I was up last night wrapping presents in a tangle of tape and tissue paper. In a few hours, Meg, Cal and I will get on the road to St. Louis to spend Christmas with Meg's family. If, that is, we can get packed, a project I have yet to start. I'm guessing you know the feeling...
This time of year can feel pretty harried. But the short days and long nights can also be a time for reflection and slowing down, a time to name our hopes for the future.
My hope is that our community will come together in new ways to make sure every kid in Buncombe County has a chance to thrive. Thriving starts with the basics - having a safe home, food on the table and in the cupboard, excellent schools, quality healthcare, the right to play in safe neighborhoods, and being treated with dignity and equality in every part of life.
Right now, here in Buncombe County, 1 in 4 kids lives in poverty. That’s a moral crisis.
As a community we have to build a safety net that is large enough and sturdy enough for all of us - and particularly for the littlest among us. There are incredible people, groups and agencies working to do just this, from teachers in our schools to non profits like Children First and Food Connection to Buncombe County staff working on child welfare issues to local foster families providing loving homes for kids.
And, we can be doing more - like guaranteeing universal pre-K across the county, more deeply engaging issues of racial equity in our schools and ensuring healthier neighborhoods that include sidewalks, parks and greenways.
These priorities are at the heart of my campaign for County Commission and, as we get ready for 2016, I look forward to working together to ensure that every child in Buncombe County has an equal opportunity to thrive.