It was really inspiring to get a tour of East Haven: 95 units of affordable housing coming soon to Swannanoa. Thanks to the team at Mountain Housing Opportunities for their leadership on this project, which will create safe, affordable home for hundreds of our neighbors.
Projects like this also show us what's possible - affordability, next to a bus stop, near a grocery store and health clinics, exactly the approach to development that we need to focus on.
And it's going up fast. We voted in February to approve county funding for this project and ground was broken by summer. I'd like to see us committing to an ongoing cycle of major affordable housing projects of this scale and believe we can do that in the next few years. For more information on East Haven and the application process, call 828.237.3055.
Saturday morning started off with meeting leaders in Swannanoa Valley precincts at The Root Bar, a fixture on US 70. It was exciting to feel the energy about organizing in the new District 2 and to hear from other candidates who also spoke - Rep. John Ager, County Commission Chair Brownie Newman, and State Senate Candidate Brian Casey.
One question kept coming up - how, in this divisive age, we approach those with different political views and world views. This question comes up all the time, in my personal life, in my work at the Campaign for Southern Equality, and in my work on County Commission, which is a bipartisan board. For me, it starts by approaching people with empathy, while also being very clear about what I stand for. The alternative is that for time uncertain we just avoid each other, or become wholly alienated from one another. Of all the things at stake in our country right now, this feels like one of the most important to me.
We'll be back at The Root Bar on January 24 for a campaign party, featuring music by Reed Turchi and Lemuel Hayes, and co-hosted by Annie Jonas and Stacey Enos. Hope you can join us!
Just a quick note to say thank you so much for your support as we've launched my 2020 campaign for Buncombe County Commission. Here's a quick update from the first few days. On Friday, it was an honor to officially file to run in District 2 and I was grateful that my family was there with me.
Thank you to everyone who came to our Filing Day Coffee Hour - and to everyone who held babies too. There were lots of questions about the new districts (click here to find your districts). It's probably self-evident but this is definitely going to be a family-friendly campaign every step of the way. That means family-friendly events and it also means working for policies that help families not just get by but thrive. Whether it's pushing for expanded early childhood education access for all kids or advocating for a paid family leave policy in Buncombe County, I'm honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with people across our community who know exactly why these policies matter.