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Asheville Joins Ranks with Most of NC’s Largest Cities

Raleigh, N.C.- After operating a City Council election process that has gone fundamentally unchanged since 1935, I am pleased that the citizens of Asheville will now employ an election system that will offer a stronger voice for more of its citizens.

The most populated cities in NC have previously converted to a system that incorporates some form of districted elections. With the passage of S813 Asheville can now benefit from an increased candidate pool, accountability of council members to a specific geographic area, and a clear understanding by the citizens of where they should turn if they have concerns.

I am excited that this laborious and sometimes controversial matter appears to be behind us. It is my sincere hope now that I, the Asheville City Council, and the entire Buncombe County Legislative Delegation may work together to turn our attention to other matters of concern for the citizens of Asheville.

I often hear of, and I recognize the challenges that Asheville faces to confront our growing population and infrastructure needs. I look forward to work with all involved to help us face these challenges.

Background:

S.L. 2017-83: Equal Representation for Asheville was passed by the legislature in June of 2017. The law called for the drawing of six City Council districts to be used during municipal elections. S.L. 2017-83 gave the city of Asheville and its government the flexibility to draw its own districts and present a copy of the districts by November 15, 2017. Asheville failed to provide these districts to the General Assembly therefore implementing Section 4 of the law.

S813: Asheville City Council Districts passed both chambers and become law on Thursday June 28th. The bill provides 5 city council districts and 2 at-large seats. No current city council members are double-bunked. This bill also moves Asheville’s elections to November in even-numbered years and eliminates the primary for city council races.

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