Protest planned at I-26 debate

Cecil Bothwell, who recently announced his candidacy for Asheville City Council, is calling for a demonstration outside Wednesday’s I-26 debate at the Buncombe County Board of Education.

The debate, between Council member Brownie Newman and Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Rick Lutovsky, will take place at the Asheville Leadership Forum luncheon.

Bothwell takes issue with the Chamber’s endorsement of the I-26 connector alternative 3, which would result in the demolition of homes in the predominantly African-American Burton Street neighborhood.

“This city has a sorry history of destroying African-American neighborhoods in the name of progress,” Bothwell said in an e-mail. “Lutovsky and Executive Director Kelly Miller, of the Chamber, are perfectly willing to bulldoze another predominantly Black neighborhood to suit themselves. If I am elected to City Council I will use every means at my disposal to block the NCDOT from imposing Alternate 3 on our community.”

Bothwell is calling for demonstrators to gather at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28, outside the Board of Education. The luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


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