Buncombe women organize the “power of 5” to get out the vote

Press release

from the powerof5nc.org

A group of Buncombe County women have embarked on a project called “The Power of 5 Women,” a campaign to support local political candidates who support women’s rights.

“We’ve seen some real meanness against women and families coming out of Congress and the North Carolina General Assembly over the past couple of years,” said Heather Rayburn, a “Power of 5 Women” organizer. “These laws are designed to end basic human rights for women and send us back to the Stone Ages. What can we do about it? We can tell women how important it is to vote, and we can elect more women into office.”

Women represent more than 54 percent of the registered voters in N.C. However, N.C. ranks 29th among states in the number of women representing voters in the state legislature. The scarcity of women decision-makers results in women’s issues becoming ignored, marginalized or, worse, aggressively attacked. Another important point: Women cast 2.38 million votes in 2008. However, only 1.44 million voted in 2010. As a result, radical extremists took over the statehouse and gutted education and attacked women’s rights.

For instance, N.C. legislators voted to cut programs for victims of rape and domestic violence. They voted to de-fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, a group that provides basic health services to more than 5 million women a year (the vast majority poor and uninsured). The legislature also voted to place intrusive and humiliating obstacles before women exercising the right to make family decisions.

The “Power of 5 Women” campaign is a grassroots effort to encourage women to contact five of their friends to let them know what’s at stake in the November election; volunteer at least five hours for progressive candidates; and donate $5 or more to a local campaign. The campaign is funded through donations to the Buncombe County Democratic Party.

You can download and copy the informational card at www.powerof5nc.org. The cards are also available for free at Democratic headquarters on 951 Old Fairview Rd. or by emailing organizers at info@powerof5nc.org. The cards will also be available around town (check the website for updates on pick-up locations).

“I hand these cards out wherever I go — restaurants, social events, even the grocery store,” said Rayburn. “It’s a quick, easy way for people to do their part to protect women’s rights. If we do our part, we’ll never have to hear the words ‘legitimate’ and ‘rape’ in the same sentence again.”


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