The Asheville City Council needs to listen to the community that it serves. The community is calling for Asheville to divest from the police and invest in the Black community. The community is asking for a process of deep public engagement to determine the way forward, rather than a secretive process with minimal participation from community members. Council needs to commit to:
- the goal of divesting funds from the police department in order to invest in Black Asheville, and a clear timeline for that process;
- releasing a detailed draft budget, so that the community can see where and how money is being allocated;
- a public comment process that encourages participation, rather than one that is designed to drown out all but a few voices.
Will you take action today? Let us know how you’ll make your public comment below.
What to do:
- Email or call in a public comment for Tuesday’s Council meeting.
- To email a comment, write to AshevilleCityCouncilJuly282020@PublicInput.com. The deadline for this is 24 hours after the meeting is over (so Wednesday night).
- Leave a voicemail comment by calling 855-925-2801 and entering code 9705. The deadline for this is 5 pm Monday, July 27th.
- To call in a live comment, you must pre-register by noon Monday, July 27th. To do so, fill out the online form found at ashevillenc.gov/comments or call the Clerk’s office at 828-259-5900.
- Provide your name, city of residence and the item you are commenting on (Fiscal Year 2020-21 Annual Operating Budget or Informal Discussion and Public Comment).
- Start off with something personal: tell them why you are a resident whose voice they should listen to on this matter; share a quick personal story about why these issues are important to you.
- Close by stating plainly that you urge Council to commit to a divest/invest strategy with a timeline and a more transparent process that truly engages the community.