Central to my campaign is Asheville’s walkability. How walkable a city is impacts more than the health of its citizenry, although health is of paramount importance. Cities with more of its citizens’ footprints have fewer footprints of the carbon variety. A walkable city sees economic benefits too, as businesses and amenities organize in clusters, which, in turn, contribute to increased social interaction and civic pride, a reduction in crime, and heightened rates of volunteerism. There are also marked savings to both taxpayers and to Asheville’s coffers from a less automotive-dependent lifestyle.
Sidewalks, bike lanes, public health, public safety, the local environment, and business development are all within the purview of City Council. Their interrelatedness is surprising, but, consequently, the goals are that much more achievable.
Asheville currently has an overall walk score of 50%. In school terms, that’s an F. We have to do better than that. Our survival, both as a community and as individuals, depends on it.
Among the platitudes candidates use is the one in which the politicos opine that they care about education because they have x number of kids. Okay, I have two daughters, and their education is important to me as a parent. But, whether we have children or not, we are all dependent on the
generation that succeeds us, and it behooves us all to provide that generation with a first-rate education.
Efforts in Raleigh to combine the Asheville City and Buncombe County school systems overlook the supplemental funding Asheville citizens contribute to our school system. That is, in itself, an argument to keep the two systems separate. But it is also an argument to give the taxpaying
citizens of Asheville more control over the city school system. Currently the Asheville School Board and superintendent are appointed by City Council; I support school board elections by the general population, as is done at the county level, with that elected board then choosing its superintendent.