Over 140 people responded to an Xpress questionnaire designed to learn more about Western North Carolina’s unaffilaited voters. Their answers show that, at least in WNC, the simple label of “unaffiliated” elides a wide diversity of ideologies and concerns.
“Our lives in this democratic country do not exist in a void, and we need to know about the institutions that provide essential services and a safe, livable environment — like government, schools and hospitals.”
“Jasmine Beach-Ferrara vs. Chuck Edwards just doesn’t seem to inspire local media the way the blood sport of Moe Davis vs. Madison Cawthorn did two years ago.”
The event, supported in part by the American Press Institute’s Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund, also aimed to uplift community voices regarding education issues. As moderator Aisha Adams revealed through conversations with the audience, many concerns about the school system are shared among voters with different views, even if they may disagree about how best to solve those issues.
“To have a negative ‘Best Local Villain’ category is in direct contrast to that greater, positive intention and leaves readers with no meaningful explanation and the ‘winner’ with no means to defend him/herself.”
“I know from personal experience that she strives to create positive, inclusive and quality education for all Asheville City Schools students.”
“In those precious column inches, you are a genuine local newspaper.”
“I miss things that are suddenly no longer appearing in the Citizen Times (after 16 years, I am thinking of surrendering my subscription) and wish your paper would publish more editorials and letters to the editor.”
“I would encourage you to expand it to cover national and international issues so that writers of letters to the editor have more topics they can speak to, and your readers will be exposed to more food for thought.”
“I applaud the raise in pay. The cost of living is outrageous for all and especially those paying for those who do not need assistance, just lazy.”
Xpress sat down with the heads of two local nonprofit news organizations to learn how the business model compares to its for-profit cousin and whether the concept offers a sustainable solution to an industry struggling to hang on.
“Just a quick kudos for the AVL music biz cover story [‘Under Review: Is Asheville Truly One of the Nation’s Top Music Cities?’ April 20, Xpress]. I kinda dig music, to the tune of six decades.”
“Back in 2001, downtown was not cluttered with tall commercial buildings such as hotels catering to tourists.”
“As a childless divorcee, I had to chuckle at Bettina Freese’s unintentionally funny remark: ‘I’ve had children, and it was more pain than I’d ever even imagined.’”
“Vaccine injury is almost a taboo topic in polite society these days without getting the dreaded label of anti-vax.”
“You have a responsibility to your readers and the community to report the facts and the whole story.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines were deployed because of the clear evidence of the serious effects of COVID-19 infections and adequate evidence that, in the short term, the benefit of the vaccines in preventing serious COVID-19 infections was great and their serious adverse effects rates were sufficiently low to justify widespread use.”
“I, like many others, also want to congratulate you on the thorough article about underreported vaccine side effects.”
“Please stop printing the crossword vertically. It makes life just that much more difficult for us bathroom solvers.”
“With all debate and discussion against the pseudo-vaccine jab stifled, your article took an act of courage.”
“I understand that fewer pages cost less to produce, but how many more pages would it take to use 11-point copy that is much easier to read?”