Children First Voter Guide 2013
Voter guide for Buncombe County and Asheville, NC compiled by Children First.
The N.C. Voter Bill of Rights If anyone tries to deny you these rights when you vote, call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-866-522-4723 1. Hours: Each polling place is open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Election Day. If you are in line or inside the polling place by 7:30 PM, you must be allowed to vote. 2. IdentIfIcatIon: In general, you do not have to show identification to poll workers when you vote. However, if you are a first-time voter who registered to vote by mail or who gave the form to another person to deliver, ID may be required. It makes sense to take a form of ID: a current NC driver’s license or one of these documents with your name and current address: utility bill (electric, gas, phone, water, cable bill), pay-stub/W-2, bank statement, or a license, permit or other document from any government agency. 3. ProvIsIonal Ballot: If any problem arises, you have a right to vote with a Provisional Ballot. Ask for a Provisional Ballot if you believe you registered but your name is not on the rolls; or if you question the voting district (or ballot) assigned to you; or if you are told you’re in the wrong precinct. You must also be given a way to find out if your Provisional Ballot counted, and if not, the reason why it did not count. 4. If You Move: If you have lived in your new home more than 30 days, you have the right to vote in your current precinct. If you have lived there less than 30 days, you should vote in your old precinct or cast a provisional ballot in your current precinct. If you have moved within your precinct, you have the right to update your information at the polls and vote. 5. naMe cHange: If your name has changed, you have the right to vote, even if you have not reported your name change to election officials. Voters with Disabilities Sometimes access to your regular polling place can be difficult. If so, you may want to use Early Voting instead, since all Early Voting sites must be completely accessible. But if you prefer to vote on Election Day, you can vote from the curb without leaving your car. Polling places have a special spot for curbside voting near the front entrance. Simply pull up and wait and a poll worker will come out to assist you. (Usually, voters entering the polls will alert the poll worker that a car is waiting.) Before you go to vote, you may also want to check the accessibility of the polling place by calling the local Board of Elections or the State Board of Elections at 1-866-522-4723. You have the right to request another permanent polling place before the election if yours is inaccessible. Remember, if you go to your polling place and find it is inaccessible, you can vote at any other polling place in the county by asking for a Provisional Ballot. For more information on disability rights in NC, call Disability Rights North Carolina at 1-877-235-4210 (voice) or 1-888-268-5535 (TTY) or visit www.disabilityrightsnc.org. Page 4 6. sPoIled Ballot: If you make a mistake and “spoil” your ballot, you have a right to a new ballot. 7. assIstance: You have the right to assistance from a family member or, if you have a disability, from any person of your choice, except your employer or union agent. You can also receive ballot instructions in Spanish. 8. curBsIde: If the polling place is inaccessible to you due to a disability, you have a right to vote at the curb, in the vehicle you came in, or at the door of the polling place. (See “For Voters with Disabilities” below left.) 9. ex-felons & MIsdeMeanants: You have a right to vote if you are in jail for a misdemeanor or if you are an ex-felon who has completed your sentence (including probation) and re-registered to vote. 10. IntIMIdatIon: You have a right to vote without being intimidated or forced to vote for anyone you don’t wish to vote for. You have the right to take this Bill of Rights into the voting booth with you as well as a copy of this Voter Guide. Election Protection Make sure every vote counts: Be a part of Election Protection! True democracy means every voter is respected and every vote counts. To make sure the 2013 election is fair, you can be part of a national effort called Election Protection. Election Protection is a coalition of national and state organizations that train local volunteers, monitor elections and help voters who encounter problems or see suspicious activity at polling locations. Based on the information it receives, Election Protection can quickly dispatch lawyers to talk with election or court officials and insist that all election laws are followed and voter’s rights are respected. You can volunteer to help in three ways: 1. Be a poll monitor who receives training to look for possible problems; 2. Help staff a hotline in North Carolina that relays problems to lawyers and others; 3. Tell others about the Election Protection Hotline and tell them to call if they have problems: 1-866-OUR-VOTE. To volunteer or to report a problem or suspicious activity, call the toll-free Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer Occupation: Asheville City Council, Attorney Website and/or Facebook page: ManheimerforMayor.com Qualifications or volunteer history : City Council Member, Attorney, Masters in Public Administration, 2012 Most Valuable Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Award, Pisgah Legal Services, Past Meal on Wheels Coordinator 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? Create Jobs. Asheville enjoys the strongest job growth and lowest unemployment rates in the state. However, we need better jobs that lift people out of poverty. I will continue to provide strategic leadership to implement job creation policies that reflect our vision and values, and improve quality life for all. Provide Leadership and Service. I am a positive person who will continue to work collaboratively with the community and council to increase safety, affordable housing, student success, and food security. Provide High Quality Services. The city must provide high quality services that offer both short- and long-term benefits, such as public safety and infrastructure, carbon footprint reduction and community vibrancy. 