My experience as a single-parent, low-wage health care worker and a grassroots community educator/organizer has called me to join the Dee Williams campaign for City Council. Dee, a native of Asheville and a small-business owner, has worked for issues of justice all her life as a black woman. Over these weeks and months of phone banking and going door-to-door with Dee, our group has developed a special trust for one another. We support Dee’s bold economic vision for a new day, a new way, which might help generations of families to remain together in Asheville — if they so choose.
When talking to folks in their neighborhoods, we found that they were stressed over their economic realities (low wages, unaffordable rents, high property taxes).These are the main issues of Dee’s economic platform as articulated on her website www.dee4avl.com, including her basic ideas for a different economic model, which is being implemented in various … U.S. communities.
Her platform is not pie-in-the-sky, but it does require a forward, transformative shift in our values and planning for life in Asheville, focused first on the welfare and needs of our residents. Dee’s platform calls for a vital and strategic change from an unsustainable, unlivable tourist economy (for and by developers, imposing another intensified round of white gentrification) — to a local, green, affordable community-based model of development of diversified small businesses and cooperatives with livable wages. Dee’s platform is a matter of survival for our black and Latinx communities as well as an increasing number of poor and working class white communities.
We know that we are faced with complex and critical issues. We hope Asheville residents and city decision-makers will join together in substantive conversations.
And we need Dee’s deep and wide knowledge and experience. So vote for Dee on Nov. 7.
— Jeanine Maland
Editor’s note: Maland reports that she is helping with Williams’ campaign.