and when is forthcoming — please check back here as well as on the PFLAG Charlotte Facebook group and Twitter page (@pflagcharlotte) for more information in the next week.

For more information about MeckPAC, please visit http://www.meckpac.org or contact info@meckpac.org. To e-mail Jamie personally, direct your e-mails to jameshildreth@meckpac.org. To read up on the origins of the Women’s March, check out https://www.womensmarch.org. Specific information about the Charlotte event can be found at the event page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-march-on-charlotte-2017-tickets-30958050362.

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