Previous candidacy: Mayoral candidate, 2013
Affiliations: Political affiliation: independent, socialist
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.
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?