Asheville does end run around NC law to avoid district elections

Even at the end, the infantile act of defiance included not a one rational argument or explanation in its defense.

Not a single Asheville City Council member uttered a single word as they voted to imprison citizens in an electoral system that limits minority representation, protects unresponsive politicians, and diverts focus from core services to citywide vanity projects.

The only Council member to speak last night before the vote was Vijay Kapoor - who also cast the lone dissenting vote:

 

This is cowardice and arrogance. An abdication of leadership.

This being an At-Large system, all six of those silent elected officials represent me. And not a single one of them deigned to offer an explanation of why this At-Large system is of greater benefit to the citizens.

In a district election system (which they rejected last night), this sort of mute behavior tends to get you a primary challenge - which is probably why they don't want to see one implemented. The current system provides cover for crummy council members - insulating the unresponsive and strengthening the powerful.

According to the National League of Cities, 44% of cities our size use At-Large voting. The rest use districts only (31%) or a mixture of both (25%).

The NLC notes: "At-large elections tend to be more popular in small cities and more affluent areas."

Why do you think that is? FairVote.org explains:

"At-large systems allow 50 percent of voters to control 100 percent of seats, and in consequence typically result in racially and politically homogenous elected bodies."

Last night's vote was a move to protect the incumbent power structure. It was a vote for themselves. Not for the citizens.

Pete's Prep: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019

  • WRAL reports: NCDOT paid almost a million dollars for a report on how to save money
  • From amNew York: Tate McQueen is now an Uber driver
  • FOX News: "Speculation is growing that Hillary Clinton will make a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race after reports published Tuesday said members of the Democratic establishment doubted any of the party’s current top candidates can beat President Trump next November."
  • Also from FOX News: "A group of sex offenders in Georgia is suing the Butts County Sheriff’s office for posting “No Trick-or-Treat” signs on their homes. The Butts County Sheriff said he is using the signs to keep kids safe, but the sex offenders argued they are a violation of their rights to free speech and privacy."
  • WLOS: "Nicole Townsend, a 29-year-old organizer and community activist, announced her candidacy for Asheville City Council... Townsend, running on public safety, education equity, and environmental justice, is the third candidate to announce for the 2020 municipal race."

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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