‘Defend our Water’ protest planned for Dec. 8

Here’s the message from organizers via City Council member Chris Pelly’s email newsletter:

Dear Asheville Neighbor,

On election day last month 86% of Asheville voters said ‘No’ to the idea of selling or leasing the Asheville water system. In fact, as AC-T op-ed writer John Miall commented after the election, “I can’t remember a time when 86% of Asheville voters agreed on anything. Talk about a mandate.”

So Asheville voters can be forgiven for wondering why the strong no vote has not had the desired impact. Instead, proponents of the takeover want you to believe the fight is over, the deal is done, and Asheville should be happy to accept pennies-on-the-dollar as compensation for its water system.

It seems the Republican-led legislature is sharpening their knives in anticipation of carving up the water system come January. If allowed to happen, this would be an unprecedented state action that ought to send fear statewide into every community.

Some of us believe not all is lost. Some of us believe we have an opportunity–this week–to show the face of citizen opposition to this state power grab.

On Saturday evening December 8th, virtually all leaders of the North Carolina GOP, including in-coming Governor Pat McCrory, will be gathering at the Grove Park Inn for the annual Charles Taylor’s Republican fundraiser.

This is your invitation to join your neighbors as we assemble on Macon Avenue, above Charlotte Street, to raise the visibility of the water issue before the very legislators who will be voting on the matter. Short of traveling to Raleigh, this is your chance to be seen and heard and provide a citizen face to opposition to the taking of Asheville’s water system by legislative fiat.

We plan to gather beginning at 5:30pm, at the corner of Charlotte and Macon avenues, and create a line of voters stretching up Macon Ave, with signs and messages relating to the water issue. We expect to finish once the Republican fundraiser begins at 7:30pm.

You are welcome to create your own sign. Extras will be available. Please keep your messages strong and positive. Examples might be:

Defend Our Water–Vote NO on State Takeover

86% Say NO to Water Grab

Hands Off Buncombe Water

The Party of ‘Small Government’–Really?

What Problem is Being Solved?

No State Takings–Hands Off Buncombe Water

You get the idea.

The other important element to sending a strong message is ensuring broad participation. Please reach out to your networks and invite them to join this rally. Please forward this message to your e-mail list. Elected officials can count heads. A big crowd sends a big message. Let’s turn out that 86% of voters.

As someone once said, democracy is not a spectator sport. It is time for Asheville and Buncombe to stand up to Defend Our Water. See you Saturday evening.

For questions, comments, ideas or more information please contact one of us.

Thank you,

Teddy Jordan — 785-2644 — teddy.jordan30@gmail.com

Cheryl Orengo — 776-3327 ctorengo@gmail.com

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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