Asheville City Council

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council Tuesday approved $2.1 million for the reparations fund for the city's Black community.  But what the money will be spent on is still unknown, as the 'truth telling' sessions the city is holding to determine what form reparations will take continue throughout June.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council held its annual retreat earlier this month at Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.  The whole event was open to the public, but only after a lawsuit that was filed by five media outlets - Mountain Xpress, Asheville Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Carolina Public Press, and AVL Watchdog. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

UPDATE 9:00 A.M. - The city of Asheville will now live stream most of city council's two-day retreat.  The live stream, which can be viewed here or on the city's YouTube channel, will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and continue through all-day Thursday.  The team-building exercise, which was at the center of a lawsuit brought by five media organizations, will not be live-streamed.  Those wishing to watch it live must do so in-person at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Removal of the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square can move forward after a Buncombe County judge denied a motion to halt it Monday.

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday evening to remove the Vance Monument from its spot in the city's main public space, taking away the 65-foot obelisk which has stood in what is now called Pack Square since 1898.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council is scheduled to take a vote Tuesday on whether to remove the 65-foot Vance Monument from downtown's Pack Square.  The decision will culminate a years-long push to remove from Asheville's main public space the obelisk which is dedicated to North Carolina's Civil War Governor and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction, who fought against civil rights for Black Americans.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council Tuesday approved new rules for future hotel projects, ending a nearly one-and-a-half-year moratorium on the construction of new hotels in the city.

Reparations, Six Months Later: So Far, Empty Promises

Feb 5, 2021
Juanita Wilson / Buncombe County Special Collections, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, NC

Six months ago, as part of a reckoning on racial injustice, the City of Asheville and Buncombe County both passed resolutions to consider reparations to the Black community as a way to begin making amends for slavery and generations of systemic discrimination.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday night to accept the recommendation from a task force to remove the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.  But many questions remain before the 65-foot obelisk is taken away.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

A task force appointed by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County commissioners voted Thursday to recommend the removal of the 65-foot high Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Five candidates are running for three seats on Asheville City Council in the current election.  While there are differences on a variety of issues, there is one topic the majority of candidates agree on, and it deals with changing the duties of council members.

BPR News Presents: 2020 Local Election Special, is a production of the Blue Ridge Public Radio news team.  It's three segments include an interview with Buncombe County elections director Corinne Duncan, and portions of two candidate forums done on the BPR Facebook page - for Asheville City Council, and for

Asheville Equity Advocates Resign Amid Racial Reckoning

Oct 2, 2020

The CEO of the YWCA of Asheville has quit, becoming the second Black woman in a month to leave a high-profile job with a mission of improving racial equity in the city.

Libby Kyles resigned Sept. 18, a little more than a year after being selected to run the century-old women’s organization whose primary role is racial justice.

Her departure follows the resignation of Kimberlee Archie, the city’s first  equity and inclusion manager, who left in August.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

(UPDATE 10:45 p.m.) Asheville City Council Tuesday night approved a roughly 3% cut to the city police department’s budget.  The plan was crafted after council members delayed approving a full city budget after a group of Black activists sought cuts in police spending, with money being reinvested in Asheville's Black community.  

Matt Bush

Asheville City Council appointed attorney Antanette Mosley to a vacant city council seat Tuesday.  Mosley will fill the seat Vijay Kapoor resigned earlier this summer after he and his family moved away from Asheville.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The 12 members of the task force that will determine the future of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville have been chosen.  By the end of the year, the task force is scheduled to determine whether to the remove the 65-foot obelisk from Pack Square and relocate it, or leave it in place and repurpose or recontextualize it.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council approved a 3-month budget Thursday, essentially delaying the decision on whether to cut the city’s police department budget and by how much until September.  

Cory Vaillancourt

There are 435 elections this fall in the United State for the House of Representatives.  North Carolina’s 11th district will be unique in at least one way – candidates will be talking about reparations.  That’s because Asheville city council voted earlier this month to start the process for reparations to the city’s Black community.

The official date of Asheville city councilman Vijay Kapoor’s resignation is significant in how his seat will be filled.  As it stands, Kapoor’s colleagues will pick his replacement - not the public.

Residents of the city of Asheville can apply starting next month for the upcoming vacancy on city council created by the resignation of council member Vijay Kapoor.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Artists on Sunday completed a mural that spells out 'Black Lives Matter' in Pack Square around the now shrouded Vance Monument, which sits near where historians believe enslaved people were sold prior to the Civil War.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution supporting reparations for the city’s Black community.  Details of what shape those will take will come over the next year.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County removed a memorial to Confederate soldiers that stood outside the county courthouse early Tuesday morning.  It's the second Confederate monument to be removed this month in downtown Asheville after Asheville city council and Buncombe County commissioners approved such removals last month following a week of protests calling for racial justice.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council at its next meeting Tuesday will vote on a resolution that calls for reparations for Asheville's Black community.  The move comes after a strong push from the Racial Justice Coalition, which sought to get the matter on the council agenda for Tuesday.

BPR

Scaffolding is going up around the Vance Monument as the city prepares to shroud the 75-foot obelisk in Pack Square in downtown Asheville.   

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Asheville city council approved a resolution that calls for the removal of two Confederate monuments, while creating a group to decide the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square.  The Buncombe County board of commissioners will also vote on the resolution at its next meeting this coming Monday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will meet on Tuesday evening.  It's the first meeting since last week's protests, which culminated with a list of demands from a collective of black leaders from city government, which included cutting funds for the city police department and using the money to invest in the black community.

Candidate filing in North Carolina for the 2020 primary election ended on December 20th.  The primary will be held on March 3rd, 2020.  The deadline to register to vote on that day is February 7th, 2020.  There is no same day registration on primary day.  There is same day registration during the early voting period before the primary.  Early voting for the 2020 primary election runs from February 13th to 29th.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the primary election is February 25th, 2020.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council members meet for the final time in 2019 Tuesday evening, and lawmakers will take up a resolution that calls for a climate emergency to be declared by the city.  While the resolution calls for action but offers no policy, a set of wide-ranging legislative proposals around climate change could be in front of lawmakers early next year.  Their sponsor refers to them as a local 'Green New Deal', patterned after the similarly-named plan introduced in Congress this year two Democrats - New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey.

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