How can we help?

Attending City Council's April 3 town meeting was heartening. I’m grateful to the Asheville City Council for hosting us and listening to our input.

I heard pleas for keeping the Western North Carolina Nature Center, the tennis courts, the Business Improvement District plans, and Bele Chere. Yes, these are good things. Yes they bring people to our city. But think — these legislative moves are not the creation of one legislator. They are not solely aimed at Asheville. They’re nationwide.

So what is the purpose? Stand back and squint. Look for the big pattern. We had a system in this country which distributed prosperity to all economic levels. It had many parts: graduated income tax, free education, labor organizing, regulation of the financial sector, limitation of bank ownership and broadcasting rights, to name just a few. These parts have been under systematic attack for many years now. Have you noticed, or have you swallowed the propaganda designed to encourage you to vote against your best interests?

I understand losing Bele Chere is disappointing. But when you’re under attack and you waited too long to defend yourself, you’ll have to be satisfied with surviving to fight another day. We’re going to have to cut everything that isn’t nailed down, and maybe some of that as well. I don’t know whether we’ll be able to keep our water and our airport. I hope so. But we have to plan as though we’re losing everything and then look to each other for support.

We cannot expect business as usual. We need innovation, passive resistance, boycotts, cooperative ownership. Lots of us are retired How can we help?

— Norma Warren

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