Letter: Scales puts forth truly progressive agenda

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On May 8, voters will take to the polls and cast their ballots for the next district attorney of Buncombe County. This is a critically important election, and if Asheville is going to emerge as the truly progressive city that we like to think we are, we need to elect Ben Scales for DA.

Ben Scales is following in the footsteps of trailblazing Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner by putting forth a truly progressive agenda. He is promising to end mass incarceration in Buncombe County by ending cash bail and ceasing to prosecute nonviolent drug offenses.

The policies that led to mass incarceration have had disastrous effects on communities of color in Asheville, and we need a DA willing to reverse the decades of overcriminalization of black and Hispanic people that has led to increased poverty, homelessness and disenfranchisement.

Instead of punishing drug offenders, Scales is campaigning on the promise to divert these individuals to treatment programs that will address the root cause of the so-called crime. He also plans to review and possibly overturn existing marijuana convictions, potentially returning home many men and women who should have never been incarcerated in the first place.

End mass incarceration. Elect Ben Scales.

— Luke Fernbach


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11 thoughts on “Letter: Scales puts forth truly progressive agenda

  1. jason

    Treatment does not work. It’s been proven time and time again. Drug users and sellers need to be locked up. Asheville is only progressive in the city limits. Once you drive 1 mile in any direction the progressiveness dies. This progressiveness has turned Asheville into a well fare city.

    • Lulz

      They won’t admit that the most subsidized students in the world can’t make up for and will not succeed if their home life is surrounded by drug dealers, welfare, and chaos. I mean what example do they think drug dealers have on young minds? Do these people ever see what their tax dollars buy? Do they ever walk into section 8 housing complex? Maybe they can bike their worthless rear ends to one and see what’s really up. Payoffs for minorities to buy votes does not improve their lives. It just means that instead of ridding the streets of criminals, it continues the cycle of failure.

      I hope these same criminals move into the Grove Park area and deal drugs if it’s a non-violent offense. Right across the street from the entrance to the resort itself if need be. And let’s see just how long that continues because you and I both know the cops would be there faster than you can blink. And the Lieberals would of course play dumb then.

      • luther blissett

        The self-proclaimed champion of the working stiff once more shows that his definition of working stiff is narrower than a razor’s edge.

        Though if we adopt jason’s approach, let’s fill up the jails and prisons with pill-pushers in the wider county. Incarceration is the welfare system that sanctimonious white people are willing to pay for: lock ’em up and pretend they don’t exist.

          • luther blissett

            LOL. “Socialism as long as it’s only for white conservatives” is pretty much your ideology.

    • BMacAVL

      Drugs are not the problem…it’s the system as a whole that continues to waste countless tax dollars within the court system to prosecute then incarcerate non-violent users/dealers. If we had treatment programs with enough funding to hire a qualified and passionate(most of which are former users themselves) workforce we would see a “HUGE” increase in success stories rather than non-violent criminals stuck in a broken system with no chance to break the cycle all the while watching our “community servants” obtain high-then-living wage salaries.

      It’s not about being progressive vs. conservative…it’s about what is rational & logical. The system we have in place purges tax revenue money and overpays government elected/appointed employees…you can’t honestly say that trying something new “does not work” unless you are referring to the current system and how tax dollars are allocated under the current regime . Treatment has never even been attempted with enough funding which in all candor would only work with a massive reduction in the number of government positions sucking the system dry. Several nations around the world have created and sustained new progressive systems of treatment that work, do some research on countries like Portugal and Switzerland who have seen significant decreases in users addicted, violent/theft related crime, diseases contracted contributed to drug use, and more tax paying members of society that before the policy going live had not been contributing.

      Let me guess the next combative I’m stuck in a broken system with a closed/brainwashed mind response…”those countries have lower populations and have a much easier job due to a smaller case load” to that I say…the current system does not and has never worked…why not try something radical in a small city like Asheville? Just because you don’t see progressive thinking “1 mile in any direction” of city limits doesn’t mean that those communities and residence do not have pain and suffering caused by how our broken system handles such societal issues. If the offenders are placed into a program where they are 100% supervised in a remote location where they are basically forced to be self-sufficient and work as a unit to survive, wouldn’t that be positive for transitioning away from using and into contributing via taxes vs. sucking off the system?

      Why do most socially conservative thinking humans feel the need to control others actions by essentially dictating what is moral vs. immoral…if it doesn’t hurt you and your family…why to you care?

      • Lulz

        LOL supports smoking bans in bars lulz. Doesn’t get that it’s controlling the actions of others.

        • luther blissett

          Socialism is being happy to pay taxes so that you can get your lung cancer and emphysema treated without it bankrupting you, but drawing the line at having you turn bars into stale ashtrays. Is that really a terrible deal?

    • BMacAVL

      @Enlightened Enigma – A socially or economically progressive agenda is “anti-American?” The statement sounds like a politician making outlandish comments with no references stated or even a slight glimpse as to why that is your opinion of a progressive agenda. I related 100% with you economically but socially we have a whole lot of work to do if we have a chance to help future generations live in a society for the people rather than for the government/oligarchy(central bank) “agenda.”

      • Lulz

        LOL Democrats get most of the corporate donations. You don’t suppose their support of slave labor is why?

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