Kim Roney stands facing viewer, text reads: Kim Roney for Council, committed to the work for Affordability, Public Safety, Climate & Neighborhood Resiliency.

Friends & Neighbors, I’m running for re-election to Asheville City Council in 2024. Thank you for joining the movement here!

So many of us in Asheville are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living rises while unchecked tourism and for-profit development strain our natural resources, burden our infrastructure, and displace our most vulnerable neighbors. It’s a matter of priorities: if we ensure this is a great place to live and work, it will be a great place to visit too.

I’m committed to advancing: Affordability, Public Safety, and Climate & Neighborhood Resiliency which means:

  • Affordability:
    • Investing in creative and cooperative solutions for deeply-affordable housing and keeping neighbors from becoming unhoused;
    • Advocating with fellow transit riders and advocates for a more reliable and effective transit system at the intersection of equitable access, economic mobility, and environmental sustainability;
    • Securing our food and water systems; and
    • Pressing the City to regain our living wage certification so our staff that provides core services can afford to live in the communities they serve.
  • Public Safety – Everyone in Asheville deserves to be safe! True safety identifies community needs and utilizes the correct tools. A narrow definition of public safety limits results and creates new problems–and it’s really expensive. Instead, we need a public safety response that works to keep everyone safe, which means:
    • Implementing an Office of Community Safety and HEART Program as outlined here, deploying first responders with the right tools and training to calls for service around the opioid/overdose crisis, homelessness response, intimate partner violence, and mental health; and prioritizing living wages and safe working conditions for first responders;
    • Acting on recommendations in the National Alliance to End Homelessness report to reduce homelessness by 50%;
    • Advancing Complete Streets Policy so all commuters get to their destination safely;
    • Tripling the Strategic Partnership Funds for youth advocacy groups because our kids matter to us and we’re invested in a hopeful future; and
    • Engaging the Community Health Workers organizing to prevent gun violence and intimate partner violence, facilitating healing for residents, families and their communities.

My work with and for Asheville so far:

  • Demanding action on our stated climate emergency: leading on Neighborhood Resiliency, including hiring the City’s first Urban Forester and budgeting for an Urban Forest Master Plan; adding Climate Justice to COVID-relief funding; and voting against the Open Space Amendment.
  • Accountability for the tourism industry: Saving the Grey Eagle and part of the Southside from the Hotel Overlay Map; bringing the motion to Governance Committee to increase the occupancy tax percentage for local use instead of advertising and leveraging for accountability; and advocating alongside service industry workers, especially for affordable housing and transportation options.
  • Prioritizing people & planet over profits: Setting and holding the standard for renewable energy in all new residential development; pressing to lead not lag on living wages; demanding water rate parity for residents while the City continues to offer steep, bulk discounts for commercial water users; voting as a member of the French Broad River MPO to fund next steps in returning passenger rail service to Asheville; leveraging a long list of community benefits to ensure a better deal at our McCormick Field baseball park; and identifying funding for Talbert lot for expanded transit, deeply-affordable housing, and $1.2-million in Reparations funding. 
  • Boldly advocating for human rights: As Asheville’s first-known openly queer member of City Council, I shared the work locally and statewide to advance LGBTQIA+ inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinances that also includes protections for veteran status, pregnancy status, and natural hair; I pushed back against SB49 and the “Slate of Hate” legislation by drafting a resolution in support of our LGBTQIA+ community; as liaison to the Human Relations Commission, I supported their recommendation to protect against Source of Income/Funds discrimination that creates barriers to housing access; and I drafted the proclamation to protect access to reproductive healthcare.
  • Leading courageously to diversify our public safety response which means deploying first responders with the right tools and training for the task at hand; demanding living wage policy to recruit and retain staff; convening with community members on the National Alliance to End Homelessness plan a for a humane response to the homelessness crisis; continuing the call for 24-7 bathrooms in Downtown; and asking hard questions about our budget, plans, and policy so we can ensure quality, equitable service outcomes that improve quality of life for all of us.
  • Advancing an Open Meetings Policy at the Governance Committee that ended the private check-in meetings of Council; demanding accountability; and voting against the identified violation of open meetings law because the difficult conversations we need to have as a community should happen in the sunshine, not behind closed doors. I continue advocating for accessibility of public documents and engagement opportunities; removing barriers to civic participation as outlined in the openmeetingspolicy.com petition; supporting advisory boards; and amplifying community calls for an organizational equity audit.

Our greatest resource is each other, let’s work together to #BeBoutitBeingBetter.

Kim Roney walks, bikes, and rides the bus, and she currently serves on City Council in Asheville, the ancestral land of the Cherokee/Anigiduwagi. A queer, abolitionist, community organizer, small business owner, music educator, and community radio producer, she was a founding member of Friends of Community Radio where she served as Station Manager/ED of 103.3 AshevilleFM from 2012-2015. On Council, Kim serves on the Equity & Engagement, Boards & Commissions, and Policy, Finance, & Human Resources Committees, and liaisons advisory boards including the French Broad River MPO, Alcohol Beverage Control Board; Urban Forestry Commission, Transit Committee, Homelessness Initiative Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Advisory Committee, and Human Relations Commission. She enjoys music, a good story, and the process of growing, cooking, and sharing food with friends & neighbors.