Hello, friends! My name is Andrew Fletcher and I’m one of your choices on the ballot this spring. I live in the West End Clingman Avenue neighborhood (WECAN) between River Arts District and Downtown. I’ve got a roommate to share rent and expenses, six chickens in my backyard and I’m a Senior in Economics at UNC-Asheville. I graduated from AB Tech in 2008 and have been playing piano around Asheville and beyond since 2010 with the Firecracker Jazz Band as well as many others. Busking in downtown was a big help with paying my bills when I was starting out as a musician, and when the city threatened to regulate busking out of existence in 2014, I worked with many other buskers to form the Asheville Buskers Collective and was able to help lead the fight against the city. Thanks to the united front from the Asheville Buskers Collective and tremendous support from the community, the city backed down. That’s where I got my taste for working on public policy and community organizing.
After that I was asked to bring a Busker’s perspective to the Haywood Page Advisory Team, and I was elected to be the Chair and Spokesperson of the group. We were tasked with sorting out what had been one of the most divisive issues in the city. I found there that the best way to lead was by listening, and when we were done we had gotten 16 vastly different opinions to unanimously agree on a single vision, which was accepted unanimously by City Council. That’s where I learned I was capable of tackling big, divisive issues and getting a good result for the community.