There are no meetings this week for either the Asheville City Council or the Buncombe County Commission.
Things of concern, more information needed
Asheville Public Safety Committee and City Council Meetings, August 23rd, 2022
At the Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday morning, a proposed budget amendment was discussed that involved the Asheville Police Department receiving and spending funds acquired through asset forfeiture. Numerous concerns were expressed about “the source of the money and how it might be spent,” but the amendment was forwarded to City Council. City Council then voted that same day to approve the amendment (5-2, with Council Member Kim Roney and Vice Mayor Sheneika Smith voting against it).
We are concerned that this rapid same-day process did not allow reasonable time for community members to engage with this issue. There needs to be more time after an item moves through a Council Committee, such as Public Safety, before it is placed on the City Council agenda.
Things to do
Email Mayor Esther Manheimer and City Manager Debra Campbell (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask them not to move items from Committee to Council agendas so rapidly that there isn’t space for the community to engage.
Things that sound like a step in the right direction
Formation of the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville
The Tzedek Social Justice Fund announced that they will be the fiscal sponsor for the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville (RSAA). “The RSAA is a Black-led, community-based project that will serve as a Community Reparations Finance Authority in keeping with the Reparatory Justice Model piloted in Evanston, Illinois and certified by the National African American Reparations Commission. The goal of the RSAA is to provide an infrastructure for Black residents of Asheville and Buncombe County to guide the distribution of funds intended for reparations.”
We are excited about this development, and see it as a crucial step forward in achieving meaningful reparations for Black people in Buncombe County. We encourage you to read more about the RSAA at the Tzedek site.