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? Addressing poverty and education are the key components to improving the lives of children and youth in Asheville. I have and will continue to support programs where the city has partnered to provide needed services such as the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA), after school programs, and summer programs. In addition, public safety is a requirement in improving the lives of children in our community. I support Asheville’s goal of being the safest city in America. And, as a mother of three, I know the importance of having safe sidewalks, streets and clean parks for our children to enjoy. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? The current city council's adoption of the complete streets policy has already resulted in great advancements and will have a lasting positive impact on our community and our infrastructure. I am proud to have been a leader on adopting this policy and I will advocate for follow through on our commitments. The complete streets policy recognizes that we should and must share transportation corridors with pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and vehicles. Funding of multimodal infrastructure improvements is achieved through a variety of resources including parking revenue and tax revenue, but, ultimately, Asheville’s long-term fiscal strength through continued community investment must be maintained in order to ensure funding of these projects. John Miall Occupation: Retired City of Asheville, NC / Health and Risk Management Consulting and Public Speaking Website and/or Facebook page: miallformayor.com www.facebook.com/MiallforMayor Qualifications or volunteer history : 30 Years City Service; United Way, Red Cross, Family Services, A Children’s Place and Girl Scouts Boards; City Civil Service Board Chair 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? (1) Invest in infrastructure in lieu of Museum “gifts.” Streets and Sidewalks crumbling and not maintained at present. We need to return to basics, then luxuries like museums. (2) Invest in our “core” services including Police and Fire. In the 2013-14 Strategic Goals Council has listed Goal #1 to make “Asheville one of the safest cities in America.” We are failing miserably based on just released crime statistics. Asheville is the ONLY major city in the State showing an INCREASE in crime rates. With 30 positions unfilled presently at APD, we are not adequately protecting the citizens of Asheville. Line staff are stretched to the limit. 3) Leadership and Accountability. 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? As Mayor I would ask Council to empanel a Task Force of LOCAL volunteers to examine the possibility of improving school nutrition by buying local organically produced foods, and couple that with leveraging our existing health and wellness resources in the community to build nutrition and activity opportunities for young people. Asheville is blessed with a world class health system, physicians and integrative health professionals who together can build a healthier future for our young people. I believe from my professional experience in health and wellness we can act locally to significantly reduce the incidence of juvenile diabetes and other chronic health conditions that plagues our nation. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? I was appalled at Council raiding the multimodal CIP at their meeting on 9-10-13 of $850,000.00 to partly fund the Eagle Market Street Project. Did Council not know the Eagle Market Street need was coming at them a few weeks ago when they adopted the budget? I strongly support expanding Sunday Bus service, and further expanding bus service to MAHEC so sick, elderly, and expectant mothers do not have to walk nearly .2 miles up hill from Biltmore Ave. for care. Council’s previously stated reason that MAHEC is “outside the City limits” is moot since we already run busses to Black Mountain which I believe is outside the City limits. Page 5 Asheville City Council Cecil Bothwell Occupation: Publisher/writer Website and/or Facebook page: cecilbothwell.com Qualifications or volunteer history: Incumbent. Multiple volunteer organizations over several decades. 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? Local energy independence, multi-modal transit, protection of civil liberties. 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? The core problem for children is lack of parental income. Most of our societal woes emanate from that source. There is no way for the City to directly help (other than Living Wage requirements for contractors, now banned by the General Assembly.) We can help a little with affordable housing and frequent, affordable transit options. After-school programming at Rec centers is a benefit, but not a cure. Legalization of marijuana would go a long way toward keeping families intact, though that, too, is beyond the City's purview. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? I have called for a Bond referendum, so Asheville voters could choose to support infrastructure improvements. Our current budget takes advantage of debt retirement and directs new borrowing toward improvements. We are still far short of our needs. Addition of main route half hour service has been a significant improvement during my first term. The cell app for tracking buses has helped as well. I advocate a late night collector, so late shift downtown service workers can get home. I cast one of two “no” votes on the 51 Biltmore project pointing out that the same money would have built a core trolley system to serve all of downtown. Go to www.VoteBuncombe.org Find out how the candidates answered questions about access to healthy food, affordable housing, local development and more! Page 6 Mike Lanning Candidate did not provide information on occupation, website or qualifications/volunteer history 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? (a) Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Asheville's Leadership: Leadership demonstrated by working with others is a must, both here locally with its employees, local governments and our elected officials in Raleigh. Transparency will bring accountability. (b) Public Safety: There must be changes in the Asheville Police Department. Leaders must be held accountability and staff philosophy must change. Retention issues must be addressed. APD currently is 32 officers short in the Patrol Division and 10 plus short in the Dispatch Communications Center. The officers safety as well as the public's safety must be a priority. (c). Economic Development: Recruiting new business and control wasteful spending. 