Here’s the message from Commissioner Brownie Newman via his campaign’s email newsletter:
It has been an honor to serve on the Buncombe County Commission for the past year. With your support, we have made real progress in education, clean energy, living wage jobs and equality.
Because there is more to do, I ask for your support of my candidacy for re-election to the County Commission.
My campaign is holding our kick-off event on Thursday, February 27 from 5- 7 PM at Homewood in the Montford neighborhood, 19 Zillicoa Street. I hope you will join us for this event to help launch our campaign.
Effective, progressive leadership
At a time when our state legislators in Raleigh are passing laws that take North Carolina in the wrong direction, I am working to advance policies to help achieve the progressive values and goals that matter to our community.
Improving public education
There has not been a new public school constructed in Asheville in 30 years. Based on a state mandated funding formula, there have been numerous new schools built in Buncombe County outside Asheville during that period, but none in Asheville.
I made investment in our public schools a top priority. Working with my fellow Commissioners, I helped secure critical funding to build a new Isaac Dickson Elementary School and build a new Asheville Middle School. Our Commission also committed funding to build a new Enka Intermediary School in Enka and open the first STEM high school (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in western North Carolina.
I want Buncombe County to be a national leader in advancing a clean energy future. Our dependence on dirty fossil fuels threatens our children’s future through climate disruption. It also leads to disasters such as the catastrophic coal ash spill into the Dan River in Eden, North Carolina, and widespread strip mining of the Appalachian Mountains.
I sponsored an Energy Independence proposal that commits Buncombe County to reduce its carbon footprint by 80%. By a 5-2 vote, the Commission adopted the proposal. The County also conducted an audit of its buildings. We are implementing the energy efficiency recommendations of this audit, which will save Buncombe taxpayers more than $1 million over the next decade by lowering our utility bills.
I am committed to making Buncombe County a more welcoming, inclusive community for all. That is why I advocated for equal rights for our public employees and pushed for the adoption of a Domestic Partnership policy that ensures LGBT employees of Buncombe County receive the same employment compensation and benefits as other employees.
Buncombe County is one of just four counties in North Carolina to support equal rights for LGBT employees. This proposal passed on a 4-3 vote.
Our community has shown tremendous support for locally owned businesses. In recognition of that support and the benefits of keeping our dollars local, I am working to create a new small business loan program. These loans can foster locally owned businesses by helping aspiring entrepreneurs get their ventures off the ground.
Our community appreciates the greenways that protect water quality, create a more bike and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods, and encourage healthy, active lifestyles. I will make implementing the Buncombe County Greenways plan a priority.
In order to accomplish these goals, I need your help. I ask for your support of in my re-election campaign.
I hope you can come to my kickoff event on February 27. Please invite friends, family and co-workers to attend as well.
County Commissioner, District 1