Candidate: Elaine Lite

Occupation: Publisher and editor, Critter Magazine
Education: A.A. paralegal studies, Cecil’s College; attended University of South Florida
Political experience: None
Donors (top 3): Charlie Thomas, $3,000; Scott Riviere, $1000; David Lynch, $600
Endorsements: Sierra Club, Buncombe County Green Party, Mountain Green Party, Asheville Democracy for America
If she were an animal, what would it be?: “A feline — because of their independence.”

1) What are the best and worst steps City Council has taken in the past two years, and why?
Best: “Plan to reduce the city’s energy use and carbon emissions by 80 percent and purchasing 30 acres for Overlook Park. Both preserve and protect the environment.”
Worst: “Richmond Hill Park and the ensuing environmental violations; rezoning property adjacent to Crowfields to increase density was unfair; Staples and Greenlife debacle. Enough said.”

2) What plan(s) do you support for the I-26 Connector project, and why?
“The Design Center plan appears to be the most thoughtful and appropriate for our community at this time. It seems to have a smaller footprint and would preserve significantly more land than the DOT plans.”

3) What, if anything, should the city do to improve mass transit?
“Use smaller buses/vans (preferably hybrid) and run more frequently; explore a shuttle system; create safe bicycle/walking routes.”

4) What specific measures, if any, should the city take to address environmental concerns?
“Require all new development to be LEED-certified; energy audits on all city-owned properties; implement strict tree ordinances requiring developers who remove trees to replace more than they cut; replace all diesel buses or convert them to run on cleaner fuels; strict storm-water and erosion-control ordinances and unwavering enforcement.”

5) What’s your position on partisan elections?
“I oppose partisan elections and feel it’s appropriate for citizens to decide the issue. Many citizens have chosen not to align with either of the two major parties, and this reflects the diversity of our community. People who choose to run for office should not be penalized for their independence.”

6) As a member of City Council, what would be your top three priorities?
“1) Work toward establishing a plan to prevent uncontrolled growth and overdevelopment in the city while working on a comprehensive and sustainable land-use plan with the county; 2) Support the creation of work-force affordable housing; 3) Where necessary, strengthen environmental-protection ordinances and demand uncompromising enforcement.”

7) What living national political figure do you most admire, and why?
“Dennis Kucinich for his intelligence, vision, integrity and honesty. He is the antithesis of what business-as-usual politics has become.”

8) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support forced annexation?
“This is a complex issue. In principle, I am against forced annexation. I believe a community should have the right to decide what is in its own best interest. I also believe annexation contributes to sprawl. Forced annexation might be justified under specific conditions, which would require further research.”

9) What steps, if any, do you support to promote affordable housing in Asheville?
“Create a city-funded land trust to hold land and housing in trust to keep housing affordable in perpetuity while preserving open space; require housing built with affordable-housing funds to be kept affordable; prioritize affordable-housing developments; implement inclusionary zoning for all new developments.”

10) What most distinguishes you from your opponents?
“The most obvious is gender. I’m the only woman, mother and female small-business owner; only grassroots activist currently involved in community issues; only candidate who would like to adopt a “slow-growth” plan and would endorse a moratorium; only candidate who worked to stop the Woodfin power plant.”


Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

6 thoughts on “Candidate: Elaine Lite

  1. 9-volt

    I really want to support elaine in this election, but I fear it may push the council too far left – which is something I never thought I would say. A moratorium on development is not a reasonable strategy.

  2. Heather Rayburn


    A moratorium, which is a temporary, legal, and specific planning tool in N.C. is a reasonable strategy and, in fact, many communities are using it to help them deal with the growth free-for-all that has hit N.C.

    It’s not a radical or lefty measure … it’s just commonsense, giving a municipality’s planning department a pause to come up with the ordinances needed to deal with the massive problems that come with unplanned growth.

    If you want to really get freaked out, Henry, you need to check out money going into the campaigns of Davis, Russell, and Butner from the builder/realtor lobby:

    If you care about the environment and your neighborhood, I urge you to vote for Lite, Newman, and Freeborn on Nov. 6.

    (Elaine Lite #1 fan)

  3. thomas

    its unamerican to not let baby-boomers build their dreamhomes wherever they want. even if it means permanently destroying the ecosystem they moved here to enjoy. Our only hope is to blow the roads.

  4. Nam Vet

    I’d love the Council to go far enough left to shut out these greedy developers for a while. Seems our so-called progressives on the Council, Jones-Newman-Cape, are PINOs actually. Progressives In Name Only. The vote FOR the Ellington is an abomination. I fully support Elaine and will campaign for her. I’d love to push out the world class hypocrite Brownie Newman.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.