I first saw Jasmine Beach-Ferrara speak during a Mountain Moral Monday gathering in 2014. I thought, “This is the kind of leader I have always wanted in my hometown.” Jasmine wasn’t just smart, strong and strategic, she was compassionate, and her kindness shone from the stage.
When Amendment One passed in 2012, I mourned for my state. I felt defeated, betrayed. I was told it would likely take at least a decade to right this wrong. Jasmine wasn’t satisfied to wait. Thanks in no small part to her leadership at the Campaign for Southern Equality, marriage equality is a reality in North Carolina. She had a vision of what could be accomplished and made it happen. It’s that vision, coupled with her call to serve that will make her such an exceptional county commissioner.
Jasmine has a vision of what Buncombe County could be. She sees hope, even amid crisis. Ending the entrenched childhood poverty in our county is a daunting task. But Jasmine is already putting forth ideas about where we can start: universal pre-K, her top priority as county commissioner.
Under her leadership, the Campaign for Southern Equality became living-wage certified. She will push for affordable housing, strengthen funding for public schools and stand firm at each turn for full LGBT equality.
Most importantly, she will do all of this with deep kindness and compassion for others — even those who oppose her. Jasmine refuses to believe that the politics of division are necessary to create policy that allows everybody in Buncombe County a chance to thrive. She is ready — and excited — to join with unlikely allies and find the places where our values overlap, not where they are at odds.
I am voting for Jasmine Beach-Ferrara on March 15, and I urge you to do the same.
— Rachel LaBruyere
Editor’s note: LaBruyere reports that she is working for Beach-Ferrara’s campaign to provide help with digital strategies.