We need Rich Lee’s patient and humble voice of reason on City Council. We need his vision, financial expertise, political independence and his steady pragmatism. We need passion for smart planning and livability, for consistency and clarity in government, whether permitting new entrepreneurs or standards for big development.
Asheville hovers on the brink of tremendous change. Our long-term resilience is at stake. As we prepare to weather storms in uncharted territory, we must continue to steer Asheville on a course of unique identity and fiscal strength.
Lee is rooted first and foremost in Asheville. He knows process and policy, has served on committees and boards, led citizen groups, canvassed and volunteered. He shows up and advocates for all of us, wherever people’s lives are impacted. He’s there both when conversations begin and as they reach the highest levels. Moreover, he educates and galvanizes others to act, constructively and positively, in our struggling — too often divisive — civic arena.
Fifteen years ago, Asheville had very few young families. How do we keep ones we have now invested in Asheville? How do we grow careers? Jobs that sustain a life, dignity and respect?
Lee has earned the trust and admiration of an impressively broad cross section of residents, business owners, nonprofit leaders, activists and public servants. His lifelong commitment to service, evidenced by years with his wife in the Peace Corps, advocacy for seniors and the elderly, smart growth and neighborhoods, economic and environmental justice, responsible industry and greenways, all speak very clearly of a personal investment and perspective we need now more than ever.
Bringing our seniors and young families together, rekindling a united stake in Asheville’s future across generations — a future that learns from its past — is the task we face. Rich Lee’s election to Council is nothing short of essential to help chart that course.
— Matt Christie
Editor’s note: Based on reader feedback, Xpress has begun asking letter writers whether they have a formal role in the campaigns they are writing about. Mr. Christie reports that he and his wife, Stephanie Hellert, are campaign volunteers for Lee and that Hellert also serves as Lee’s volunteer campaign manager.