Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Black Asheville Demands demanded that the City acknowledge a past and a present that has caused harm to the Black community.

We heard you. 

Since June 6, City Council has voted to remove or repurpose the Vance Monument, passed a resolution supporting community reparations, and passed a budget that only funded departments for three months so that City staff could work with the community to reimagine public safety.

The work to fund departments for the rest of the budget year relies on your input.

We have contracted with community facilitators Shemekka Ebony and Amplify Community Consulting to hear your ideas for how public safety in Asheville could be improved before any future budgetary decisions are made. You can participate in virtual community meetings, in-person drop-in sessions, or through an online questionnaire which will be posted on September 3. You can find more information on these opportunities below. 

Intentional efforts will be made to connect with people who are most impacted. Being out in the community with paper copies and survey links will be an important part of the strategy. We are always learning.

These are the groups currently identified as most impacted:

Behavioral Health Service Providers

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Business Communities

City of Asheville Police Department Staff


People Without Housing

People Who Have Mental Illness

People Who Live in Public Housing

People Who Have Relationships with Officers

People Who Suffer from Addiction


Service Providers

Victims of Crime


Please know that we realize this is only the beginning. We are committed to the ongoing work that will be needed by all of us in the coming months and years to reimagine public safety in Asheville.



March on June 6

Before you open the questionnaire, please watch this short introduction from City Manager Debra Campbell.

After the video ends, scroll down to find the link to the questionnaire.


Reimagining Public Safety - Questionnaire

 The City of Asheville is reimagining public safety, and we need your help!  Please answer the following questions to help us understand ways that our current public safety structure is working...


Posted Oct. 8, 2020

The responses to the multiple-choice questions are available on this Google Data Studio Dashboard.  This information is not meant to be interpreted as a vote or as a representative sample of our residents. While ALL comments to open-ended questions were released on Sept. 18, data discrepancies due to platform issues required an analysis of multiple choice questions to identify responses that were not impacted by the technical glitch. There are 5301 validated responses represented in the dashboard. For more detail on the technical challenges see here.

In this first stage of engagement, the multiple choice questions were intended to 1) gain an understanding of how respondents feel about safety in our community 2) get an idea of where to start with exploring new partnerships in the delivery of public safety services and 3) through the demographic questions, get an understanding of who is missing from the conversation.

The dashboard includes responses to the following questions:

  • Question #1 - Do you feel safe in your community?

  • Question #3 - Multiple choice questions for How important is it for the Asheville Police Department to perform specific services

  • Question #6-#12 - Demographics

Data .csv file of multiple choice question responses.

A CSV file containing free-text responses to the open-ended questions 1, 4 and 5 is available here.

Posted Sept. 18, 2020


Consultant's Narrative Report

Consultant's Summary Report

Online Questionnaire Responses Part 1 (responses to open-ended questions)



The online responses were compiled through the platform. Responses are still being analyzed and work is being done to make sure there are no duplicate responses or data discrepancies due to technical difficulties that could have impacted numbers reported.

The participation of 5797 people has been confirmed out of the initial report of 11,522 participants.  Work continues as staff reviews the data to make sure duplicates and discrepancies are addressed. The total number of respondents may turn out to be slightly higher than 5797.

With a commitment to transparency, all responses for the open-ended questions are being released today, Friday, Sept. 18. The responses to these questions were in the form of comments. Again, duplicate responses may be reflected in these comments. More information is outlined below.

The responses to the multiple-choice questions will be posted in the next two weeks once the deeper analysis of the data, which includes researching duplicates and discrepancies, can be completed. More information about the multiple-choice questions can be found below.



Question #2 - Describe what your safe Asheville would look like. What do you think is needed to help you feel safer in your community. 

Question #4 - What additional questions are not being asked on this topic?

