Asheville City Council identified a diverse community as 1 of 8 key focus areas in the 2036 Vision City Council crafted in January 2016.
In support of this focus area, Council set aside money in the City’s 2016-2017 budget toward equity efforts. This includes the hiring of an Equity Manager. This position would be dedicated to helping the City achieve meaningful progress by evaluating delivery of programs and services and its decision-making on how to expand equity.
As part of the City of Asheville’s efforts to expand equity, residents are being asked to weigh in on the specific skills necessary for an Equity Manager position to be successful.
Staff held a public input meeting to discuss this position Dec. 13 at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center. Another one is planned for 6–7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Shiloh Recreation Center, 121 Shiloh Road.
In addition, residents can weigh in on the City’s online engagement platform Open City Hall Asheville. If you can’t make it to the Dec. 20 meeting and would like to make your views known, log on and share your perspective there.
Models already exist for creating meaningful equity in local government. In 2006, the City of Seattle implemented what is seen as the first practical effort for a municipality to address institutional racism with its Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative. North Carolina municipalities that have followed their lead to promote racial equity include Durham, Greensboro and Raleigh.
The plan is to have the Asheville position filled by May.
How to participate
Visit Open City Hall Asheville to give your input online. Registration is quick and easy, though not required to participate. Registration does help verify local input vs. feedback from out of state, for example. Your information is not shared with a third party.
And remember, you can also give your input during a meeting 6–7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Shiloh Recreation Center, 121 Shiloh Road.