LGBTQ Democrats of NC President’s Council
- Registered Democrat my entire voting life
- One of the Founding members of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina and directly Involved in the formation of and chartering of the Auxiliary. Served as an inaugural District Chair, served as Vice President and currently serving as President.
- Active in the Democratic Party for 25+ years, including the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party and NC Democratic Party
- Elected to serve as an State Executive Committee (SEC) Member for many terms
- Regularly attends MCDP County Executive Committee (CEC) meetings, District meetings, SEC Meetings and Conventions
- Have been fighting for LGBTQ Equality for decades!
- Active Member of NC Mobilization ‘96 and MeckMobe/Gay “Dems” Democrats of Mecklenburg County – 1996 until the organization was no longer needed following the formation of the LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County
- Member of LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County and currently serving on the Advisory Board
- Actively participated in the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition, March 2015
- Actively participated in the Charlotte LGBT Community Candidates Forum, August 2015 which was hosted by the LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County
- I, and my life partner Concetta Caliendo were Honored with the LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County’s Legacy Award in 2015.
- Have a passion for Democratic Party Values, for the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina and for LGBTQ Equality!
- As President of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina, my plans are to do everything I can to move the organization forward, grow its Membership and Chapters, increase our diversity, have a voice at the table to ensure a continued fight for equality and become a strong Auxiliary of the NC Democratic Party to help get Democrats elected and recruit and support LGBTQ Democratic Candidates to run for office.
Matt Hughes has been involved in public service, Democratic politics, and progressive causes for nearly a decade. Matt was raised in Hillsborough, attended Orange County Public Schools, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Carolina Covenant Scholar.
Matt has served at every level of the North Carolina Democratic Party and previously served as a county chair, which at the time of his election in November 2011 made him the youngest county chair in the state’s history. He has also served as a precinct chair, congressional district officer, statewide auxiliary president, and chair of a state party policy committee. He is now proud to serve as the NCDP’s Second Vice Chair. Matt understands the value of a grassroots organization that works together. Matt is focused on making sure the grassroots is watered and supported, including a 50-state, 100-county strategy, as key to being successful in elections and governing.
Believing that people should be active members of their community, Matt serves on several non-profit and local government advisory boards. When taking a break from politics, Matt enjoys cheering on the Carolina Tar Heels. He has a black Labrador named Charlotte and they live in Hillsborough, Matt’s hometown.
Nattiel "Nate" Turner is a native of Maryland, but moved to Charlotte the day after his high school graduation to pursue his degree in culinary arts at Johnson &amp; Wales University. During his tenure at Johnson &amp; Wales he managed various restaurants and completed internships with the Nutrition &amp; Diet Department at Carolina’s Medical Center focusing on meal plans and nutrition regimens. In addition to his academics and work schedule, Nattiel also was involved in the planning and opening of Georges Brassier in South Park. Nattiel had the distinct honor to study under Chef Fred Teiss and Chef Shane Pearson while at JWU. Although his passion for cooking began at an early age with his mother, Becky Padgett guiding him, he began career development under Chef Tony Hilligoss at Parkside High School.
He received his Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson &amp; Wales University in 2008. Upon graduation, he continued to manage restaurants and hospitality along with offering private chef services in the Charlotte metro area. In 2012, he opened Your Custom Catering &amp; Events, a full-service catering and events firm. His idea was to offer catering and event management to those who were priced out of the big-name competitors within the industry. Following his first open tasting, which was attended by more than three hundred potential clients, his calendar quickly filled. Five years later, with more than twenty employees, and the ability to cater for more than five hundred guests, he is considered one of the best in Charlotte. With more than one hundred events scheduled per year, some of his clients include CIAA, Novant, Mayor Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte Pride, Carolina’s Healthcare System, Urban League, Jack &amp; Jill, Council Member LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte City Council, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. The company is considered a preferred and exclusive caterer for more than fifteen venues in and around the Queen City. He has been named one of “Charlotte’s Best Caterers” for three years consecutively. The company has consistently received the Spectrum Customer Service Award for three years as well. Nattiel prides himself in the client centered approach to catering and event management and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is listed as an accredited business in the North Carolina.
