2013 Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award | Josh Stein
North Carolina's Senator Josh Stein is Equality NC Foundation's inaugural Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award winner.
Sen. Josh Stein is considered one of the state's strongest allies to equality, and with good reason: he not only voted against 2012's anti-LGBT constitutional rewrite Amendment One, but openly admonished conservative lawmakers on the Senate floor saying, "Most of us have gay neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members. Know that if you vote for this amendment, you will cause them pain."
The progressive Democrat supports LGBT rights and believes sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in the state's workplace non-discrimination law and actively worked to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the K-12 anti-bullying legislation (School Violence Prevention Act) that passed the General Assembly in 2009.
In 2012-2013, Sen. Stein again put his legislative power where is heart is, as primary sponsor to Senate Bill 544 - Nondiscrimination in State Employment, the Senator's long-standing legislative effort to protect gay and transgender workers from discrimination. In addition, Stein was the state's most vocal and visible legislative defender of North Carolina voter rights as he valiantly fought efforts to restrict and suppress all North Carolinians' access to the polls.
Josh represents District 16 in the North Carolina Senate. His colleagues elected him the Democratic Whip, and he serves on the Commerce, Education, Health Care, Finance, Judiciary I, and Rules Committees.
His priorities are strengthening the economy, improving public education, reforming health care, keeping the public safe, and promoting clean energy. For his work on these issues and others, Josh has also been recognized by the following diverse organizations:
- The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association named Josh its “2009 Legislator of the Year” for his efforts to create clean energy jobs and to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- The AARP of North Carolina named Josh “Legislator of the Year” because of Josh’s legislation to protect consumers, particularly older North Carolinians, from identity theft.
- The Metro Mayors’ Association, which represents the mayors of the 25 largest municipalities in North Carolina including Raleigh and Cary, presented Josh its “Legislative Award” for his work to promote public transit and transportation issues.
- Wake Up Wake County thanked Josh with its “Legislative Leadership Award” for his efforts to clean Falls Lake, Raleigh’s polluted source of drinking water.
- The North Carolina Association of Educators named Josh a “Rising Star” for his efforts to improve public education.
- The Sierra Club honored Josh as an “Environmental Champion” for his efforts to ban plastic bags on the Outer Banks and to clean up Falls Lake.
- The Conservation Council of North Carolina presented Josh its 2010 “Rising Star, Green Tie Award.”
- The NC Justice Center honored Josh as the 2011 “Defender of Justice” for his dedication to expanding opportunity and prosperity for and North Carolinians.