No One Is Free Until We Are All Free

Quite a lot has happened in the world and in our community since we won the primary on March 3 – a global pandemic, civil unrest over yet another murder of an unarmed black man by police, two fantastic U.S. Supreme Court decisions banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity and striking down Louisiana’s abortion restrictions, and the removal of two of Asheville’s confederate memorials and the covering of a third. And through it all, we are still in a campaign, although a quiet one for now.

Still, important things continue to happen and the pace of change is exciting. On the night of July 14, I am proud to have joined my colleagues on Asheville City Council in unanimously voting for a resolution apologizing for our city’s historic role in slavery and pledging reparations through investments aimed at tackling systematic racism, reducing racial disparities, and creating generational wealth and economic opportunity for our Black neighbors. We’ve pledged to invest in “increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice.” You can read the full text of the resolution here, and you can watch the news story about this momentous action here.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “No one is free until we are all free.”  While no one in our country is legally enslaved anymore, we know all too well that people of color are not free.  They are not free from police brutality or from the systemic racism that segregates and discriminates against them economically, socially, in housing, in health, in education and in their environment. We still have a long way to go, but MLK also assured us that arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. I am so proud of what our community is doing to bend the trajectory of that arc steeper toward a just and equitable future. And if you elect me to the State Senate, I promise that I will try to move the General Assembly to follow Asheville’s lead.

I will kick the campaign back into high gear after Labor Day. In the meantime, I have other good news to share with you: I received two new endorsements, from Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic and from the North Carolina AFL-CIO.  These are nice additions to the existing list of the NC Sierra Club, NC Conservation PAC, Emily’s List, Lillian’s List, Equality NC, and the Freethought Equality Fund PAC. I am proud to stand with these groups and the issues and communities for which they advocate. I am grateful for your support, and I look forward to fighting for you in Raleigh.

Thank you,