September 18: Democracy in the Park 2018

On Sunday, September 30th, community members are invited to Democracy in the Park, a public gathering at the Carrier Park Pavilion from 12 – 6 pm. Democracy in the Park is a convergence space for community members to engage with local activist and organizers about City government, how it works, how it could be improved, and to discuss with each other ways to expand public participation in the process. All are welcome.

Too often in today’s world the only options presented for participating in our democratic process are getting out to vote, making calls and writing letters to elected officials, or participating in some form of street protest. These activities are essential parts of our current democratic system, but there is a wide range of activities outside of voting and protesting from which most people are excluded. Democracy in the Park is the place to explore those opportunities together. Read more>>>

April 25: Asheville Nonprofit Proposes Nature Should have Legal Rights

Under the current structure of law the natural world (excluding humans) is considered “Property” and so has no inherent rights. Individual people and the collections of people we call Corporations have rights under the law (e.g. the right to freedom of speech) but the rest of nature does not – it is property. This is not the case in some other countries and now organizations in the US are working to advance the Rights of Nature here. Two leading lawyers in this movement, Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil, will be hosting a workshop in Asheville, Saturday May 19th, 1-5pm, in preparation for the launch of Asheville’s Community Bill of Rights which will include the Rights of Nature. Read more>>>

September 27: WNC residents rail against Duke rate hike, MountainXpress

A huge banner drop across from the Buncombe County Courthouse signaled Asheville’s rejection of Duke Energy Progress’ plan to raise rates almost 15 percent.

“Go 100% renewable. No rate hikes for Duke’s dirty energy,” read the banner activists dropped from the roof of the Buncombe County parking deck on College Street prior to a Sept. 27 N.C. Utilities Commission public hearing on the proposed rate increase. A lineup of 44 speakers echoed those sentiments over the course of a nearly four-hour hearing, one of five across the state before a Nov. 20 evidentiary hearing that will determine what energy customers will see on their bills come January. Read More>>>

Suzannah Park leads Street Theater Rally in Asheville

September 27: Protesters speak out against proposed Duke Energy rate increase, WSPA, 7 NEWS

Dozens of people gathered Wednesday evening in Asheville to protest a proposed rate hike by Duke Energy. The rally, organized by a non-profit Community Roots, started at the Vance Monument before protesters and others attended a public hearing by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

September 27: Opponents of Duke Energy Rate Hike Speak Out At Hearing, Blue Ridge Public Radio

Opponents of Duke Energy’s plan to raise monthly rates close to 17% packed a public hearing in Asheville Wednesday night.  The North Carolina Utilities Commission is holding a series of public hearings across the state to get ratepayer reaction to Duke’s plan. Read More>>>

Opponents of the rate hike hung this sign from a parking garage across the street from the Buncombe County courthouse where the hearing took place

September 27: At public hearing, proposed Duke Energy rate hike meets vocal opposition, Citizen Times

Dave Hollister, co-founder of Sundance Power Systems in Weaverville, called the company’s proposal “predatory delay,” saying its impact could be “catastrophic.” Hollister suggested Duke develop a cohesive vision of the clean energy grid of the future while taking personal responsibility for the coal ash it created. “This is flagrant predatory delay factor and all of these types of predatory delay are forms of cost shifting,” he said. “We are putting these costs on future generations.” Read More>>>

Suzannah Park leading the rally before the Rate Hike Hearing

September 18: Street Theater Rally Against Duke’s Rate Hikes September 27

The North Carolina Utilities Commission, the government body tasked with regulating Duke Energy’s activities in NC, is holding a public comment session on Wednesday September 27th 7-10pm. Community Roots, an Asheville based nonprofit, is organizing a Street Theater Rally and March starting at the Vance Monument at 5pm. Duke Energy is requesting a 16.7% rate increase from residential customers to cover, amongst other things, cleanup of their coal ash and the construction of new gas-fired plants including the one in Arden. Community Roots and its partners believe the public must take advantage of this opportunity to voice their opinions to the Commissioners and Duke Energy. Read More>>>

Street Theater Rally opposes Duke’s Rate Hike Request

September 5 2017: New Proposed City Ordinance Fights for our Rights to a Healthy Climate

“When it comes to our energy future, who has more rights: one large energy monopoly, or the combined citizens of Asheville?” asks Jamie Friedrich, an organizer with local nonprofit Community Roots. You probably guessed correctly. Corporations have been seizing power all over this country, with disastrous effects upon our air, water, and land. Our pro-corporate, heavily Republican state legislature currently has the power to pre-empt any local laws that are in conflict with the corporate agenda. But people are organizing to challenge that, thanks to the work of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) who have been working on Community Rights since the 1990s. Read More>>>

June 29 2017: Community Rights Movement Promotes Local Sovereignty

At the July 4 Independence From Fossil Fuels gathering at Lake Julian, many T-shirts and signs will ask “Who decides?” Who determines what kind of energy will power our city? Right now, the answer is “Duke Energy decides.” Duke (the largest electric utility in the U.S.) is a monopoly, so even if Asheville residents want solar, wind and other renewables, the company can build plants that burn fracked gas and raise our electric rates to pay for them. This would lock us into years of dependence on fossil fuel when environmental leaders worldwide are calling for giant steps toward renewable energy to stave off climate disaster.

June 14 2017: Asheville becomes First North Carolina City pass Resolution Calling for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

 Asheville, NC – On June 13th 2017 the Asheville City Councilors passed a resolution supporting a State goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050, or sooner, in all energy sectors. It references the Stanford and UC Berkley study lead by Dr. Marc Jacobson, that concluded the US energy supply could be based entirely on renewable energy by 2050 and 80% by 2030 using current technologies while creating green jobs. The resolution acknowledges the inordinate impact of fossil fuel use on communities of color who are often more likely to be exposed to pollution and suffer cancer and asthma. Read More>>>

June 12 2017: July 4th Action on Lake Julian Demands Independence from Fossil Fuels

Asheville, NC – This Independence Day, July 4, 2017, climate activists and concerned citizens will peacefully protest Duke Energy’s construction of a gas-fired power plant in Arden, NC. Local nonprofit, Community Roots are organizing the lake-based event to ask that the City of Asheville and Buncombe county be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050 in accordance with House Resolution 401 introduced to the NC state legislature in March 2017. Read More>>>