I’ve lived in Asheville for three years now, since graduating from Clemson. I’m 25 years old, work as a tutor and live with my mother. My friends mostly live in group houses, with parents or with roommates in order to afford the high rents.
In the past year, I’ve witnessed an exodus of young people from Asheville to places like Colorado and Raleigh-Durham. Most are leaving because the rents are so high, the hordes of tourists make it difficult to enjoy living here, and there are few livable-wage jobs. For a lot of young people, Asheville does not feel like a place where we have a future, and it seems only a matter of time before we give up and move on.
Dee Williams speaks to that. She knows and understands the burdens of young adults in our community, and she proposes ways of making Asheville affordable for all of us, such as building business incubators, creating community land trusts and making community-benefit agreements with businesses so that they will pay workers a livable wage. She also has a long history of succeeding in these projects, such as Ban the Box, because she has been working on them for a long time and she is a determined negotiator.
Based on her past successes and her current platform, Dee Williams best represents the needs of young people in this election. I encourage all who read this to listen to her speak and to visit her website, www.dee4avl.com, to learn more about her.
— Camille McCarthy
Editor’s note: McCarthy reports that she is a volunteer with Dee Williams’ campaign.