Letter: City should do more for its vulnerable citizens

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In the midst of a new search for an Asheville schools superintendent, much conversation has occurred around Asheville City Schools and the racial disparities there. Much pressure has been put on the Asheville City Schools district to do better and to decrease the racial disparity in education.

Asheville City Schools can and should do better, but what about Asheville city? I would argue that this is not just an Asheville City Schools problem, but an Asheville city problem and that Asheville city should bear a brunt of the responsibility. A large portion of the students who are filtering into the Asheville City Schools system who are falling behind academically are coming from the poorest neighborhoods in our city, neighborhoods funded by and represented by Asheville city. Neighborhoods that City Council members and Asheville city have a responsibility to serve.

Many of these children come to school already disadvantaged in part because of the communities that they live in, where there are little to no economic opportunities for their families. They have limited access to good preschool education, positive role models or extracurricular activities due to income barriers in their home, and they live in communities where I would venture to guess most citizens of the city of Asheville would be afraid to visit.

It does not escape me the amount of money that the city of Asheville funnels into the tourism industry here in Asheville, yet we do not have the money or funding to make the communities where these children live safe or enriching. I, for one, think this is deplorable and unacceptable and would like to see Asheville city do more to help the most vulnerable citizens of our community.

— Arlene Whiteside
LCSW-A (Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate)


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7 thoughts on “Letter: City should do more for its vulnerable citizens

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Arlene…the Asheville CITY screwls have their own fund raising foundation that feeds one of the poorest performing districts in the country! It’s a total mess and they are proud of it! ACS spends $16,000 per head per year with pathetic results.

    Complain about the irresponsible PARENTS!

    • Lulz

      Problem with todays culture is that those “vulnerable” citizens are living off the system for the most part. How can they know what responsibility is when they’ve never had to have it to begin with? And that goes for everything from the roof over their heads to the children they produce. If behavior actually had consequences instead of prizes, those “vulnerable” kids might have better direction at home.

      So tell me again what’s the benefit of being a tax payer? And increasingly a citizen of the USA? There are none. I can make the worst decisions in life, be the father of 10 kids by 5 women and not have to pay to raise them. Or I can be an illegal, come here and work under the table, pay no income taxes, get free benefits, and put more money in my pocket than someone who works a 9-5 job. Be careful folks, You’re going to be the money mules so others don’t play by the rules. And while you have the mentality of those like the person that wrote this letter, in the end when the money is running low and you look around and see a bunch of people who contribute nothing having it easy, you’ll still be forced to foot the bill. And be trapped or lose everything you worked for

      • sjet

        You assume that vulnerable citizens have been lifelong spongers. That’s wrong. The financial crash wiped out the jobs, homes, and 401ks of many older working persons (like myself). We don’t have the years to re-invent ourselves. Ageism is a real thing that blocks very skilled underemployed older persons from being self-supporting.

        Your paintbrush is too broad and the tone is sneering. Yuck.

        • Lulz

          And you assume the same government that was the root cause of it can now save you. Market is at 27000. If your 401k hasn’t recovered, find a better financial advisor. And that’s not being smug .

          Irony of all ironies here is a government worker petitioning for more money. But it ain’t money that’s the solution.. Its
          fixing the culturall rot because of a social safety net thats become a lifestyle that is.

  2. MG Massey

    There is a concerted effort by corrupt connected individuals to deny equal rights to the disabled and elderly…
    Non profits ignore civil rights.
    Many vulnerable citizens even denied services for whistleblowing.
    Asheville is a town for tourists.
    The rest of us don’t matter except to ourselves.
    C’est la vie
    Such is the nature of greed and discrimination

    • Lulz

      And Green still gets a big fat pension. Now you tell me why the government isn’t a scam. It’s all about cronyism, nepotism, and power plays. Government needs a good cleaning out and those within it need to be scrutinized. Not given free passes and defended due to their connections. Or allowed to act criminally and walk away with 6 figure retirements paid with stolen funds. You work in government, you should lose your ability to vote. Period.. Otherwise you end up with nothing more than fraud. And guess what, I really and truly am at a point where I’ve given up on the government. It serves no purpose but to steal my money and threaten me with jail. That’s it.

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