Monday, April 14, 2014

Women's Right to Vote: N.C. NOW President Calls for Online Letter Campaign to End Voter Discrimination

The right to vote is the only constitutional right granted to women by the United States. Perhaps that's why National NOW president, Terry O'Neill, is calling for an online letter campaign to end voter discrimination.

A number of Asheville and western North Carolina residents are aware of what they believe to be regional gerrymandering in recent years, which have the affect of marginalizing certain types of voters.

"I know it's early, but I"m already worried about the 2014 elections," says O'Neill.  "Anti-woman forces know that when women vote, women win. So they are pulling out the stops to drive down voter turnout in communities they know support women's rights."

Asheville is widely known as a community which supports women's rights. This issue is knocking at our back doors, and wiping its feet in preparation to come in.

"Voting restrictions are often aimed at communities of color and disproportionately impact women in those communities," McNeill says.

This is a national issue with serious implications for Asheville and western North Carolina. Abusive voter suppression laws have already passed in North Carolina. And the problem doesn't stop there.

"Funded by the Koch brothers, misleading campaign ads have begun to air across television and radio media. These ads are designed to confuse voters and discourage them from going to the polls," says McNeill.

Asheville, if you'd like to take action right NOW to mobilize the women's vote, place the Governor's office on notice that we know what's happening and that we want it to stop. Click on any of the links in this article and enter your zip code in order to send your letter in this important online campaign today.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Members Identify Next Action Steps for Asheville NOW at April 6 Meeting; McLendon is VP Nominee

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Asheville Chapter of the National Organization for Women today affirmed the nomination of Sherri McLendon to the office of vice president, approved a new strategic communication plan, and identified local shareholders in six key issue areas of women's rights, according to President Debbie Metcalf.

McLendon is an independent communications consultant and recognized feminine business leader, writing the popular "Women, Spirit and Money" magazine column for WNC Woman (for women nurturing change). Previously, she served two terms as president of the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina. A former North Carolina and Georgia educator and newspaper editor, she holds an M.A. from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Athens. She is also a soccer mom.

"We need a coherent voice related to women's issues in Asheville and at the state and national levels," she says. "Women are too often treated as second class citizens. Through NOW, our voices can change that."

The attendees explored the possibility of developing a series of round table discussions and media events focusing on women and family law, the Equal Rights Amendment, wage inequity, and other areas of gender bias.

"Our goal is to breathe new life into the organization," says Metcalf. "We are relevant to all women who are troubled by today's political climate and attitudes toward women." says Metcalf.

A work session focusing on prioritizing topic areas will be Saturday, May 4. For more information or an invitation, please sign up for the chapter mailings on the sidebar to this posting.