In addition to his culinary prowess, he is also very involved in his community. Nattiel is an active member of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church. He has served on the boards of Charlotte Black Gay Pride and the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce. His memberships have included the LGBT Chamber, Black Chamber and Charlotte Chamber. Each year he gets involved in local elections and volunteers with various campaigns including supporting the LGBT Democrats if Mecklenburg County. This past year he was invited by faculty as a guest speaker at Johnson &amp; Wales University, offering guidance and insight to future culinary and business students who want to open their own company. His philanthropic endeavors include the Charlotte Men’s Shelter, Time Out Youth, Urban Ministry, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Relatives.
Most recently, he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University with honors and was selected as one of the Charlotte Black Chamber's 30 under 30 for 2017.
Pat serves as Program Coordinator/Instructor, Adult Basic Skills at Piedmont Community College in Person and Caswell County. Some of the other positions she has held or holds:
- Treasurer of LGBT Democrats of NC
- NCDP State Executive Committee
- Chair of the Caswell County Partnership for Children
- Caswell County Commissioner
- Chair of the Caswell County Democratic Party
- Caswell County Department of Social Services Board Member
- Piedmont Triad Council of Governments Board Member
- Caswell Co. Joint Nursing Home/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee
- Caswell County Recreation Committee Member
- Chair of the Caswell County Family Violence Prevention Program
However, none of these have been my most important role. I have the honor of personally taking the journey with a member of LGBT community beginning on the day my child came out as lesbian in 2004 and then as a transgender man in 2015. I offer the LGBT Democrats the perspective of an ally, and am willing serve in whatever capacity I am needed.
VP of College Outreachcollegeoutreach@lgbtqdemocrats.org
Arsidez Leon is a multiracial gay male, who refuses to walk away from the current political climate. Progressive and sustainable political change is near and dear to his heart. He believes that to create progressive political change for tomorrow we must use sustainable organizing today. Arsidez graduated from Mars Hill University in 2016 with a bachelor's in Political Science. With the current administration seeking to demolish the foundation of civil rights and democracy, the way to win is educating and empowering our communities. No one is going to do it for us, we must do it for ourselves.
Originally from Atlanta, fighting for civil rights has been instilled in Arsidez from a very early age. Since middle school, he has been attending civil rights marches and political rallies that his mother organized. He also regularly assists his father with compiling affidavits and data for legal briefs, defending individuals who have faced discrimination. These early experiences sparked his involvement in college by inspiring him to: create his university’s first LGBT organization, become a founding member of his university's NAACP chapter, increase membership to revive the MHU College Democrats chapter and assist in diversifying student held positions across campus. He refuses to sit idly by and watch the progress towards a more equal country be trampled by individuals fueled by their own self interests--therefore he set his sights on political organizing.
Arsidez’s experience as a Campus Field Organizer with the NC Democratic Coordinated Campaign illustrates his willingness to work tirelessly with attention to detail to reach college students and get them involved. He both cold-called and physically met with individuals to cultivate meaningful relationships and expand reach. Throughout the campaign he took proactive initiative to create a team structure that effectively and efficiently exceeded goals. He is also adept at multitasking to an extreme level as well as quickly engaging college students through social media platforms. He registered over 1,300 students to vote within three months. Arsidez has organized events on more than 10 campuses across the state; with a logged over 25,000 direct voter contact attempts into the NC voter file since 2016. Currently he works with the League of Conservation Voters in Raleigh as an Organizer.
Arsidez sought to serve as VP of College Outreach because he’s passionate about getting more college students involved in the political process. He learned how to organize in college, and wants other students to be afforded the same opportunities he was so lucky to have. He believes that mentoring student leaders and building personal relationships are the most effective ways to grow the number of students involved in our organization. He is excited for this opportunity to empower students and appreciates our support.
VP of College Outreach