Letter writer: In City Council race, single-issue voting is shortsighted

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The field of 15 Asheville City Council candidates has raised many important issues. One of them is the public’s clear desire to provide a green space across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence in downtown. It’s been called a “bellwether” voting issue by many supporters and progressives.

My opinion is that a green space is the best outcome for many reasons. Julie Mayfield, one of the candidates, is not in the camp that says that site must be green space and nothing else. She says that a significant public space must be part of the solution. However, single-issue voting is not the best approach in the long run, as we have seen happen in Raleigh and many other cases.

Julie Mayfield has a long record of supporting the environment, forestry, clean air and water, rational development and regional progressive issues. She has the ability to work with many people of differing viewpoints and was instrumental in the development of MountainTrue, the new regional organization formed from the former WNC Alliance, Environmental and Conservation Organization and Jackson-Macon County Alliance.

To not consider voting for her, based on only this one downtown green-space issue, strikes me as shortsighted. For those opposed to environmental conservation for a higher quality of life, opposed to healthy forests and their economic benefits, opposed to clean energy, she is clearly not your candidate. But if you care about those issues and how they impact Asheville, she is one top candidate to seriously consider voting for in the larger picture.

I’ve known and worked with Julie Mayfield for many years on many issues. Our work has involved many complex problems, and I respect her ability to look at things holistically. Taken as a whole, she is one of the top candidates running for a seat on City Council. There are minor points with other top candidates I also diverge on, but no single point that would suggest they would not bring value to the progressive efforts in Asheville.

As a longtime advocate for progressive efforts in Asheville and the Western North Carolina region, I would ask that all voters reflect objectively on each candidate’s full values and positions. And especially on Julie Mayfield’s efforts, experience and record of achievements. Vote for whomever you feel is best for Asheville on all the issues; please don’t vote over just one single issue. Thank you.

— Ned Ryan Doyle

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7 thoughts on “Letter writer: In City Council race, single-issue voting is shortsighted

  1. Waitwhat

    The Basilica? Ha! That’s the least of your worries if you vote for Julie, my pitiful naive human. Remember Route C, that awful bus-to-nowhere-from-nowhere? Oh, dear God Julie could not let that one go… until a survey of Asheville riders with _thousands_ of requests to remove route C and put a bus line back on Biltmore Avenue. And she still wouldn’t let the idea go.
    Human, you are only asking for self-induced pain.

  2. OneWhoKnows

    Mayfield seems to have a big campaign force, but her focus on ‘transportation’ is of little notice by most working citizens …All these regional things she’s involved with does not matter in terms of serving the citizens of AVL…I stay amused at all the leftwingnuts who are always trumpeting ‘progressivism’ when NOT one of them could utter a thing about WHY ‘progressivism’ has failed in every country tried for the past couple centuries…this demonstrates the height of IGNORANCE, but the libtards still want it…Mumpower, Miall and Williams are the most qualified for leadership and DIVERSITY !!!

  3. NFB

    I wasn’t planning on voting for Mayfield, but now that I see the opposition lining up against her I am starting to have second thoughts about that decision.

  4. I’ve demonstrated for public space across from the Basilica, so I’m definitely a supporter of that. It is designated as a future park in our Downtown Master Plan. However, Julie is right to point out that literal green grass is not the only option and maybe not the best, given the crowds that would trample it every time a big show comes to the Civic Center (as I’ll always call it). What I like about her is that, typically for her, this is not just her private opinion — she is very good about gathering consensus from people who are sympathetic but have actually studied an issue, such as the Asheville Design Center in this case. Labeling her as anti-Basilica-greenspace is just simplistic pre-primary politicking.

    • 50ShadesOfBlue

      > she is very good about gathering consensus

      There are more voters in Asheville than just extreme left, far left, feminazis, and communists.

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