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? I am a native of Asheville and even when I was young there was not much for the youth to do in Asheville. There was several things that kept me out of trouble when I was a teen. Little league baseball, city swimming pools and a mentoring relationships by law enforcement officers.The city's Park and Recreation department is our greatest resource to utilize for keeping our children busy and involved in team building activities. The community centers in asheville also serve the same function. Our police officers utilized through programs like Police Activity League (PAL) and other youth programs can positively effect future relations with our youth. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? One of the best improvements to local transit is occurring soon by including Sunday bus service. That can be improved on by looking at other routes that are currently not being utilized. One of the biggest problems for the commuting public is parking downtown. This is a problem that has been around for a long time in downtown Asheville. Buncombe County built a parking garage which helped with the problem near the Court House for county employees. It's time the City of Asheville looked at locations like the city owned parking lot on the lower south side of the city hall building and lower east side of the Asheville Police (candidate reached the 110 word limit). Asheville City Council Gordon Smith Child and Family Therapist Website and/or Facebook page: gordonforavl.com facebook.com/groups/GordonForAVL/(Also Twitter: twitter.com/GordonForAVL and twitter.com/ gordondsmith Serving first term on City Council, Serving on Housing & Community Development Committee, Transit Commission, Public Safety Commitee, and more, WWC and WCU graduate. 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? Growing Asheville’s middle class: More living wage jobs, more Asheville can become more independent and resilient as we contend Task Force to examine ways of helping our homegrown small and medium sized businesses grow, and we’ve been successful in bringing good jobs to Asheville with Linamar, New Belgium, GE Jonathan Wainscott Website and/or Facebook page: www. wainscottforcouncil.com and Elect Jonathan Wainscott for Asheville City Council (facebook) 15 year Asheville resident, mentor for “at-risk-kid” at AMS, soccer coach, guerilla street cleaner, whip-smart 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? to the City School System and establishing Asheville as the premier 2) To improve the level of maintenance of our infrastructure and civic services for the safety and benefit of our residents and live here. “checkbook” online so that everyone can see exactly how money is being collected and spent every day. that includes Sunday Transit Service. 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? We can repurpose community centers to meet the needs of youthReaching out to community experts in childhood development, we can address our achievement gap while strengthening neighborhoods and giving kids a chance at a great life. I’d like to contract with independent groups to provide programming geared toward City idealism should extend to all members of our community. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? middle class. Transit In the last four years, despite being in a deep major routes, adding dozens of bus stop shelters. Now the economy is showing signs of warming, and we should add Sunday Transit Service. Greenways and other modes- We’ve added miles of sidewalks, bike This is at the heart of my top priority. Currently, Asheville Municipal water is sold to large manufactures at the rate of $1.69 per ccf after the first 1000 ccfs sold in a month. This is less than a quarter of a cent per gallon of water, while the retail price of the same water sold in grocery stores is over $1 per gallon. Asheville needs to capitalize on its natural resources to earn a profit outside of our taxation structure. By buying water from the municipal system, and reselling wholesale to water bottling facilities, Asheville can turn a profit that would be directed at supplementing funding for our school system. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? that they already exist; they’re just over grown, specifically along along the banks of the French Broad River, I can personally attest to the fact that the Wilma Dykeman Riverway could be brought by the City of Asheville and RiverLink, and all that is needed to generate more use of the space is simple access and basic landscape maintenance. We also need to clear streets and sidewalks of Page 7 Asheville City Council Gwen Wisler Occupation: Owner of Asheville Profits, a business consulting practice where the clients pay for services by volunteering time to a local non-profit Website and/or Facebook page: www.gwenwisler.com Qualifications or volunteer history: Former CEO of the Coleman Company, the camping gear company, and of numerous other companies. My problemsolving skills and financial expertise will assist City Council. .1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? • Improving our revenue base You can get involved in local government! • Getting our infrastructure back in shape · Improving access to all modes of transportation 2. How can the City utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth in the City? We can focus on providing an environment where their parents will have living wage jobs and access to reasonably priced housing. We must focus on the achievement gap between lower-income students and higher-income students in our schools; maintain open dialogue with the school system. We should continue to improve our parks and green spaces so that children have safe places to play. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit, greenways, and other modes of transportation and how would they be funded? The City had originally allocated a significant amount of funds to multi-modal transportation in its budget; I will strive to preserve those funds to improve connectivity. Voter ID Information Unless there was a problem when you registered, you will NOT be asked to show a government photo ID in 2013. But you will need a government photo ID to vote in person in 2016. Page 8 You don't have to be elected to shape local policy... Both the City of Asheville and Town of Black Mountain establish a variety of boards and commissions to provide input on policies that shape their government and communities. Examples of issues that appointed boards and commissions address include: zoning, parks, housing, planning, transportation, greenways, and health. Board members and commissioners generally serve as unpaid volunteers, but the rewards can be gratifying: members meet other residents with similar interests, they learn about their city, and they help shape the future of their community. • To learn more about Asheville's boards and commissions visit Asheville City Boards & Commissions at www.ashevillenc.gov/ Departments/CityClerk/BoardsCommissions • To learn more about Black Mountain's boards and commissions visit the Official Site - Town of Black Mountain, NC at www.townofblackmountain.org/ boards&commissions Black Mountain Mayor Larry B. Harris Michael Sobol 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? 1. If elected, what will your top three priorities be during your term? First priority is to maintain and plan for healthy infrastructure in terms of our Town’s essential assets and services. This includes proper staffing and salaries. Second is to maintain and plan for our greenways, parks and recreation and continue the good work that has been carried out by leadership in prior years. Third is to maintain the work of out going Mayor Carl Bartlett to actively work in our community and in the county and region to recruit and facilitate business growth consistent with our Town’s character and long term plans. To finish the greenway system that Michael Blaine and I designed in 1994. To finish the Town Square project that we started 4 years ago. To continue the success that this board has developed over the past 2 years in rectifying old problems while laying the ground work for new projects. Candidate did not provide information on occupation, website or qualifications/volunteer history Candidate did not provide information on occupation, website or qualifications/volunteer history 2. How can the Town utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth? We improve the lives of children and youth by having good infrastructure, a well maintained greenway system, parks and recreation and sufficient business growth to maintain the health of our Town. Smart government provides a framework for the welfare of all of our citizens. Black Mountain is one of a few small towns with a fully staffed recreation dept. Casie and his staff teach sports to various age groups as well as workshops on health, fitness,gardening etc. We need to build a canning shed at the community garden and expand the opportunities to other kids and their families. We are in process of hiring a town planner who will focus some of his time to helping provide clear and simple ways for citizens to conserve energy. By teaching the parents, the kids will also learn how to conserve and hopefully use the extra money for the family betterment. 3. What are your ideas for improving transit greenways, and other modes of transportation and how they will be funded? 3. What are your ideas for improving transit greenways, and other modes of transportation and how they will be funded? The Town of Black Mountain’s Greenways Commission and Housing Commission are both involved in these efforts. Our Greenways have progressed wonderfully over the past few years under the leadership of the current elected officials and the Greenways Commission. We need to continue their fine work. Transportation in town and traffic flow and in particular an exchange off of I-40 need to remain a high high priority and require a particular amount of attention from the next mayor of Black Mountain. We started the bus system to Asheville 8 years ago and it's use is growing. We need to foster a public private partnershipto help expand the service with more routes, more trips and more shelters Privat the new stops. The money that the Asheville bus system gets from DOT can be better spent in financing smaller old school buses and get away from running the expensive large buses of Asheville. We need to finish the greenway system we started 15 years age. 2. How can the Town utilize resources to improve the lives of children and youth? Go to www.VoteBuncombe.org Find out how the candidates answered questions about access to healthy food, affordable housing, local development and more! Voter ID Information Unless there was a problem when you registered, you will NOT be asked to show a government photo ID in 2013. But you will need a government photo ID to vote in person in 2016. Page 9 Election Day is Tuesday November 5 Vote early at any of these locations October 17 â€“ November 2, 2013 Early Voting Locations Dates Hours Election Services Thursday Oct. 17 - Friday Nov. 1 8:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m. Asheville Mall Saturday Oct. 26 - Friday Nov. 1 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. South Buncombe Library Saturday Oct.26 - Friday Nov. 1 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. West Asheville Library Saturday Oct. 26 - Friday Nov. 1 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. North Asheville Library Saturday Oct. 26 - Friday Nov. 1 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Please Note: Saturday Nov. 2 - ALL SITES-8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Election Services closed on Saturday Oct. 19 â€˘ No Sunday Voting www.votebuncombe.org Read more online. Find out how the candidates answered questions about access to healthy food, affordable housing, local development and more! www.votebuncombe.org Children First/Communities In Schools is a local non-profit that provides programs to economically disadvantaged children & families. These include: Family Resource Center at Emma, Latino Outreach, Learning Centers, CIS Success Coordinators, Project POWER/AmeriCorps, Advocacy/Community Engagement. Children First's mission is to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education and services. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. To find out more go to www.CFCISofBuncombe.org. Democracy North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, for the people and by the people. We envision a government where barriers to vote or serve in public office are removed. We want people to have confidence in their political system and feel ownership of their government, and we want elected officials to represent and respect the diversity and interests of the people they were elected to serve. To find out more go to www.democracy-nc.org.