Question #5 - Who’s voice is missing representation

Question #15 - What is your zip code

In addition to the information from the Consultant’s Report, information from the online questionnaire was used to inform the first round of budget recommendations to be made at the Tuesday, September 22 City Council meeting.  Initial impressions indicate the themes identified in the consultant’s virtual sessions are similar to the themes in the online questionnaire.

The comments suggest that many people are strongly supportive of the delivery of police services and there are many who are deeply concerned with how those services are delivered.



The responses to the following multiple-choice questions will be posted in the next two weeks once the deeper analysis, which includes researching duplicates and discrepancies, can be completed.

Question #1 - Do you feel safe in your community?

Question #3 - Multiple choice questions for How important is it for the Asheville Police Department to perform the following services

Question #6-#12 - Demographics



Staff will continue to analyze the data to reveal opportunities to be explored in the next phase of this re-imagining public safety initiative which will begin in the next couple of months as work begins on the Fiscal Year 21-22 budget process.

Posted Sept. 8, 2020


Technical Issue: we have heard from some participants that they had challenges responding to the survey on Sept. 8 and early morning Sept. 9. First, please accept our deepest apologies. 


In an effort to make anonymity as easy as possible for all, a solution was tested on Sept. 8 that would automate anonymity for this survey. Prior to the test, those participants who had previously registered with Public Input needed to take an additional step to maintain anonymity. 


The test resulted in a few glitches that made it difficult for some users to understand if their comments had been submitted. We have researched and confirmed that if the “Finish Survey” button was clicked, responses were captured.


We removed the auto anonymity solution this morning, Sept. 9, and have received reports that the challenges are no longer being experienced. Thank you to all who called in or submitted emails noting this glitch.

Posted Sept. 3, 2020


The City of Asheville is reimagining the ways public safety services are delivered! We encourage you to give us your input over the next few weeks as we consider how our public safety services can better promote racial equity and economic inclusion. See below for virtual community meeting dates, in-person drop-in sessions, and a link to the online survey.

Meet the Facilitators

Photo of Shemekka Ebony


Shemekka Ebony Coleman, MS, Founder of Shemekka Ebony, Founder of Black Girl Magic Market, Co-Founder I Am Brilliant and the CROWN Campaign, Raleigh, NC

Shemekka Ebony, parent and partner of our #BrilliantBunch, is a 100 Million Healthier Lives Health and Racial Equity leader, Faculty at PLE Institute, Faculty at IHI, and a Johns Hopkins’ Health Policy Research Scholars Leadership Coach, an initiative funded by Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Shemekka is committed to expanding awareness about policy transformation in the areas of hair discrimination, racial equity, health equity, and economic equity with marginalized communities and emphasis with Black Women. I Am Brilliant is her flagship organization and engagement strategy dedicated to connecting all the threads that weave through communities in order to provide people better access, honor their experiences, and institute best practices for sustainable partnerships. She consults several Community and National organizations for best practices in community engagement. She also serves as state advisor to North Carolina Black Women’s Roundtable as well as convener of Black Women vendors and entrepreneurs seeking economic power and inclusion through her Black Girl Magic Market platform. Her life's work guides her community engagement expertise with I Am Brilliant & the CROWN Campaign. 

shemekka logo

photo of Christine Edwards


Christine Edwards, MPA, Founder and Principal for Amplify Community Consulting

Established in 2018, Amplify Community Consulting is a minority-owned consulting firm located in Charlotte, NC. The firm consists of professionals experienced in multiple disciplines, including community outreach planning, community development, marketing, communication, and local government policy. They work with governments and nonprofits to enhance their community engagement capacity and increase awareness of special projects by hosting public meetings and workshops, specifically for capital projects and community developments. They also offer civic engagement tools and resources for community leaders as well as local government education resources. Amplify Charlotte is a proud project of the Emerging City Champions Fellowship 2018. They are a registered MWBE vendor with the State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte, and a HUB Certified Business. Though Amplify Charlotte specializes in community outreach planning and place-based outreach initiatives, they have professional experience with priority-setting, stakeholder interviewing, public opinion polling and internal (employee) engagement that improve the quality of life for community residents and stakeholders. 

amplify logo

Upcoming Community Meetings

We want to hear your ideas for how public safety in Asheville could be improved. All community members are invited to the following meetings. We will incorporate your feedback into future budgetary decisions.


