Saturday, September 1, 2012

Non-Traditional Values Delegates to Attend DNC in Charlotte, NC

The Democratic Party couldn't have found a more suitable North Carolinian city to host their convention. The socialist republic of Mecklenburg County is well represented at the Democratic National Convention. They have the biggest delegation of all the counties in North Carolina.

As host to the Democratic convention, North Carolina has a large delegation, with about 180 people at the Sept. 3-6 event.

The delegates are evenly split between men and women, and they range in age from 17-year-old Vibhav Kollu from Concord to 90-year-old Charles Johnson of Rocky Mount, with a median age of 57.

Blacks comprise the largest segment of the Charlotte delegation, with 85 members. Seventy-nine members are white, nine are Latino, four are Asian and three are Native American.

Despite the large number of delegates, half of the state's counties aren't represented in Charlotte. Mecklenburg County leads the 50 counties that have delegates, with 26. Wake County is second with 22, followed by Guilford County at 19 and Durham County at 12.

And as befitting their non-traditional American values platform, they have a number of delegates that live up to that billing. Janice Covington, once known as George, is a transgender preacher who is an advocate for special rights in the LGBT movement.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. For Janice Covington, being selected as the first openly transgender delegate from North Carolina to the Democratic National Convention was “better than amazing” and is the culimination of a long journey.

Covington, 65, delivered a sermon Sunday at Wedgewood Church, near SouthPark.
“I advocated for LGBT rights, basically human rights, for many years,” Covington told the more than 35 people who attended the service at Wedgewood.

“When we had the Amendment One vote … I thought, I’d like to be a Democratic delegate to the DNC,” Covington said.

Janice/George isn’t the only LGBT delegate; 470 others will also attend.

Of the 158 N.C. delegates, 13 are members of the LGBT community, three times the number of the 2008 delegation, Walton Robinson, a spokesman for the N.C. Democratic Party, said in an e-mail.

The D.C.-based National Stonewall Democrats, a grassroots Democratic gay-rights organization, has kept track of most of the data on LGBT delegates from most of the states.

Of the nearly 6,000 delegates expected at the DNC, the total number of LGBT delegates is 471, Jerame Davis, the Stonewall Democrats’ executive director, said in an e-mail. For the first time ever, Davis said all 50 states set numerical goals for LGBT candidates. Another first: there will be at least one LGBT delegate from every state, Davis said.

The Democrats are all about being inclusive; except of course if you’re a traditionalist; and you happen to love the Constitution of the United States. Other than that all are welcome.


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