Responses to Children First Questionnaire
What else should the City do to meet Strategic Focus Area 2, Goal 2: "Improve citizen equity by reducing disparity gaps with an emphasis on education and socio-economic mobility?"
I’m running for City Council to increase affordability and opportunity because those are our greatest needs.
Education - Leverage funding for afterschool and summer learning programs in low-income communities; partner with ACS to expand pre-K.
Affordable housing - Increase the affordable housing trust fund. Increase density. Mandate inclusion of affordable units in new developments.
Transportation - Expand access to reliable transportation by continually improving the bus system and funding new elements like Sunday service. Pursue TDA funds.
How can the City support the health and well-being of residents and address racial health disparities?
Public safety, education, transportation, recreation, and healthy food access are five ways the city can support the health and well-being of residents and address racial health disparities. Direct funding to afterschool and summer education programs to address the achievement gap and provide nutritious food. Continue to improve our transit system, and connect neighborhoods to schools, parks, and jobs. Rebuild the Walton Street pool as safe place to play, exercise, and gather. Continue funding of APD’s Public Housing Unit.
What can the City do to close education achievement gaps and promote school readiness?
As the mother of a two-year-old, I think about school readiness a lot. Early childhood education is proven to prevent an achievement gap and prepare children for success. Hall Fletcher added pre-K this year; let's expand to more schools.
Afterschool and summer learning can reduce achievement gaps. Let's use nonprofit and governmental partnerships plus CDBG funding to expand afterschool and summer programs.
Because the state has dramatically cut funding, we must work creatively and strategically to serve our children.
What is the role of City Council in addressing the affordability of Asheville for those that live and work here?
For our community to thrive, the private and public sectors must create affordable housing and living wage jobs.
Council can and must lead on the creation and preservation of affordable housing for residents through policy.
Increase the Affordable Housing Trust Fund allocation, returning it to .01 of every $100 of property tax value. Increase our density. Mandate affordable units as a portion of all new development. Encourage our private sector to come to the table and partner with government and non-profits.