The Community Reparations Commission will hold their next meeting TONIGHT Monday, January 9th, 2022, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The meeting is being held at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center Banquet Hall at 87 Haywood Street in Asheville. The public is welcome to attend the entire session. You can download the meeting materials here. The meeting will be recorded and streamed here.
Use our prepared email template to take action on this week’s items.
Things of concern, more information needed
Asheville City Council Agenda – New Business B: Resolution establishing an independent review committee focused on reviewing the water outage (Resolution text)
A resolution has been proposed ”to establish a multidisciplinary and independent review committee to review the water outage in order to assess infrastructure needs and the City’s response; and to determine what can be done to maximize prevention and improve response and communication efforts in the case of future events.” This committee will “engage a (contracted) expert,” report back to City Council “within 30 days,” and prepare a final report “within 90 days.”
The plan of action the City has developed seems appropriate. We are impressed by how rapidly the plan came together, and how quickly City Council is expecting action: an initial report within 30 days, and a full report within 90 days. So far, the City hasn’t taken a similarly expedited approach to the Community Reparations Commission’s Immediate Recommendation Stop the Harm, which was passed unanimously and forwarded to City Council over a month ago. Reliable access to clean drinking water is an obvious City priority; protecting Black lives should be just as important. Will they pass the Recommendation put forward by the Reparations Commission and establish an expedited timeline for implementation?
Things to do
We encourage you to reach out to the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commission and encourage them to respond to this request from the Reparations Commission. You can use our template link to open up an email to adapt, copy and paste the content below, or write your own message to AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov.
Asheville City Council Agenda – New Business C: Resolution appointing a member to the Asheville City Schools Board of Education
The City will be interviewing the four candidates at 2 pm on Tuesday. For a schedule of those interviews, and a link to follow to watch the process, click here.
We encourage folks to watch the interviews and then communicate your preferences to City Council. There are several strong candidates, but we are partial to William Young Jr. for his 30 years of hands-on experience in Asheville City Schools (full disclosure: Mr. Young is also the father of one of our Strategy Team members).
Things to do
We encourage you to watch the interviews (which will be conducted from 2-3 pm on Tuesday, January 10th), form your own opinions on who should be appointed, and communicate them to City Council via their email address: AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov.
The interview sessions will be conducted in the Council Chamber, located on the 2nd Floor of City Hall, and can also be watched on the City’s YouTube channel.
CITY COUNCIL TEMPLATE TEXT
You can open this email in your own email program by clicking here. To proceed manually, you can copy and paste the text below into an email and then address it to City Council.
Send to: AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Please expedite the Reparations Commission recommendation
Dear City Council Members,
I see that you are moving quickly to study, understand, and remediate the problems recently revealed in Asheville’s water system. I’d like to encourage you to similarly expedite the Immediate Recommendation “Stop the Harm,” passed unanimously by the Community Reparations Commission over a month ago. To address the water issue, you are calling for the City to hire an appropriate expert, and looking for an initial report-back within 30 days, with a final report due within 90 days. Will you show solidarity with Black Asheville and ask for a similarly urgent timeline for the Stop the Harm recommendation?
Thanks for your leadership,