Tell Buncombe County Officials: Reparations are due
The Asheville City Council has passed a Reparations Resolution, the first step toward the deep justice that is owed the Black community. One of the provisions of this resolution is the establishment of a Community Reparations Commission that will be a joint venture between the City and Buncombe County. The reason for this is simple: In seeking to unravel all of the damage done to Black people in this region over hundreds of years, it is impossible to disentangle the responsibilities of City and County. They have worked hand-in-hand in creating the harm; now they need to work hand-in-hand in repairing the harm. Therefore, we are calling for the County to commit to implementing reparations as soon as possible.
A Reparations Resolution will be on the August 4th County Commission agenda. We need to urge each Commissioner to vote in favor of it.
How to contact county officials:
(Note: if you have the time, we recommend emailing them one at a time, but you will see there is also a form on the County Commission website that will email all of them together – see link below.)
- Email and/or call County Commission Chairperson Brownie Newman – firstname.lastname@example.org, (828) 243-0107
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Jasmine Beach Ferrara – email@example.com, (828) 250-4004
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Joe Belcher – firstname.lastname@example.org, (828) 250-4008
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Amanda Edwards – email@example.com, (828) 250-4005
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Anthony Penland – Anthony.Penland@buncombecounty.org, (828) 250-4007
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Robert Pressley – firstname.lastname@example.org, (828) 215-2077
- Email and/or call County Commissioner Al Whitesides – email@example.com, (828) 250-4006
- Email all of the County Commissioners by filling out this form
- Email and/or call County Manager Avril Pinder at Avril.Pinder@buncombecounty.org, (828) 250-4100
Here is a sample email (or talking points if you call) that you can adapt:
I am reaching out to you today to urge you to pass the Reparations Resolution for the Black Community in Buncombe County at your August 4th meeting.
Buncombe County has an overdue debt to pay the Black Community in Asheville and Buncombe County. In recent weeks, county residents have made it abundantly clear that the time to start paying that debt is now. We are calling for the county to commit to implementing reparations as soon as possible.
I urge you to pass the proposed Reparations Resolution at your August 4th meeting.
Our region is what it is today because of resources extracted from Black people. Buncombe County deeply damaged our community through decades of exploitation, and through the encouragement of widespread gentrification, while growing its tax base. The Black community has suffered as a result of failures of the school system and the bias of the Sheriff’s Department without redress. And on and on.
While what is owed is far greater than what can ever be repaid, there is no excuse for Buncombe County to allow this debt to continue to grow without addressing it through reparations.
For more about what the County and City owe and why, click here.