Buncombe County native, Sandra Kilgore will seek the seat of District 49, N.C. Senate. Sandra Kilgore is presently a member of the Asheville City Council and served three years on the Planning & Zoning Board.
Sandra Kilgore is a critical thinker and a fierce advocate; evident in her stance on repurposing of the Vance monument. She is obviously not afraid of a fight. She demonstrated her ability to see beyond the immediate challenges and look at the consequences long term. She viewed it as an opportunity to bring unity to an already fragmented community, a perspective rarely taken by today’s politicians.
While on Council, Kilgore gained an understanding of the importance of being at the table if you want to affect change. She feels that while many decisions are made with good intentions, they may sometimes have negative repercussions for others. Having a group of people familiar with the many nuances of various communities is the best way to ensure outcomes that are equitable and prosperous for all. “ Many of the decisions made by the city council are limited by State laws. Representation on all levels must be realized to ensure the voices of those most impacted are heard.” says Kilgore
Sandra decided to run for Senate to be a voice for area residents. She realizes the importance of working together and negotiating in order to create solutions that benefit the county as a whole. Sandra is no stranger to the art of negotiations, as her business in real estate depends on it. She believes that even amidst a crisis, there are opportunities to be found. However, we must be willing to seek out areas where we can agree, reaching across the aisles and moving forward on those items. The worst outcome is to do nothing.
Kilgore’s decision to run was also due to the fact that many of our rights are under attack. Rights that we felt were protected are now being dismantled and weakened through state and local legislation. It is time to have those conversations as to how we can move forward without stepping on the rights of others.
Another issue of concern Kilgore said is the damage that is being done to our values and integrity. “We must all do what we can to bring back civility. We can not stand idly by while our democracy is being dismantled right before our eyes. This is not the time to be apathetic. This affects us all. It does not matter what race, religion or political affiliation. We all have to ask ourselves, is this the type of society we want for our children? The divisive culture that we now find ourselves confronting must be dealt with head on through constructive dialogue. This divisive culture only weakens us all. We must all work hard to seek out the truth and educate each other. We must not buy into the fear tactics that only weaken us.” Kilgore said.
Kilgore believes we must collectively do all we can to combat those fears; fears she believes are responsible for the methods of voter suppression and redistricting activity which are on the uptick throughout the country.
Kilgore always touted the need for unification within the community as well as throughout the nation. Unity does not mean giving in to another; instead unity is about bringing about compromise. She believes in the importance of working together to promote policy and initiatives which provide positive results. She states, “We must abandon the all or nothing mentality and move towards shared goals. We must seek out and capitalize on areas of agreement, which will spark the momentum necessary for change. As much as we would like things to change overnight, unfortunately we do not have that power. However, we do have the power to make wise decisions when necessary. That is why I decided to run for the North Carolina Senate.”
Kilgore believes that it is important that we make an effort to look at all sides of an issue. Kilgore’s astute ability to consider other points of view earned her the title “ the common sense candidate” by many of her constituents during her campaign.
Kilgore believes, “ At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We want safe, clean and functional communities. We want economic sustainability. We want equality and equity opportunities to better support our families and to routinely enjoy the many pleasantries of life.”
Kilgore is presently a member of the Land of the Sky Board of Directors, as well as a liaison to the TDA Board of Directors, Greater Asheville Regional Airport, The African American Heritage Commission, Planning & Zoning, Board of Adjustments and Parks And Recreation.
She is also assigned to the following City of Asheville committees: Planning and Economic Development, Finance & Human Resources and Public Safety.
Sandra Kilgore was born and raised in Asheville. She attended Asheville City Schools and continued her education at UNCA majoring in Art & Art History. She began her career as a flight attendant in 1976 for Piedmont Airlines. She later was selected to train in London with British Airways due to a code agreement between the airlines. Although the merger was never approved, Kilgore had the opportunity to expand her international travel and experience for a few years thereafter.
Kilgore was first licensed in1986 as a Real Estate Agent in Asheville. She returned home in 2012, and opened a boutique real estate office in the Southside community, where she was raised as a child. She recently opened a second office downtown Asheville on Market Street, which was once a bustling business community for African Americans.
She has one son, John Christian Dawson who has been instrumental in her career journey, and is one of her biggest fans.
“ I am humbled by the support I have received in the community and am excited about the opportunities to serve in the future.” stated Kilgore