Occupation: Program instructor/community engagement coordinator (Green Opportunities)
Previous candidacy: None
Why are you running for City Council?
I’m an Asheville native who is concerned that our city’s growth and development will continue to disproportionately advantage outsiders while extracting vital resources from local businesses and families. I am a trusted voice that will lift the concerns of citizens who desire sustainable solutions that are more people-centered than profit-centered.
What relevant experience makes you a good candidate for City Council?
I’ve served on Asheville’s Parks and Recreation, YWCA, Center for Participatory Change and Positive Changes boards. I have cross-sectional leadership in this city through my organization Date My City and intend to leverage my experience for a deeper connection with the wider community to change political discourse.
What do you bring to City Council that other candidates don’t?
I bring a racial and social justice lens to the political forefront, fundamental for 21st-century leadership. I will champion equity and inclusion from this position, which is especially important, given that City Council has identified equity as a top priority in their strategic plan adopted in January 2016.
What three achievable goals would you champion in the next two years?
Ensure the city of Asheville is demonstrating fiscal stewardship of taxpayer money used to fund bond packages. Mobilize players to drive disparity study toward the best procurement and contracting practices for minority business enterprises. Support the newly appointed equity manager in securing proper networks to execute diversity and equity initiatives.
What is one recent City Council decision you don’t agree with and how would you have handled it differently?
There were hopes of seeing Council take the lead in adding 40 affordable housing units on the city-owned parcel at the corner of Hilliard and Clingman avenues. The decision failed to advance “true” affordable housing. I would have designated a substantial number of units for low- to moderate-income earners.
What makes Asheville home to you?
My family’s legacy of social change and community leadership is rooted four generations deep. I love being a part of a resilient community of people of color who are enhancing the growth of thought leadership, emerged to re-establish space and growing human capital for a more diverse and just Asheville.
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?