On Nov. 16, the city of Asheville hosted a symposium on affordable housing. What was glaringly apparent on both panels that spoke [was] there was not one person of color, women were in the minority, and no one who sat on the panel is actually living this crisis!
Interesting perspective. Those in need of affordable housing are disproportionately single mothers, women of color, seniors and the homeless folk. It was remarked over and over again that people of color are more affected by lack of good housing, and yet it was not thought to include those that the lack of affordable housing affected?
The difference between advocacy and community organizers is just that. Community organizers live in the situation, while advocates acknowledge the situation but do not live or experience it.
The need for affordable housing is real for so many of us! This is not an exercise in good deeds.
Only one person truly spoke for the people affected. Robin [Merrell] from Pisgah Legal Services said: Do we realize that people are dying from the cold while holding a housing voucher in their hands?
And my friend the Rev. Amy Cantrell of the BeLoved Community called out from the audience: Shame, shame, shame on us!
Do we realize that people are dying while we are merely talking about the need for affordable housing?
This is a crisis of epic sadness that a city that supports tourism is not willing to support its residents!
And suppose we became advocates of just economics for all, and we instituted a fair living wage? That would mean that every single worker in this city would have the opportunity to afford a reasonable place to live. Laborers who are responsible for the labor on these hotels cannot even afford to rent a place.
So I am asking: Is this an exercise in projecting good deeds, or is this for real?
Have you heard the expression “Who has their hands on it”? It means who is going to follow it through.
Who does have “their hands” truly on this crisis?
— Ariel Harris