It’s easy to get cynical about politics these days. Our democracy is supposed to be a system in which the members of a community pick the best people among them to be their leaders.
Yet the daily reality falls far short of that simple ideal. Political parties, big money and special interests overshadow any real consideration of the public good. Our leaders engage in mudslinging and name-calling more than honest dialogue. Although I’ve been involved in social justice work for more than 20 years, when campaign season rolls around, I find myself just wanting to hide until it’s over.
Except this year. I’m very excited to see Jasmine Beach-Ferrara running for the District 1 seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Jasmine is a leader who really listens: Her whole career has involved seeking out and lifting up the voices of other people — especially people whose voices have been ignored or silenced in the past.
Jasmine also has a gift for making connections. She is secure in her own values and beliefs, but she carries only respect and empathy for those who see the world differently, and that gives her the ability to find common ground where others see only conflict.
Most important, Jasmine has a greatness of vision and an ability to bring people together to get things done. She isn’t running her campaign on promises of what she can do, but of what we can do as the people of Buncombe County working together.
Imagine having the best schools in the state. Universal pre-K education. Living-wage jobs. Quality housing that regular families can afford. Ending child poverty. Safe and healthy neighborhoods. We can do it — if we work together, and if we have the right leadership. I encourage you to vote for Jasmine Beach-Ferrara on March 15.
— Craig White