Like many good things, we got our start quite accidentally during a back porch dinner party in Raleigh on a warm summer evening back in August 1967.
While we don't really know who started the conversation, the topic quickly turned toward the unfairness of a 1966 MG sedan that kept breaking down, a trailer repossessed unfairly a few months shy of its final loan payment, and the lack of consumer representation and consumer protection in North Carolina. Consumer representation and consumer protection were, in fact, virtually nonexistent nationwide back then.
While discussing these topics, the idea popped into someone's head that there should be an organization in North Carolina to look out for the little folks who have little or no recourse when greedy corporations try to push things under the rug. That's how the North Carolina Consumers Council was born!
We got our startup money from the North Carolina Fund and from the very first members to put their faith in us, including then Governor Bob Scott, our first member. Members of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Cabinet and the North Carolina General Assembly were instrumental in jump-starting our first year, attending every meeting and speaking to about how much good can come from having a consumer organization representing North Carolina.
Though many decades have passed, each one bringing something new and exciting, we haven't lost our drive and determination. We've won some and we've lost some. But we never gave up. Everything we learned throughout the decades has benefited generations of North Carolinians. In some cases, some of the things we have learned has benefited everyone beyond North Carolina's borders.
As things got better for consumers, direct involvement with consumerism ebbed. But with the concern for consumer rights growing once again, our membership has grown to include not only members from North Carolina, but from all over the country. Those members value the work our team does on a daily basis.
Today, we are one of many consumer organizations across the United States. But we still remain the first and only broadly-reaching consumer organization representing the entire state of North Carolina.