It's Finally Official!
On Tuesday December 5, 2017, joined by my family, I was officially sworn in to serve on Asheville City Council. Thank you all again for your help and support. Here are my remarks at the swearing in.
Thank you, Mayor. Let me first say how humbling it is to be sitting here. I was the first in my family to be born in this country and I grew up in Asheville. I owe so much to this city and to this country and I’m thankful to be in position where I might be able to give something back to those who are here and those who will come after us.
Thank you to the voters of Asheville for electing me and also to all of my volunteers, especially Pat Deck. I wanted to recognize my mom who is in the audience as well as my wife Anne, my daughter Rose and my son James who supported me. I’m also very honored to be joining this group of Council members. I greatly respect you and also wanted you to know that I voted for each of you when you ran.
I ran to ensure that all of our residents go to sleep each night feeling safe, fed, healthy and valued and to make sure that we were addressing the needs of all of neighborhoods, that we have rational and responsible development policies and that our local economy is diverse and resilient so that wages will improve and people will have opportunities to better their lives. It’s time to translate these words into actions.
This Council takes office at a very difficult time in our nation’s history and with many people in Asheville struggling and worried. The issues that we face are incredibly complicated and we can expect little help and probably some roadblocks from Washington and Raleigh. But that’s not going to stop us from addressing them. If we need to find new ways of doing things, we will. If we need to find new partners, we will. Having met so many talented and dedicated people who work for this city and who live in this area, I’m convinced that there’s no reason why Asheville can’t be a national leader. We’ll find better ways of tapping in to that energy and should hold ourselves to that high standard.
There’s a great deal of responsibility on our shoulders, but I would not bet against this Council or the people of this City to answer the call. For me, saying that I will work to leave our City a better place isn’t just a trite phrase but a promise to those two little faces sitting right there and thousands like them in Asheville. I think that’s true for those sitting around this dais as well. These are not normal times and I want this Council and this City to be remembered as one that when called upon, we did not let our communities down, our nation down, or our families down. I’m looking forward to getting to work.