Letter: Williams supports sustainable policies for all

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am excited about the recent announcement of candidates running for Asheville City Council. I look forward to local elections this fall when I can vote for a candidate I wholeheartedly support. If you value sustainable living in Asheville, please join me in voting for Dee Williams for Asheville City Council. Asheville’s continued growth and development is inspiring and also reminds us of the importance of taking care of our local community to keep Asheville a wonderful place to live and an exciting tourist destination.

Dee Williams supports sustainable policies for all the people of Asheville, such as a living-wage minimum and affordable housing. She is an educated, smart, strong African-American woman, a successful local business owner and an inspiration in advocating for sustainable practices. I saw Dee at several local rallies supporting the environment, equality and diversity in Asheville. Dee knows politics, budgeting and the local movers and shakers. I see her serving on the City Council and making exciting changes.

As a mental health provider in town, I encounter firsthand the daily struggles of people working full time and more than one job, yet struggling to make ends meet. Many Asheville locals often cannot make the rent, fix the car, pay for therapy, just the basics of survival. It leaves no room for luxuries like the occasional movie, concert or weekend trip. I believe that a living wage feeds our local economy.

It’s simple. When people make enough for the basics and have some extra, they go out on the town, feed the arts and spend money at local businesses. Just last month, Minneapolis passed an exciting $15 minimum-wage law. Let’s follow their lead, Asheville!

— Eman Moustafa

Editor’s note: Moustafa reports that she has occasionally volunteered with Williams’ campaign.


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One thought on “Letter: Williams supports sustainable policies for all

  1. cecil bothwell

    Unfortunately, under NC state law, municipalities cannot set wages other than for their own employees. Several years ago we voted to require a Living Wage for employees of City contractors as a condition of “qualifying” for contracts. The General Assembly immediately banned that. We do pay the locally certified Living Wage (per Just Economics) to all City employees.

    Meanwhile, a study out of UNC Chapel Hill indicates that Asheville has the best track record on creating affordable housing of any City in the state. That doesn’t mean that improvement is impossible, but suggesting that Council has not tackled the problem within our ability to pay is counter-factual. As I’ve repeatedly noted, our strategies have yielded meager results. I am greatly encouraged by the recent deal with a developer of the City property on Hilliard across from the Aston Tennis facility, which includes a guarantee of 50 years of affordability. The proposed remodel of Lee Walker Heights with connectivity to Biltmore Ave. and mixed income housing seems promising as well, a way to break Public Housing out of the ghettoization imposed during “urban renewal” 50 years ago. (A misbegotten program if there ever was one.)

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