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Today is Election Day in Asheville!
 
Today's the day! The Asheville municipal elections for mayor and city council are today, Tuesday, November 7th. Local politics is incredibly important in shaping community issues, from infrastructure and public transit to education and policing. For many of our WNCAP clients, who rely on public services to stay housed and healthy, local elections are paramount.
 
Who Am I Voting For?
 
A few different offices and issues are on the ballot today. The primary elections for candidates were held on October 10th, and now the top vote getters are campaigning to win in the general election, today. The candidates for Mayor of Asheville (pictured below, left to right) are incumbent Esther Manheimer and challenger Martin Ramsey.
 
 
The candidates for City Council (pictured below, left to right) are: Vijay Kapoor, Sheneika Smith, and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler (top row), and Dee Williams, Rich Lee and Kim Roney (bottom row). Voters will choose one candidate for mayor and three candidates for City Council.
 
 
Want to find out more about where the candidates for mayor and city council stand on key issues? Check out the 2017 Asheville Voter Guide.
 
In addition to choosing candidates, voters will decide on a controversial referendum that would change the current at-large structure of the Asheville City Council to a series of six single-member districts.
 
Where Do I Vote?
 
Voting locations are set up across Asheville. Buncombe County has set up a great tool where you just type in your address and it tells you where your assigned voting location is, in addition to who all of your state, local, and federal elected officials are.
 
 
When Do I Vote?
 
Today's the day! Polls are open from 6:30am to 7:30pm.
 
What if I'm not Registered to Vote?
 
The first thing to do is check whether or not you are already registered. Look up your status here. Unfortunately, there is no same-day voter registration in North Carolina. You can participate in Early Voting and register on the same day at the polling place, but not on Election Day itself. But make no mistake: the 2018 elections will come up sooner than you think, and it's not a bad idea to register to vote right now so you can participate next year.
 
Convicted felons who are currently serving their sentence, including probation or parole, may not vote. However, once the sentence or probationary period has been completed, all voting rights are automatically restored. No special document is needed. More detailed information about the voting rights of people convicted of crimes can be found here. 
 
 
 
 For more information about early voting, voting locations, and voter registration, visit the Buncombe County Election Services website. Remember - change starts at home! Local politics matter.
 
AIDS Memorial Quilt
Volunteer Docents Needed for WNCAP's Exhibit of the AIDS Quilt
 
 
From November 20th-25th, WNCAP will be exhibiting portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel. In order to protect the Quilt, we need volunteers to act as "docents" for two hour shifts. It's a great opportunity to pay tribute to those who have been lost due to AIDS-related causes, as well as learn more about the Quilt and to help educate others.
 
If you'd like to find out more about volunteering, reach out to Chris Winebrenner at WNCAPvolunteer@wncap.org or by calling (828) 252-7489 ext. 315.
 
Public Health Crisis
A Personal Message From Michael Harney
 
Take a minute and watch this personal appeal from WNCAP Prevention Educator Michael Harney about the importance of contributing to the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville.
 
The opioid epidemic is the defining public health crisis of our time. Along with addiction itself, the epidemic has resulted in a spike of new Hepatitis and HIV cases - especially in rural areas, where resources are low and stigma is high.
 
WNCAP is on the front lines of the opioid crisis, and our Needle Exchange Program of Asheville (NEPA) helps reduce new cases of Hepatitis and HIV. But government funding is unavailable for sterile syringes, and demand is high. That makes the support of members of our community all the more crucial.
 
The WNCAP Needle Exchange fundraising campaign has reached a third of our goal. But we're a long way from being able to provide consistent harm reduction supplies. We can't do this alone. Please donate today so that you can be on the vanguard of the Harm Reduction Movement in Western North Carolina.
Spirit of Giving
WNCAP Seeks Donations of Clothing for Homeless Client
It's hard enough living with HIV and not having stable housing. On top of that, if you have a unique body type that makes it difficult to buy clothes, it can really be a tough go. One of our WNCAP clients is in exactly that situation. He is very slender, with a 27 inch waist, and that makes it hard for him to find pants that fit. 
 
If you can help us out with any size small shirts, jackets, or sweaters, and especially with pants with a 27-30 inch waist, please let us know. You can email Case Manager Norma Canada Smith, call (828) 252-7489, or just stop by the WNCAP office at 554 Fairview Road in Asheville.
 
Merry & Bright
The WNCAP Holiday Gift Drive has raised over $1,000!
 
 
The holidays are coming up fast, and a lot of members of our community are already getting into the spirit of giving.
 
Merry and Bright, the WNCAP Holiday Gift Drive to provide our clients' children with presents, is off to a joyful start. Already, over $1,000 has been raised so that low-income children in our community can have a merry and bright holiday.
 
Are you feeling the spirit of giving? Please donate now so that every child in our community can have a joyful holiday season, regardless of income.
 
Save the Date
November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance
 
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
 
TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
 
You can see the harrowing list of people being memorialized this year here.
Federal Policy
GOP Budget Resolution Calls for Massive Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid
 
Tax reform is the hot topic on Capitol Hill right now. The
Republican tax plan, called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act", pursues cuts in the corporate tax rate and personal income taxes for wealthy Americans.
 
Without as much fanfare, however, Republicans in Congress also passed a budget resolution earlier this month (which many representatives demanded as a precursor to tax reform) which calls for massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. This budget resolution does not have the force of law. It is a set of recommendations that lays out an ideal budget.
 
It is important that our voices be heard. Please contact your federal elected officials and tell them that no budget or tax plan is acceptable if it limits people's access to lifesaving health care. That is not what this country is about.
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
http://wncap.org
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