Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Public Pressure In Asheville Squashes State-Imposed Local Election Changes

City council members.
Max Cooper
/
Courtesy of the Asheville Blade
Asheville City Council file photo.

The people of Asheville successfully fought against an effort from the North Carolina state legislature to change how the city’s local elections were run.

The General Assembly passed a bill last year that eliminated primaries, mandated the use of voting districts and pushed back municipal elections. Previously Asheville local elections were “at-large,” meaning citizens were able to vote for all open Council seats and for the mayor. The at-large system yielded the most African American representation on the Asheville City Council in decades. Despite public protests against these changes, local elected officials did nothing for months. This fall, after mounting public pressure, the City Council held a vote and restored elections to previous parameters — except for municipal elections, which are delayed and will now be held on even years.

Host Frank Stasio talks to David Forbes about this story and how the changes impact Asheville politics. Forbes is the editor of the Asheville Blade, a progressive online news organization.

NOTE: This program originally aired November 19, 2019.
 

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.