2022–A Year in Review

In 2022, Just Economics continued our fight for economic justice centering the voices of people most impacted. Among an on-going pandemic, high inflation, and the economic impacts of Covid 19, we worked together with low-wage workers, bus riders and drivers, tenants, partners, and allies to continue to have an impact on our community.

Over the past year at Just Economics, we worked to…

  • Welcome 3 new staff members—Claire Clark, Eric Smythers, and Lane Green
  • Work with our fabulous board to update our strategic map, helping to shape the pathway ahead
  • Host another great year of Just Brew It!

As part of our Policy Advocacy work, this year we…

  • Successfully advocated for living wages for Asheville City and Buncombe County employees·        
  • Joined partners in hosting the first bilingual candidates’ forum in our county
  • Successfully advocated for a raise for city bus drivers

Through our Grassroots Education and Engagement work we…

  • Graduated our first in-person class of Voices for Economic Justice since before the pandemic
  • Built up our strategy teams –the Affordable Housing Strategy Team, Better Buses Together and the WNC Workers’ Assembly
  • Hosted Public Budgeting Workshops and Poverty Simulations

With 0ur Living Wage Certification program we…

  • Newly certified more than 65 employers paying a living wage even as the Buncombe County Living Wage has risen to $17.70/hr
  • Led the National Living Wage Network, planned a national retreat, and took a lead role in organizing International Living Wage Week in the US
  • Hosted our first Employer Networking event since the pandemic began

This year, the Affordable Housing Strategy Team also…

  • Worked with the Affordable Housing Strategy Team on the beginning of our People’s Agenda on Housing
  •  Partnered with Pisgah Legal Services to launch Tenants’ Rights Workshops and begin our Tenants’ Network
  • Continued to build out our Centralized Rental Application for release in 2023

Our Better Buses Together group successfully worked to…

  • Host Transit Riders’ Assemblies
  • Advocate for changes to communication and signage
  • Work on advancing transit in the County and reimagining public safety at the Asheville Transit Center

Just Economics is the convener for the WNC Workers’ Assembly, which…

  • Took the lead in organizing a powerful May Day picnic, parade, and rally
  • Joined in solidarity actions supporting workers with Asheville Food and Beverage United, the National Nurses Union, Starbucks Workers, and Raise Up NC
  • Hosted a Workers’ Rights Training and Film Screening

Our affiliate, the Living Wage Coalition of Transylvania County…

  • Newly certified 7 employers paying a Living Wage
  • Recertified the existing list of Living Wage employers in Transylvania County, bringing our total to over 60
  • Began work on a Paid Family Leave campaign

Together with our partners, we helped to…

  • Launch the Buncombe Benefits Cliff Calculator
  • Work with the Racial Justice Coalition and Urban 3 to dig into the inequities in tax assessment
  • Work with partners in local, statewide, and national coalitions like the local Success Equation and the statewide NC Families Care Coalition
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