Prominent Charlotte civic and political leader Betty Chafin Rash is this week’s CWM Woman in the Spotlight. She shared her thoughts on the 2018 political season and how we might plug in, both locally and across the state.

Power to the Polls is this year’s national and local Women’s March commitment theme, putting our CWM Candidates and Votes Committee front and center. Last year’s effort registering voters and raising money for Lillian’s List was the perfect preamble for propelling our supporters to the voting booth. — Betty Chafin Rash

After completing her master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, Betty moved to Charlotte, beginning what was to become a lifelong commitment to public service. First elected to Charlotte City Council in 1975, she served three terms, was the third female elected to council, and the first woman mayor pro tem.

My challenge to you is larger. However, based on my own personal experience, I can assure you taking the challenge will be rewarding. A review of the candidates who have filed both locally and across the state proves there is an excellent field of people, especially women, who are willing to challenge even the most entrenched opponents of the things we know to be just and right. This is good news! — BCR

Betty co-founded the Charlotte Women’s Political Caucus, created to encourage women to run for political office. She also co-founded the 2008 Women’s Summit, an initiative held on UNC Charlotte’s campus that has become a research unit within the University designed to be a catalyst for change – improving the lives of women through research, education and civic engagement. (from UNC-Charlotte, Office of News and Information)

The number of progressive female candidates who have filed is historic. I would encourage you to focus on candidates for the NC General Assembly where we have an opportunity to make a real impact. Preliminary polling looks very positive. Study the candidates (go to the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website ( for links to their websites). I feel sure they will inspire you. Get involved in one or more campaigns – contribute money, time, and advocacy! Continue to register voters and get our supporters out to vote. Make Power to the Polls your commitment for 2018! — BCR

Alongside leaders like Mayor Harvey Gantt, Betty ushered in a golden age of inclusive and innovative city government. She has worked for women’s rights and has convinced women to run for public office, and a mere glance at her résumé shows an impressive breadth of involvement in environmental, educational, poverty, housing, and governmental issues.

Thank you for your leadership Betty Chafin Rash.

Stay tuned as we feature more remarkable local women in honor of International Women’s Day (let’s make it a month) and Charlotte Women’s Day.

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