A bipartisan time-out? Women honor women in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Perhaps it was the spirit of Liz Hair presiding over the mix of good will and determination Wednesday evening at the annual A Woman’s Place program that has honored the achievements of Charlotte women since 1955. Hair, a pioneer for women in politics and community activism, died at her home earlier that day at the age of 94, and her life – as well as her mantra “let’s make policy, not coffee” — was mentioned as inspiration by many in the bipartisan group of women.

Honored as 2013 Charlotte Woman of the Year was Patsy Kinsey, a Democratic city council member elected by her colleagues to complete the term of Anthony Foxx when he became U.S secretary of transportation. Delivering the keynote was Sharon Allred Decker – a 1998 Woman of the Year – the state’s secretary of commerce for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Hair was honored in 1975.

Problem solving, not party difference, was the evening’s theme — not that you can take politics completely out of the conversation. This is North Carolina, where incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is working on a variety of economic, military and other issues, while shoring up a coalition that will need to include women of all parties if she is to win re-election.