Allison Dahle was sworn into office in the North Carolina House of Representatives this January. She came into office unexpectedly after allegations came out about sexual harassment charges that were filed against the former Democratic candidate and former State Representative Duane Hall. Governor Roy Cooper requested that Hall resign from his position as representative of the state of North Carolina. Dahle corresponded over email with the Herald.
How does it feel to be in a role that predominantly has been completed by a man?
“I have never thought of any position that way. Growing up, my father and mother always talked about the person, not their gender and what they were contributing to the government or whatever committee of which they were apart. To be perfectly honest, it was just a given that my brother and I could do things equally.”
What are the main things that are important to you and what would you like to change?
“Equal Rights Amendment, LGBTQ rights specifically trans rights, and making sure that people with disabilities have the same access to all services that those without disabilities are able to access.”
How did your childhood affect you where you around many strong women?
“My mother worked at Meredith in the continuing education department (she actually started that program); I always thought of this program as lifting women up and letting all of us know that we can do anything we set our minds to. I spent summers on the Meredith College campus and all the women I came in contact with were strong women and had lived through a time where women were marginalized and were ready for women to take their place in history as contributing members of society.”
Do you have anything you are passionate about working towards these next couple of years?
“ERA if it does not pass this time and to continue to fight for people who are marginalized by society. I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before me and have fought to pave the way for me.” The ERA is an Equal Rights Amendment that creates equal rights for all citizens, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. To learn more about the work that ERA is doing,” visit https://www.equalrightsamendment.org/
What advice would you offer for someone seeking public office someday?
1.” Don’t listen to anyone who tells you can’t.”
2. “Contact Lillian’s list, Local Women’s group in your area.”
3. “Work on campaigns, volunteer and participate in your precincts and your party.”
4. “Find other women in government and give them a call. We all love to talk about our stories and want to share. During my run, I spoke to lots of women who had run before and held or were holding office. They were all very encouraging.”
5. “Don’t be afraid; just put you name in and run for office. By putting your name in and registering for office you have already won. Stepping up to serve is a great accomplishment and it takes guts.”
By Hannah Brittain-Dubois, Staff Writer