The Buncombe County Commission meets this Tuesday 11/1/22 at 5 pm. You can attend the meeting at 200 College Street, Suite 326 in downtown Asheville. You can watch the meeting online at the County’s facebook page. The full agenda is here.
The Community Reparations Commission will hold their next meeting on Monday, November 7th, 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 stream the meeting here and see support documents here.
Use our prepared email templates to take action on this week’s items.
Things of concern, more information needed
Buncombe County Agenda: Approval of Construction Contract with C&T Paving for the FY20 Countywide Parking Lot Improvements Project (Document)
This is a proposal for the County to contract with a company that will repair and replace parking lots and basketball courts.
When the County has work that needs to be contracted, we wonder what efforts are made to solicit bids from companies owned by Black Indigenous and People of Color. Is this a standard practice for County staff? If so, what process do they follow? If not, this would seem an important policy for the County to adopt.
Things to do
We encourage you to reach out to the Buncombe County Commissioners and the County Manager and ask them what their policy is for soliciting bids from Black Indigenous and People of Color owned businesses. Click here for an email template or see below for a list of email addresses and a sample email you can adapt and send them.
Asheville Public Safety Committee Meeting (October 25th, 2022) (Agenda)
The Committee heard an update on the recruitment process, which is being led by EPIC Recruitment. You can read media coverage of the meeting here.
We continue to be concerned that there is no indication that either EPIC Recruitment or the Asheville Police Department are doing any kind of community engagement around their officer recruitment process. If the goal is to rebuild a different department, as the City committed to during its Reimagining Public Safety process in 2020, this seems a troubling missed opportunity.
Things to do
We suggest you contact the three City Council members who sit on the Public Safety Committee and encourage them to ask the Asheville Police Department what public engagement they are doing around their recruitment process. How can community be brought into this process? Click here for an email template or see below for their email addresses and a sample email you can adapt and send.
COUNTY COMMISSION EMAIL TEMPLATE TEXT
You can open this email in your own email program by clicking here. To proceed manually, you can paste this into the County Commissioners’ contact page or address it to them individually using these email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Avril.Pinder@buncombecounty.org
Subject: What does the County do to seek out POC businesses?
Dear County Commissioners and County Manager Pinder,
There is a routine paving contract approval item in the Consent Agenda section of your meeting this week. It made me wonder what steps the County routinely takes to seek out bids from businesses owned by Black Indigenous and People of Color. Does the County have a policy and processes in place? If so, what are they? And if not, do you agree that this would be a good step for the County to take?
Thanks for your leadership,
PUBLIC SAFETY EMAIL TEMPLATE TEXT
You can open this email in your own email program by clicking here. To proceed manually, you can paste this into an email addressed it to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: What steps is APD taking to engage community around its recruitment?
Dear City Council Members Kilgore, Roney, and Smith,
You heard a report at your last meeting about the Asheville Police Department’s efforts to recruit new officers. There was no mention in the report of any public engagement steps being taken by APD or the company contracted to do the recruiting, EPIC Recruitment. If the goal is to rebuild a different department, as the City committed to during its Reimagining Public Safety process in 2020, this seems a troubling missed opportunity. I would encourage you to ask APD how the community can be brought into this process.
Thanks for your leadership,