I am an attorney and an advocate. I am a problem solver and a leader. I am passionate about how government and policy can help people and the places we love. My job for the last 20 years has been to work in the place of uncertainty and conflicting views and to find ways to move forward. This is what I do best and I now want to do it in the service of Asheville.
My career has given me the depth and breadth of experience to make progress on the challenges Asheville faces – how we grow, how we invest scarce dollars, how we take care of people and the environment, and how we work together cooperatively and constructively.
- I have been part of many community and land use planning efforts, written land use ordinances, been a community and environmental voice on transportation issues, and long advocated that we need to plan our growth and our transportation together
- I have helped neighborhoods like Burton Street and Shiloh plan for and work toward a positive future.
- I am a citizen leader on multi-modal planning and investments through the City’s Transit Committee and Multi-Modal Commission, especially on behalf of those who primarily rely on public transportation.
- I have led environmental sustainability efforts at the organizational, institutional, and government levels.
- I have fed the hungry, helped create a job training program for people released from jail and prison, and championed a just and fair criminal justice system my entire adult life.
- My day job is primarily about getting people involved in government and policy-making, which is critical if we are to make good decisions.
- As an attorney, I understand the language of government and have written laws, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions.
I also bring management and creative leadership experience. Over the last seven years, when many businesses went under, I took the nonprofit I lead from four to 14 employees and a budget of $230,000 to $1.2 million. I also envisioned and then led a successful merger among three nonprofit corporations. Nonprofits and governments may not be businesses in the sense that their objective is to make money, but they need to be managed well and deliver their products and services efficiently and effectively. I understand those dynamics and will bring that expertise to the City.
One of the places I work best is in reaching across lines – political, economic, ideological, social, cultural – to find common ground and get things done. I build effective collaborations and have maintained positive working relationships with others even when we don’t see eye-to-eye on the issues.
We are all more effective when we don’t allow ideology and firmly held positions to divide us, and I will work with anyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and work for the good of the city.