© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Asheville City Council Candidate Q&A: Antanette Mosley

A graphic with BPR's logo and the text "Asheville City Council Candidate Q&A" and a portrait Antanette Mosley wearing a gray and blue blazer and standing under the shad of a tree.

Editor's note: BPR's candidate questionnaire was created in May after asking community members to share their questions and what issues matter most to them and their communities. This Fall, BPR offered candidates the opportunity to update their bios and respond to three additional questions. Those questions are identified with an *. The candidates' responses have not been edited or fact checked by BPR.

Share your questions and ideas for future elections coverage by emailing us at voices@bpr.org or record a voice mail at 828-253-6700.

Antanette Mosley Bio:

I am thrilled to run for Asheville City Council. After serving as an appointed member, I believe that Asheville residents can see through my voting history and public comments that I am a thoughtful leader who wants to ensure all residents have access to housing and gainful employment. I currently sit on the Housing and Community Development Committee and am also the Council liaison to the Asheville Housing Authority.

Appointed to the Asheville City Council in 2020, I have deep roots in the Asheville community. At the age of five, I was the very first student to integrate St. Eugene Elementary school in North Asheville. This experience helped shape my passion for helping achieve equality and equity for all persons.

My family has resided in the area for more than five generations, including my late father, a minister in the East End neighborhood, and my late mother, who taught in Asheville City Schools for more than 30 years. I know and understand the needs of our community because I grew up here and have witnessed the changes, both good and bad.

I graduated from the Asheville School, then attended UNC Chapel Hill, majoring in Psychology. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, I earned my law degree from Georgia State University. I have been a practicing attorney for more than two decades and am also a proud, active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Contact and campaign info:


If elected, what is your top priority as an Asheville City Council member and what steps would you take to achieve that goal?

I am a member of the Housing and Community Development Committee for Asheville City Council. We work to incentivize the building of affordable housing in the City. I’m also the Council liaison to the Asheville Housing Authority. I leverage my dual roles to provide opportunities for developers to work with the Housing Authority to place voucher holders into housing that might otherwise be unaffordable to them. Recognizing that market forces determine rental and housing costs, increasing overall housing supply must always be taken into consideration.

Last Spring, BPR asked you about your priorities as an Asheville City Council member and what steps would you take to achieve those goals. What have you learned about these priorities during the campaign season?*

Equitable affordable housing and responsible development continue to be issues of great focus for me, and, perhaps, the number one issue constituents bring up on the campaign trail. City Council has been working hard to chip away at this complex issue, and we will continue to do so. Since I joined Council two years ago, we have voted to bring over 600 affordable units online, with further projects still in the pipeline. I am also proud to say that I have been endorsed by the Asheville Home Builders Association, an organization dedicated to the protection of our local housing industry and those who work within this market.

The 2036 strategic plan calls for Asheville to be “a city with abundant housing choices for people at all economic levels and stages of life. Chronic homelessness is a thing of the past and rapid rehousing strategies abound thanks to an effective network of service providers.” What action is needed today to reach these outcomes?

Intergovernmental and private/public partnerships are essential. These issues can only be improved upon with a coordinated effort. Currently, Dogwood Health Trust, Buncombe County, and the City are gathering data to determine the most efficient ways to fund our endeavors. Although Health and Human Services are the purview of the County, I believe the City should continue to partner with non-profits to provide services, including shelter and supportive housing. I will be both practical and compassionate in my approach.

As a City Council member, what is your role in building an equitable and diverse community in Asheville?

As the daughter of civil rights activists and someone who integrated a school at the age of 5, I draw on these experiences to reinforce my commitment to an equitable community. My goal is to see that all programs and policies are equitably applied. I will continue to prioritize the most vulnerable amongst us.

How should the City fund reparations efforts?

Shortly after my appointment to Council, I devised what would ultimately become the 1st dedicated funding stream for the initiative. The reparations fund was created as part of a benefits table made available to developers seeking to build hotels in the city. To date, there’s over $1M in the fund for those harmed by Urban Renewal and for the affordable housing trust fund. My goal is to create a similar funding mechanism for developers seeking conditional zoning to build apartments as well.

What role should the City play in helping residents respond to extreme weather and climate change?

As a Sierra Club endorsed candidate, helping residents respond to extreme weather and climate change is a priority. Frankly, any climate justice initiative will come with a price tag – one that lower income residents might have difficulty affording. We must make sure to waive fees or provide assistance to those members of our community. We should work with non-profits to provide solar panels and upgraded roofs to those in need. Utility companies should be lobbied to do the same. Land sovereignty is an important issue also. That is, keeping marginalized groups in their homes. Notably, the City’s Climate Justice Initiative revealed the most affected areas in Asheville were previously redlined areas. Providing home weatherization has proven to be a successful program.

What development priorities would best serve Asheville moving forward?

Interestingly, some of the very aspects that make our city such a desirable place to live also present us with the greatest challenges. Asheville is a city that attracts so many. As a result, the demand to live here is high, and the housing costs and rental rates reflect that desire. Rental rates have gone up over 25% in the past year, and the average home for sale is around $375,000. Coming up with creative solutions to provide equitable, affordable housing with be one of my top goals.

How do you respond to voters who feel the City is prioritizing tourism over investments in public services?

As your Councilwoman, I have heard the concerns of our neighbors regarding this issue. The improvement/expansion of core services is one of Council's 6 top priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year. As a multi-generational Ashevillian, I am personally aware of the importance of tourism to our local economy. After all, my 1st job as a teen was working in a hotel restaurant. As a taxpayer, I also expect the efficient delivery of services. My goal is to strike a balance between protecting our local economy and the best interests of our residents.

How will you approach policing and public safety in Asheville?

Intergovernmental coordination is especially important in this regard. Recently, the City and County merged our 911 systems, and when situations warrant, alternative assistance, including community paramedics, is provided. This cost sharing model benefits the community at large without overly burdening local budgets.

What is your position on the proposal to restructure City boards and commissions?

City staff is seeking community input regarding some of the identified challenges of the current boards and commissions structure. The working group will be tasked to find creative ways to cultivate participation from neighbors who are unable to attend regular meetings. The working group will also define the names and focus areas of each advisory board with the goal of ensuring inclusivity and accountability. I am in support of this community input process and will make a decision based on that outcome.

How do you plan to engage community members in the Council's decision-making process?

I take great pride in being accessible to Asheville residents. I will continue to be only a phone call or email away. I have always looked to the community for guidance and to inform my decision-making process.

Is there a role City Council should play in countering misinformation and threats to democracy? If so, what?*

I believe that the best defense against misinformation at the City level is transparent, easily accessible, factual information about City and Council activities and agendas. Council meetings are always open to the public and can be viewed on the City’s YouTube channel live. I encourage citizens to engage in these meetings and participate in public comment. Public comment is always allowed and welcomed on every matter that comes before City Council prior to a vote.

Above all, I am only a phone call or an email away. If a citizen is concerned or just wants some answers, I’ll always make myself available when possible. Voters have a right to meet with, question, and inform their elected officials, and I am happy to oblige.

Asheville City and Buncombe County filed a lawsuit against Mission Hospital alleging monopolization and inflating prices. What do you think are the most important steps City Council can take to improve healthcare in Western North Carolina?*

There has recently been a “Certificate of Need” application to the State of North Carolina from several hospital systems for an additional 86 hospital beds for Buncombe county. It is the State Legislature that will decide if the facility is needed; and, if so, which applicant will be granted the right. I supported Mayor Manheimer’s decision to submit a letter of support for the expansion of hospital capacity in the region.