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Councilman Young proposes Green New Deal for Asheville
Wednesday, 01 January 2020 14:22

From Staff Reports

A local “Green New Deal” — including what he said would constitute the state’s largest “community” solar farm and a renewal of the 1970s “dollar-a-lot” program to help lower-income residents buy homes — is being proposed by Asheville City Councilman Keith Young.

Young made the proposal, a porpourri of environmental and economic programs, in a November release to the Citizen Times and a Dec. 3 Facebook post. 

“He said the deal was modeled on federal legislation proposed in February by lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, to combat climate change and boost poorer Americans economic status,” the ACT reported.

“We need tangible efforts to strengthen our climate resilience, get more people riding the bus, and prepare families to move from a position of surviving to thriving with better jobs, better homes, and better lives,” Young said in a statement.

However, the ACT noted, “It’s unclear, though, what support the deal will get and what changes it would undergo if enacted. 

“A majority of the council didn’t respond or declined to comment when asked if they supported it. 

“Young said he will likely seek the council’s backing at its annual retreat, usually held in February or March. Public feedback may lead to changes before then, he said.”

Also, the ACT reported Young as saying, “I hope it’s a living, breathing document.”

What’s more, the newspaper noted, “While some items have costs attached, the deal’s overall price is unknown.”

Councilman Vijay Kapoor, in the aftermath, has noted the “lack of specificity of what it would cost,” the ACT stated.

“Young said after costs are calculated, the city could borrow money with different types of bonds. One type of borrowing, a general obligation bond, would rely directly on property taxpayers.

“One proposal, making the city bus system fare free and increasing service, would be covered by $1 million in county government funds, according to a proposal by Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Brownie Newman, who is up for re-election in 2020.,” the ACT noted.


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