Gov. Cooper rescinds LaWana Mayfield appointment; LGBTQ group ‘extremely disappointed’

A national organization advocating to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office called Mayfield “a tireless fighter for the underserved communities.”

Glenn H. Burkins

LaWana Mayfield

A group advocating to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office said it was “extremely disappointed” in Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to rescind his appointment of Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield to the state’s Human Relations Commission.

Cooper, a Democrat, rescinded Mayfield’s appointment under pressure from state Republicans, who cited some of Mayfield’s social media posts that they allege were unfairly critical of police.

Why it matters: Mayfield is one of seven openly LGBTQ elected officials of color in North Carolina, according to the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which criticize Cooper’s move and called Mayfield “a tireless fighter for the underserved communities.”

In March 2018, Mayfield drew targeted criticism after she posted a Tweet that said, “being back in America under President Trump has created homegrown terrorist (sic) wearing blue uniforms.”

On Tuesday, Republican State Senate President Phil Berger and 28 other Republicans called on Cooper to pull Mayfield’s nomination, alleging that the Tweet contained “violent, hateful rhetoric.” The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board also questioned the appointment.

Cooper spokesman explains

Cooper’s spokesperson, Ford Porter, said Wednesday that the governor didn’t want any appointment to “divert from the work of the Human Relations Commission in promoting equity for all North Carolinians.”

Porter also said Cooper “values law enforcement and recognizes that more must be done to build meaningful respect and understanding between law enforcement and communities.”

Mayfield, a Democrat, could not be immediately reached for comment. She was elected to council in 2011 and said she is running for an at-large seat this fall.

Late Wednesday, the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which is based in Washington, expressed its dismay at Cooper’s decision to rescind Mayfield’s appointment.

‘height of hypocrisy’

“We are extremely disappointed Governor Cooper took the important step of appointing a Black LGBTQ woman to the Human Relations Commission and then rescinded it due to pressure from the architects of HB2,” the group said in a press statement. “For the state Senate Republicans to demand Councilwoman Mayfield be removed because of several controversial comments is the height of hypocrisy given the traumatic damage their policies – not words – have had on LGBTQ people and people of color in the state.”

The institute called on Cooper to appoint a replacement “who can provide the same insights into the lives of LGBTQ women of color.”

Last spring, Mayfield apologized for a Tweet she posted relating to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She wrote, “I am still waiting for someone to produce pieces of the alleged plane that opened the doors for US Citizens to loose (sic) all privacy rights (from the conspiracy theorist in me).”


Glenn H. Burkins is publisher of Qcitymetro, a news and information company he founded in 2008 to provide content relevant to Charlotte’s African American community. He has been a reporter and editor at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer. Email: publisher@qcitymetro.com

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