Jen Jones will start running for a cause today. And it’s not going to be just a 5-K — but a 322-mile run to be exact.
Jones, communications director for Equality North Carolina, is leading the Race to the Ballot campaign to mobilize voters against Amendment One, the referendum on the May 8 primary ballot that could place a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
The ban is up for a vote after the N.C. General Assembly passed the Defense of Marriage amendment last September.
“I’m Tar Heel born and bred, and I can’t stand that this is happening in my state,” Jones said. “I want to excite everyone and mobilize for the battle.”
Last week, ENC, along with several other organizations, launched the Coalition to Protect N.C. Families, an anti-amendment campaign. It currently has about 80 member organizations, including the N.C. Council of Churches, the state chapter of the NAACP and the N.C. Democratic and Libertarian Parties.
In just over a week, the coalition collected more than $300,000 from 500 donors.
Race to the Ballot — featuring Jones and a team of media and documentarians — will kick off the campaign’s efforts to rally voters for the state’s primary. Jones will run as the group travels by car with her across the state, trying to mobilize voters.
The campaign will come to UNC on Feb. 16. Jones said she and her team plan to run through the Pit around noon. Voter registration, musical entertainment and speakers will be featured all day.
Jones and her fellow advocacy members plan to visit universities, town halls and churches during the month-long campaign.