Occupation: President, Dee Williams and Co. Inc.
Previous candidacy: Several unsuccessful bids for City Council, including in 2015, and one for Buncombe County Board of Commissioners
Affiliations: Independent, Green Party
Why are you running for City Council?
I have been successful in providing actionable strategies and measurable change in the lives of working people and low-income citizens by causing the largest employers/institutions to change practices, which has improved these citizens’ lives.
What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for City Council?
I gathered a collection of ordinary citizens and educated Mission Health about the benefits of removing the “box” off their job applications, which mandated applicants check if they were convicted of a felony. Mission removed the box, paid living wage, and the city and county followed.
What do you bring to City Council that other candidates don’t?
The ability to strategize and move large institutions like Mission Health, the city and county using keen analytical and financial skills, coupled with love for people and unbridled energy and enthusiasm. A track record of results that are measurable and degrees in accounting, business administration and political economics.
What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
1) Establishment of a community land trust with permanently affordable housing and mixed use. 2) A small-business accelerator, which helps local business scale up so local governments and anchor employers would buy locally. 3) Property, fee and tax relief for homeowners.
What is one recent City Council decision you don’t agree with and how would you have handled it differently?
Assigning approval of large developments (like hotels) over to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council reassumed after there was an overproliferation, which uses our people/infrastructure. Community benefits agreements for living wages, payments into an affordable housing fund, and an infrastructure bank should have been set by Council policy.
What makes Asheville home to you?
It is where I was born and raised. I learned to care about people and how they live by people who cared about me. I honor their legacy by giving back as long as I live here.
Is the city effectively managing its finances?
Should the city do more to manage the pace of hotel development?
Should the city ease its restrictions on short-term residential rentals?
Is the Buncombe County TDA contributing its fair share to help the city manage the impact of tourism?
Should the city budget more money to support nonprofit grassroots initiatives?
Should more resources be allocated to the Asheville Police Department?
Should the city implement election districts for seats on City Council?
Has city staff been sufficiently transparent about the increase in costs for the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project?
Should the Haywood Street property across from the Civic Center be green space only?
Are the city’s current affordable housing strategies sufficient?