Continuing with our theme of speaking out against Amendment One, this issue we have a letter from Ashlei Blue, Regional Field Director for The Coalition to Protect All NC Families.

On September 13, 2011, our North Carolina General Assembly pushed Amendment One through the ranks and onto the 2012 Primary ballots for you to vote against. It goes without saying how many times different versions of this bill have been drafted up and shot down over the past 100 years. What is more of an issue for Charlotteans, however, is what are we going to do to prevent it from passing on May 8?

The truth of the matter is, that for the first time in over a century, North Carolina has decided to propose an amendment that takes away your rights instead of guaranteeing and protecting them. The Charlotte City Council has remained silent on the issue while our Mayor Anthony Foxx has already come out staunchly against it. It’s time to set fire to Amendment One in Charlotte and we have to start now.

Everyday, my team of field organizers and interns wake up and we commit ourselves to 12-hour days with the hopes of knocking the wind out of this amendment. Encouraging friends and family to vote against the amendment is the first step in defeating Amendment One, but by no means is that all we’re asking of you. To stop hate, it’s going require more from each of us.

We’re asking you to climb outside of your comfort zone and stand alongside of us as we take even bigger steps. That means reaching out to your neighbors and telling them about the benefits your family will lose if they stay home instead of getting up and voting against this amendment. That means reaching out to your church home and encouraging them to put their faith into action and stand behind righteousness. That means talking to students on one of the many campuses across the Queen City and making sure they’re aware that the rights of their friends are being infringed upon.

We are a coalition of supporters that have aligned with the purpose of stopping discrimination in Mecklenburg County dead in its tracks. It’s going take more than a yard sign in front of your house, more than a bumper sticker on your car, more than a T-shirt on your back. While all of those things are important in spreading awareness, we have yet to see a yard sign or bumper sticker have a valuable conversation. The Coalition to Protect All NC Families has a goal to complete one million conversations across the state of North Carolina. By the time you read this article, Mecklenburg County will have clocked in at over 1,500 conversations…how many of those conversations were you a part of?

You can find our office on the corner of 28th St. and North Davidson at 617 East 28th St. We’re here, Monday through Friday, getting the job done. All we’re missing is you. Won’t you join us?!

— Ashlei K. Blue, Regional Field Director, Protect NC Families

When I go into the ballot box in May, I’m going to be voting against Amendment One.

— Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte

Amendment One is a direct challenge to our ability to compete nationally for jobs and economic growth. Large corporations hate this kind of controversy. They deal with diverse work populations for whom issues like this aren’t just important in terms of where it is that they live, but are important indicators of the diversity and meritocracy of the companies where they want to work.

Many of the industries, most that are important to our future success, are also the industries most highly sensitive to the passage of amendments like Amendment One that significantly signal that we are a backward looking economy.

Amendment One has the potential to have a disastrous effect on our abillity to attract talent and keep talent in the state of North Carolina. We know that for economic growth and prosperity, the ability to keep talent here and to attract additional talent, not only from other parts of the United States, but globally, is critically important to fueling that growth.

What Amendment One does is make it look like we are a state that ignores both the needs and the preferences of the next generation of America’s and the world’s workforce. We have got to attract that generation. We have got to vote no on Amendment One.

— Cathy Bessant, Bank of America