POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Although total voter registration in Asheville grew by almost 19,000 individuals in the past decade
and a half, the number of registered Republicans decreased by nearly 3,000. While there was a spike in Democratic registration
around the time of Barack Obama’s first election, the recent growth in registration has been mostly from unaffiliated voters. Meanwhile,
for City Council elections, Democrats are showing up in disproportionately high numbers. Graphics by Able Allen with data
from the Buncombe County Board of Elections

How local organizers shifted Asheville politics to the left

Movers and shakers on progressive issues have had increasing success in Buncombe County politics since the turn of the century. Activists and organizers on the left have carved out a stronghold in Asheville where they keep power by setting the agenda for conversation according to some. Meanwhile a rise in disaffiliation with the traditional two parties leaves openings for candidates that don’t fit traditional molds in Asheville politics.

CURRENT EVENTS: Water rushes down Canterbury Road during a recent storm, carrying rocks, gravel and sediment along its path. Residents of the Albemarle Park neighborhood, which lies to the east of Charlotte Street at the foot of Sunset Mountain, say flooding in the area has increased dramatically over the last few years. According to the city’s 2016 stormwater capital improvement projects plan, a $1 million effort to improve drainage on Canterbury Road should begin in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Photo by Rich Mathews

Climate change, aging infrastruc­ture and rapid developmen­t fuel Asheville stormwater woes

A changing climate, aging infrastructure and rapid rates of development are contributing to a rising tide of stormwater problems in Asheville. But responsibility for stormwater infrastructure often rests with private property owners, complicating the process of planning and paying for fixes.

BIG DECISIONS: Asheville voters will weigh in on three separate bond measures: $32 million for transportation projects, including road repaving, sidewalks, bus shelters, traffic-calming measures and greenways; $25 million for affordable housing, including $15 million to repurpose city-owned land for affordable housing and $10 million for the city’s affordable housing trust fund; and $17 million for parks and recreation projects. Graphic assembled by Scott Southwick

Asheville leaders and organizati­ons weigh in on bond choice

City-sponsored early polling indicated that a solid majority of Asheville voters say they will vote for the proposed $74 million city bond referendum on this year’s general election ballots, and far more local groups and organizations have lined up to support the bond than to criticize it. As with any issue, however, opinion is mixed.

HIGH PROFILE: Tina Madison White speaking in Washington. Photo courtesy of Tina Madison White.

Asheville LGBTQ community to celebrate progress, call for change at Blue Ridge Pride Festival on Oct. 1

Author, transgender activist and newcomer to Asheville Tina Madison White reflects on the state of the Pride movement in 2016. White is the director of operations for Blue Ridge Pride Center, which will host its eighth annual Pride Festival Saturday, Oct. 1 in Pack Square Park in Asheville.