LaWana Mayfield is well on her way to becoming the first-ever openly LGBT member of the Charlotte, N.C., City Council after winning the all-important Democratic primary tonight to represent Council District 3. Mayfield now faces a Republican opponent in the general election, but enters the fall contest a heavy favorite because the district traditionally backs Democrats.
Mayfield, who was endorsed and supported by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, thanked the organization and her campaign team following her win this evening.
“It’s time for real change in Charlotte, and real change is coming. This is a big first step, and I’m grateful for the trust this community has placed in me. Thank you to my amazing mate, Gelissa Stitt, to my community, to my campaign staff, and to the Victory Fund, which has been with us every step of the way. Most importantly, I want to thank the voters for believing in our campaign. On to November!”
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, said Mayfield’s win is an important milestone. ”We’re extremely proud of LaWana and her campaign team. Charlotte is a major U.S. city with a substantial LGBT population, but it still has never elected an openly gay or lesbian member of the city council and the city still has no major ordinances protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination. It’s important that the community finally has an authentic LGBT voice in government–someone like LaWana Mayfield–who can help her colleagues understand the importance of making Charlotte a welcoming city for all,” said Wolfe.
Mayfield has been a community organizer for 15 years and has been a strong advocate for reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS research, and racial justice.
She is known as a longtime LGBT rights activist, having led a successful local effort to lobby for domestic partner benefits for Mecklenburg County employees and served on boards at the Human Rights Campaign and the Charlotte Gay and Lesbian Fund. She also worked on Red Cross relief efforts in 2005 after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and in 2008 during the Iowa floods.