new to the site:
Official description: "Join us for a nonpartisan rally speaking out against congress stealing health care away from 23 million Americans – our families, neighbors, ourselves.
We'll hear from those directly affected by this legislation:
Jaclyn Kiger, Pigah Legal
Alia Tood, ASRW
John Wingerter, Council on Aging
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Campaign for Southern Equality
and music from David LaMotte
The 23 million are workers, retirees, veterans, people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, children, women, anyone with the audacity to have an emergency, and ME. And possibly you. Join us.
Co-sponors include: Campaign for Southern Equality, Pisgah Legal Services, Western North Carolina AIDS Project, ACLU of NC - Western NC Chapter, League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County and Western North Carolina Community Health Services."
Can we talk about healthcare a moment? Can we? Last year around this time, as Lindsay and I were driving back to Asheville from the Midwest, she suddenly collapsed from a hemorrhaging abdominal cyst and nearly died. We were able to get to a hospital where emergency surgery and a week of intensive care saved her life. Because Lindsay is a public school teacher, we expected her state employee insurance plan to cover her care. But since (being unconscious) she didn't call the company to pre-approve it, they initially didn't.
This is actually the current, better-than-usual state of things for millions of Americans in the world's worst developed country for healthcare. Under Trumpcare, the AHCA, Lindsay's insurance could have been allowed to fight paying, to deny her coverage, even, for any number of cost-saving reasons. It could have applied her surgery and hospital stay, along with millions of other Americans' chronic treatments, to an annual or lifetime cap on insurance, with the hope of weeding the sick and unlucky (like Lindsay) out of the market forever. That's what we're fighting against, and why I'm so proud I'll be seeing Lindsay leading the charge as emcee at the Rally for 23 Million downtown on Monday. Come out and support her. Fight for people like her, like we all know, for ourselves. It was us last summer. It could be you and your loved ones next. This fight is for all of us, and it's dead serious.
New video! "Asheville Issues: Traffic + Housing"
40,000 workers commute into Asheville every day, adding to our traffic problems. Affordable housing close to work is one of the ways we can ease the strain on our infrastructure. Learn more on our affordability policy page.
First, thank you for the trust so many of you placed in me during the last city election. Yes, it was disappointing to come in first runner-up at the end of a bruising race, but I went to bed on election night sunburned and elated, proud to have run the hardest-working campaign of the season. The next morning I applied for every open city board and commission seat at the time. Things have been nonstop ever since.
So we've arrived in 2017 with many of the issues we talked about last time still unresolved. The city still struggles to be an affordable and sustaining home to many. The character of the community is more threatened than ever by traffic, a weak job market, adverse legislation and the impacts of being a highly-commodified tourism economy. We have more hotels opening than ever, but fewer affordable places to live. And despite passing massive bonds in 2016 to pay for parks, roads and affordable housing, city government hasn't yet figured how to balance old needs with new ones, the steady creep of gentrification against the needs of locals, the 90,000-and-counting conflicting ideas of what Asheville is supposed to be.
But I have hope. It's clearer than ever that the root thing that makes this "Asheville" to all of us is the feeling of a genuine, diverse, working, small town. A place whose natives and newcomers, Baptists and tattoo artists live cheek-by-jowl and pull together for the community. A place that's easy to get around. A place that preserves its buildings and history. A place that lets others live and do as they like, that encourages them, even. A city for locals. A place that holds itself out as a bastion of tolerance and commonsense old mountain progressivism. A place that feels beautiful and authentic.
I believe we can hold onto all that even if our population balloons past 100,000 (as expected in the next decade) or 200,000. The core character can be saved. But it's going to take work: local government that's daring, knowledgeable and committed, with the public always pushing it to try harder. I have a few thoughts about how it can happen. I'm sure you have some I haven't heard yet. If you have an idea or want to be part of this effort, please contact me using the link below and get involved. I'll work with anyone, always have.
I'm ready to work,