Martin Ramsey

Martin Ramsey, Asheville mayoral candidate.

Martin Ramsey

Occupation: Waiter

Previous candidacy: Mayoral candidate, 2013

Affiliations: Political affiliation: independent, socialist

Short-answer questions

Why are you running for mayor?
I am running for mayor because I believe that it is necessary to build a socialist left in the United States. Municipal governments and local elections are the most natural place to start, and I want my candidacy to support an agenda of quality social services, meaningful work, decent housing, care for the environment and equal justice.

What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for mayor?
I believe we need more working-class candidates for political office. My connection to the problems our city faces is my lived experience. I’ve participated in a number of movements both locally and nationally, but I believe speaking truth to power is insufficient and that we need political organization and power.

What do you bring to the position other candidates don’t?
I believe that at a time of deepening crises we need a political movement in the halls of power and on the streets and I am committed to supporting that. As a socialist, I think public power needs to act as a force for positive material improvement in people’s lives.

What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
1) I support fare-free transit in Asheville. 2) I support an eviction crisis fund for renters in Asheville. 3) I support participatory budgeting.

What are the challenges and opportunities facing a mayor of a majority-Democratic city in a majority-Republican state?
We face a hostile environment for left politics. The state government has altered voting districts so as to render a permanent majority to right-wing members of the [General Assembly]. I believe conflict with the state is unavoidable, and we need to be prepared to fight unjust laws such as HB2 and HB142.

What makes Asheville home to you?
I’ve lived my whole life in this state, from the northeast to the southeast coastline and, for the last 10 years, here in Asheville. My son was born here, and over the years I’ve met and worked with amazingly dedicated and kind people who make this city what it is.

Yes-or-no questions

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?
Did not answer.

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?

New Mayor grid


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Carolyn Morrisroe
Carolyn Morrisroe served as news editor and reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @CarolynMorrisro

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.

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.