Friends & Neighbors,

It’s time to vote! Polls are open 6:30am-7:30pm on Tuesday, November 8th. You can look up your precinct, voting location, and sample ballot via the NC Voter Search here.

I’m running for Mayor of Asheville and I need your support. I’m endorsed by: EqualityNC, WNC Central Labor Council, NC State AFL-CIO, Asheville and Buncombe Associations of Educators, Center for Biological Diversity, Sunrise Movement Asheville, Asheville DSA, former mayor Leni Sitnick, retired journalist Frank Kracher, and many friends & neighbors like yourself!

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. We need an equitable transition through the overlapping emergencies of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, systemic racism, and economic uncertainty. I’m running because the work we must do to achieve our aspirational goals and ensure a resilient community includes urgent action to take better care of the planet and each other, which means:

  • Affordability: Investing in creative and cooperative solutions for deeply-affordable housing and keeping neighbors from becoming unhoused; coordinating with the County for a fare-free Buncombe-Asheville Transit System at the intersection of equitable access, economic mobility, and environmental sustainability; securing our food and water systems; and ensuring we lead not lag on living wages as the City of Asheville. This is what Neighborhood Resiliency means and why I brought it forward as a strategic priority of Council.
  • Public Safety: Ensuring a public safety response that works to keep everyone safe; deploying responders with the right tools and training to calls for service around the opioid/overdose crisis, homelessness response, intimate partner violence, and mental health through partnerships including the Buncombe Community Paramedicine program; budgeting for wages to recruit and retain first responders; developing and acting on a plan for neighbors experiencing unsheltered homelessness to get us moving from the crisis we’re in towards solutions designed for housing as a human right; following through with our commitments to Reparations; and responding appropriately to our stated Climate Emergency.
  • Open Meetings Policy, including matters solely within the purview of the mayor’s office: Ending the current Council check-in process and shifting to a public pre-meeting model similar to the one used by the Buncombe County Commission because the difficult conversations we need to have as a community should happen in the sunshine, not behind closed doors; increasing accessibility of public documents and engagement opportunities; removing barriers to civic participation as outlined in the openmeetingspolicy.com petition; supporting advisory boards instead of dissolving them; committing to an organizational equity audit; and appointing a Mayor’s Youth Council.

My work with and for Asheville so far:

  • Demanding action on climate emergency: leading on Neighborhood Resiliency and an Urban Forester; 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; leveraging for more lodging taxes for equity and infrastructure.
  • Prioritizing people & planet over profits: Pressing to lead not lag on living wages; identifying funding for Talbert lot for expanded transit, deeply-affordable housing, and $1.2-million in Reparations funding. 
  • Boldly advocating for human rights: Leading locally/statewide for LGBTQ+ inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinances; drafting the proclamation to protect access to reproductive healthcare.
  • Leading courageously to diversify our public safety response which means ensuring we deploy the first responder with the right tools and training for the task at hand; convening with community members on a plan a for a humane response to the homelessness crisis.
  • Advancing an Open Meetings Policy at the Governance Committee; demanding accountability; and voting against the violation of open meetings law.

In my second year on Council, plus seven years in the audience and on advisory boards, I’ve seen how the current process is designed to support a system that excludes people while decisions are being made about us without us. By running for Mayor, I’m inviting the people of Asheville to move me from one hot seat to a hotter one, not because I can fix this by myself, but because I’m committed to a process that allows all of us to share in the necessary work ahead of us. Our greatest resource is each other, let’s #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 Governance, Public Safety, and Boards & Commissions Committees, and liaisons advisory boards including the French Broad River MPO, Urban Forestry Commission, Multimodal Transportation Commission, 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.

Follow the campaign on Facebook and Instagram, then join the movement by volunteering at the polls, with a yard sign, or signing up for the newsletter. Thank you!