Government Accountability Project Asheville

About GAP AVL

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) regularly gathers information from public meetings and other sources, as well as through direct relationship building with people inside both the Asheville City and Buncombe County governments. This information is analyzed by our Strategy Team, made up of local Black community thought leaders, in order to distill what is most relevant to racial justice. This distillation of the most urgent matters making their way through the political process is shared with the public through the weekly GAP Report, enabling more timely and effective advocacy.

About the Strategy Team

Tiffany Flunory-De’Bellott, originally from Brooklyn, NY, moved to Asheville NC in 1997. Since then, Tiffany and her two daughters have been active in education advocacy and community organizing. Tiffany has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and various restorative practice, trauma informed, and resilience training. Throughout the years, Tiffany’s focus has been on diversity, equity, and inclusion work: Facilitating racial equity circles, hosting Parent Forums, Building Bridges, Ashville’s Black Caucus, and other grassroots movements. Tiffany has been instrumental with leveraging vital resources for Black and Brown communities, strategically becoming a board member of Green Opportunities, SouthSide Community Advisory board, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Asheville Writers in Schools, Streets, and Community, Asheville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, etc… Currently, Tiffany is a member of the Human Relations Commission of Asheville, YMI Cultural Center board member, COTTHINK, and most recently a new board member of  LEAF Global. “It is my passion to ensure a better future for our children, through holding accountable and challenging systems of oppression, racism, and superiority”.

Rob Thomas is a former justice-involved individual who has spent around 11 years incarcerated and who therefore deeply understands the negative impacts and disparities faced by people of color in America. He is the recipient of CoThinkk’s 2020 community leader award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County’s 2021 Service Award, the Peacemaker of 2020 in Western North Carolina award, the Tzedek Social Justice Fund’s 2020 Impact Award, and Fayetteville P.A.C.T.’s Certificate of Appreciation. As a public speaker, team collaborator, and systems change advisor, his achievements are directly related to empowerment, strategizing and support that redirects the power back to the Black community. He has taken part in organizing and leading several protests, including the June 6th, 2020 protest in Downtown Asheville with over 10,000 people in attendance. Rob uses his lived experience in collaboration with his native connections to inform, educate, and mobilize community to produce systems change. Rob believes that true transitional justice requires redistribution of power and fights to place vulnerable and disenfranchised community members in a decision-making position over processes where they are the most impacted demographic. He is the co-founder of Outspoken Undaunted Revolutionaries of Asheville (OURavl.org).

Keith Young was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the historically black Virginia State University. He also studied Implementing Public Policy at Harvard. Young returned to Asheville in 2003 and focused on community organizing in low-income communities. He is a former city council member in Asheville from 2015-2020 and was the architect of the city’s reparations legislation along with other equitable policies. Keith also played a key role, and was instrumental, in the recent resolution passed in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the city formally apologized for the first time regarding the events of the 1921 race massacre and subsequent policies that negatively impacted the black community. The resolution looks to become the base to build a reparations program for the recompense of the 1921 race massacre. Young is also author of the book, 12 Powers of Influence, and a member of Harvard Kennedy School’s Implementing Public Policy Community of Practice.