Listening Session #1
DATE: Tuesday, September 8 
TIME: 12:30-2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Virtual - Join by phone or online

Click to here register for this session


Listening Session #2
DATE: Wednesday, September 9 
TIME: 12:30-2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Virtual - Join by phone or online

Click here to register for this session


Listening Session #3 plus Civics 101
In addition to the listening session, participants will also learn about City operations, who's responsible for what, and how you can get more involved in the community. 
DATE: Wednesday, September 9 
TIME: 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Virtual - Join by phone or online

Click here to register for this session


Listening Session #4
DATE: Thursday, September 10 
TIME: 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Virtual - Join by phone or online

Click here to register for this session


Listening Session #5
DATE: Friday, September 11 
TIME: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - NOTE: this session was extended by 30 min.
LOCATION: Virtual - Join by phone or online

Click to here register for this session


Listening Session #6 - In-Person Drop-In Event
This event will be conducted in 30-minute intervals to provide adequate safety for all attendees. Use the registration link to let us know what time you plan to attend! We will provide interactive experiences to learn about current public safety measures and imagine what our future public safety could look like. All attendees are asked to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will have masks and other PPE available.

DATE: Friday, September 11 
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.
2:40 - 3:10 p.m.
3:20 - 3:50 p.m.
4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

LOCATION:  Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center - 133 Livingston Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Click to here register for this session



February 4, 2020 ....... Chief Zack is hired and takes deeper steps to continue implementing 21st Century Policing strategies. 

May 25, 2020 .............. George Floyd is killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

May 29, 2020 .............. Asheville community members join the nationwide protests.

June 6, 2020 ................ Organizers from Black Asheville Demands present a list of demands to Police Chief Zack, City Manager Debra Campbell, and Mayor Esther Manheimer during the March in Memory of Black Lives Lost to Police Violence.

June 9, 2020 ................ City Manager Debra Campbell and Chief David Zack present to Council and the community a 30/60/90 Day Work Plan that outlines a schedule of when City staff would start working on items identified by the community.

June 26, 2020 .............. The Boards and Commissions Committee, made up of three City Council members, vote for the formation of a joint task force with Buncombe County for the removal or repurposing of the Vance Monument.

July 14, 2020 ................ Asheville City Council unanimously passes a resolution supporting community reparations for Black Asheville.

July 30, 2020 ................ Asheville City Council adopts a budget that allows for only three months of operational expenses for each department to provide time to hear from the community on reimagining public safety. Staff commits to bring budget revisions back to Council in September. The budget revisions will fund departments through the rest of this fiscal year which ends July 31, 2021.

August 7, 2020 ............ The City of Asheville requests proposals for facilitating small community group meetings to Reimagine Public Safety within the City of Asheville.

August 18, 2020 .......... Shemekka Ebony LLC and Amplify Community Consulting are chosen to receive the contract due to their significant experience in facilitating community conversations around racial equity, economic inclusion, and public safety.

September 3, 2020 ..... Online survey opens, community leaders with connections to groups of people who are most impacted are invited to meet with consultants.

September 8, 2020 ..... Community meetings begin to help the City determine how to reimagine public safety. A train the trainer session will also be scheduled for this week and offered to a small group of community leaders with connections to groups of people who are most impacted.

September 22, 2020 ... City Manager Debra Campell will present budget revisions and possible organizational changes to Asheville City Council after hearing input on reimagining public safety from the community.

Nov/Dec 2020 .............. The conversation with the community will continue as the City moves into the 2021/2022 budgeting process.