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Who Does Ashe County Work For?

I was graduated from Northwest Ashe in 1983.

 I went to ASU, but I left there with an MRS. instead of a BS

I want y'all to know now, 

 It took me 18 years to get out of this hellhole… 

about a month to get homesick 

and another 18 years to~~~ finally at last~~~ get home! 

I love this place and its people with all my heart. 

It’s part of me just as I am part of it. 

To paraphrase Stephen Vincent Benet 

 “when the last moonshiner buys his radio, and the last, lost, wild-rabbit of a girl is civilized with a mail-order dress, something will pass that was (Ashe county) -Stephen Vincent Benét 1928

That something HAS  passed y’all, 

We are tasked with making peace with this fact. 

Ashe county is growing in ways we could never have imagined ! 

The world has found us, It’s not altogether a bad thing. 

Well … except maybe when your dog trees about 2am over on yon ridge and you can’t get to it because someone fenced in a one acre lot and put up a gate…  

 But I reckon we ARE starting to get  used to that a little bit aren’t we?

Anyway, We are a unique place with some of the most extraordinary people in the world ! 

I just want to make sure that as we grow, we aren’t leaving the folks who belong to Ashe county behind!

I have experienced first-hand Ashe County’s classism, the interaction between the “haves and have-nots”, 

Now we are faced with an influx of “have-a-lots”

and the chasm gets broader. 

 I do remember,      with fondness,     the good stuff that was here  before we got “discovered” 

And the bad. 

Ashe county could then, and still can be,  a pretty  harsh place to live. 

I am running for County Commissioner because I want to see Ashe County at the table.

All of Ashe County. 

I want for everyone in Ashe county to be able to claim the dignity that is due every human being. 

No matter who your daddy was.  

How many times have you ended a conversation with  "now that we've solved all the problems of the world…

 Problems which don’t get addressed because they are only seen in glossy reports full of

statistics,  demographics, just a bunch of numbers with no faces, no young’uns, no mamaws and papaws, no real people 

It is so important that the focus begins to be turned on the people who belong to Ashe County ! 

Why do we continue to make people choose between making a living  and living here ?  

Why is 800 a month considered low income housing and $8 an hour considered adequate pay?

Why do some of our  most vulnerable citizens have to live in substandard housing?

Why do we have to go off the mountain to get treatment for substance misuse disorders ? 

Where is the opioid money? 

 Is it EVER going to reach the people who have truly been hurt by this scourge? 

A public health emergency that was deliberately brought to us and other places like ours?

OUR PEOPLE were systematically turned into a product.

They sucked us dry and here we are to pick up the pieces? 

How many families do you know who are affected ? 

Our folks aren’t provided with a way to fight their substance misuse because some are still making money off perpetuating the myth that addiction is a moral failing instead of a physiological disease.

The damage is multigenerational and we have to come at it with both barrels and begin to heal. 

WE NEED that money invested in this community. 

We need jobs that we can live on and live with! 

We need places to live!

Ashe County belongs to the people who belong to Ashe County 

Let’s give those people a voice. Let's work for the people who have been waiting for too long

The speech I gave to the Ashe County Wildlife Club on Feb 19, 2024 Nancy Beth : )

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