Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP News – September 2017

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy Photo: Bruce Kennedy

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy
Photo: Bruce Kennedy

by Carmen Ramos-Kennedy –

Plan to attend the 74th State Convention of the NAACP October 5-7, 2017 in Raleigh, NC.

The theme for this year’s convention is “Forward Together Not One Step Back: For Justice We NEVER Sound Retreat!” The new president of the NC State Conference of NAACP will be elected at that time. If you have any questions and/or concerns about the convention contact

As some may know, our conference is losing the outstanding leadership of Rev. William Barber. He has helped organize and has accepted the leadership of the new Poor People’s Campaign that will roll out in 20-plus states over the course of the next year or so. The Asheville Branch will be in coalition with the Campaign. Stay tuned for more about it.

On Voting

We thought the issue of Voter ID in NC was resolved – lots of tax dollars went to help the majority party fight for their previous draconian efforts. NC NAACP and other coalition partners, fought hard and won in the courts for exactly the opposite. There seems to be no stopping the majority party in Raleigh in their effort to disenfranchise voters.

We have heard that yet another attempt will be made to make Voter ID the law in NC in the not-too-distant future. Please stay tuned to learn more about the Rapid Response actions to push back on the legislature. We will be posting about Voter ID on our Facebook page and how all citizens can help turn back this next round. Go to

Municipal elections are quickly approaching; the Primary is Oct. 10th. We trust that all Urban News readers are registered to vote at their current address. If not, please contact us at Municipal elections are quite possibly the most important elections. Sadly, it’s the time with the most abysmal turnout.

There are several really good candidates running for City Council. This is the chance for citizens to vote for the people they believe will best look after residents interest such as public education, affordable housing, living wage jobs outside of the tourist industry, service delivery interests such as water, waste management, recycling and public transit; maintenance and/or improvements of parks, roads, sidewalks and bike lanes.

We will be voting for people who determine City tax rates and Asheville City School taxes. If you have issues or concerns, and don’t show up to vote, you cannot complain about the city not addressing those concerns!

Advocating for Children

The Branch president had the opportunity to briefly meet the new Asheville City School Superintendent, Denise Paterson, and Asheville’s first-ever Equity and Inclusion Manager, Kimberlee Archie; the goal is to meet for more in-depth conversations with both.

We welcome Ms. Paterson and Ms. Archie to Asheville and wish them success in their efforts to provide a quality education to our children, and to promote equity and justice for all living in, and being served by, the City of Asheville.

Last month’s Knowing Your Rights: Advocating for Children Attending Public Schools in NC special programming will have a follow-up later this month.

De-escalation Training

Earlier this year, Asheville Police Department officers underwent de-escalation training prior to the release of the revised use of force policy; your president was among folks from a wide swath of the community that helped formulate the revised policy. APD’s de-escalation training program is an adapted version of PERF’s (Police Executive Research Forum) ICAT (Integrating Communications and Tactics) Training, and is one of the first to implement this training currently being piloted throughout the country.

Late last month, several members of the community from the policy-formulating group, including your president, participated in a condensed version of the new de-escalation training officers have taken. It was a notable positive transformation from the previous training taken by group members. The new training was described as “different as night and day” by one group participant.

Asheville Buncombe County NAACP regular monthly meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Hill Street Baptist Church, 135 Hill Street in Asheville.


The Asheville-Buncombe NAACP, Branch #5363, meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Sanctuary of Hill Street Baptist Church, 135 Hill Street in Asheville. For information:; Buncombe County NAACP, PO Box 2881, Asheville, NC 28802​;

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