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Asheville City Council Voter Guide: Candidate Iindia Pearson

Courtesy of Iindia Pearson

Earlier this month, BPR asked the Asheville community one question: What do you want candidates to talk about as they compete for your vote? We received more than 300 suggestions from about 150 people in the Asheville area.

BPR sent six questions informed by the community responses to each City Council candidate. Here are candidate Iindia Pearson's responses.

1.     What is the biggest challenge facing Asheville in the realm of housing and what do you see as the best solution right now? 

We have short stock of Housing available and even less that's adequate and deeply affordable. As a city, we need to set the standards for building deeply affordable housing and incentive those do. Using city owned property, we should lead by example.

2.     What role, if any, should a city council member play in addressing the impacts of climate change? Are there specific policies related to climate change that you would support?

Anytime we as a city can improve our air quality, become more energy efficient, provide opportunities as such for homeowners and owners of deeply affordable long term rental properties and make the process fair and equitable, then I would consider supporting it.

3.     Are there specific measures you would take in your first 100 days to make Asheville City government more efficient and responsive to the needs of the people? 

Yes. I intend on going through the onboarding process and if one does not exist, one should be created based on suggestions made from incoming candidates. I would get to know who I am working alongside when making decisions. I would review the minutes from the last six months or so. I intend on getting a better understanding of the internal processes and procedures and how we receive public input and consideration on how we move forward with that information. My goal is to have a better understanding of how City Council and Asheville government works so that I may represent the people and make decisions for the betterment of our communities and city.

4.     The Sheriff’s Office Downtown Initiative is a recent example of increased police presence as a solution for crime downtown. Do you believe this is an effective method for curbing crime? Why or why not?

I believe that this is just one method that may be affective to curb crime, but it is not the only method. Curbing crime has to be done by the collective. It's a community effort. It take community policing and relationship building amongst those in the communities with the issues.

5.     Who of the 8 candidates, other than yourself, is the strongest candidate for City Council and why?

Every candidate brings real life experience, knowledge and potential solutions to issue s within our city. Some may be stronger in one way or subject, while others may be stronger in other ways, but every candidate will bring another perspective and level of skillsets and experience to City Council.

6.     Asheville City Council has worked on a number of strategies to provide shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness. What strategies would you support as a council member? 

There is no one solution. There are some many reasons why we have a homeless population. We have to address the root cause, provide services for such (within our capacity) which includes partnering and or assisting with funding for entities who do this type of work. We must also work with and alongside those that are experiencing or have experienced homelessness. I would be open to conversations supporting a building or parcel of land for that population to live but also holding them accountable and setting standards for the cleanliness of the landscape along with having a clear set of rules and regulations.

Laura Hackett joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in June 2023. Originally from Florida, she moved to Asheville more than six years ago and in that time has worked as a writer, journalist, and content creator for organizations like AVLtoday, Mountain Xpress, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a degree in creative writing from Florida Southern College, and in 2023, she completed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY's Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. In her free time, she loves exploring the city by bike, testing out new restaurants, and hanging out with her dog Iroh at French Broad River Park.