Letter: Sloan has courage, skills to help Buncombe

Graphic by Lori Deaton

There’s no question that these are trying times. So much painful news circulates that we can easily be overwhelmed by it. If somehow you find a way to keep your head up — and I hope you will — you’ll see a few people coming forward with the values, knowledge and courage to do something about all this trouble. We’re fortunate that one of these people is Parker Sloan.

I want Parker representing District 3 on our county [Board of Commissioners]. I want this because I’m a father, and Parker shares my personal investment in Buncombe’s children. Smart kids don’t close achievement gaps; policy does.

I want Parker on county commission because I tube and paddle the French Broad, and I want my daughter and her generation to do the same without fear of illness and injury. Good intentions don’t sustain a river; policy does.

I want Parker on county commission because I’m incredibly blessed to own a home, and I want others to have the same privilege. When you live in a place as desirable as we do, markets don’t create affordable housing; policy does.

I want Parker on county commission because people I love have been poisoned to death by opioids. Scolding addicted people doesn’t break the cycle of addiction; policy does.

I want Parker on county commission because I see my neighbors cut out of the deal of Asheville’s booming wealth and popularity with tourists. Thousands of people visit us each year, not knowing that a cut of their hotel bill is being funneled toward making the wealthy wealthier, while our roads buckle and our teachers work second jobs. Charity doesn’t fix this; policy does.

Maybe, like me, you’re a parent, or a water lover, or a homeowner, or a family member or a neighbor. Maybe, like me, you can’t change what you’d love to see changed because you don’t have the time or the skills. Good news for us: Parker Sloan does.

— Joe Wilkerson

Editor’s note: Wilkerson reports that he is volunteering with Sloan’s campaign.

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