Government Accountability Project Asheville

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RED:

Things that seem problematic

Asheville 2024-2025 Budget – 2023 Asheville Disparity Study – Business Inclusion Office Funding

In the 4/8/24 and 5/13/24 GAP Reports, we brought up the 2023 Disparity Study and its findings that Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) receive disproportionately fewer contracts offered by the City of Asheville. The Disparity Study offered 27 recommendations for how to address these disparities. We are concerned that the current resources dedicated to the Asheville Business Inclusion (ABI) office will be a barrier to implementing any of these recommendations.

Our Ask

We suggested that the City publicly acknowledge the importance of these recommendations and answer community concerns about whether the current budget and size and scope of the ABI office is sufficient to incorporate them. We encouraged you to write to the City Manager and City Council to advocate for the ABI office to be allocated the resources necessary to implement the Disparity Study’s recommendations.

You can read more about this and find instructions on how to continue to advocate with us in the GAP Reports from 4/8/24 and 5/13/24.

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REPORT BACK

Unresolved

We’re unaware of any response from the City Manager or a member of the City Council on this issue. However, we have learned that there will be a presentation about the plans for Disparity Study recommendation implementation at the next Equity and Engagement Committee Meeting on May 21, 2024. (There is no information on this meeting yet on the City website; we will update this page once there is.) If you haven’t already, please use our email tool at the bottom of the 5/13/24 GAP Report linked here to send a message requesting more resources be allotted to the ABI office.

GAP Supporter Actions Taken: 38

Recipients and Responses:

  • City Manager Debra Campbell: No response
  • Mayor Esther Manheimer: No response
  • Vice Mayor Sandra Kilgore: No response
  • City Council Member Antanette Mosley: No response
  • City Council Member Kim Roney: No response
  • City Council Member Maggie Ullman: No response
  • City Council Member Sage Turner: No response
  • City Council Member Sheneika Smith: No response