A different kind of leadership

“I’ve spent my career standing up for the powerless against forces of oppression. I’ve seen and understood firsthand the triumphs and struggles of the people of Buncombe County, and I know they seek change. I feel called to represent our youth, including my teenage children, to stand up for my fellow working class people, and stress urgency in our efforts in this great state that I call home. The time has come for law and bold policy changes that benefit all of us who live here – not just for the privileged few.”
— Ben Scales

The people of the Blue Ridge Mountains deserve leadership that understands the unique and urgent needs of our region. All North Carolinians face injustices in our political system from the corrupting influences of Big Money, including tax cuts for the wealthy, paid for by cuts to education and health care. Poor, marginalized communities are being left behind as wealthy interests distort economic rules and inequality grows.

We need to strengthen the consciousness in Raleigh that healthcare is a right, climate change needs rapid solutions now, education is for everyone, gender is a spectrum, immigrants are welcome, domestic violence won’t be tolerated, women are equal, agriculture and innovation is vital, elections should be fair and voter registration automatic, the cash bail system, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs must end. As a candidate and elected official Ben will support this movement, from the bottom up, by connecting deeper throughout our community, listening to their needs, and bringing them to the table.

Service - Inclusion - Action

For the past 17 years, Ben has been a community advocate and activist with a long track record of service. As an attorney, he has represented the underrepresented, often pro bono, such as protestors and activists associated with Occupy Asheville, Asheville Black Lives Matter, Southerners On New Ground, and Veterans for Peace; long-time law-abiding folk suffering needlessly from the consequences of long-ago convictions, and dozens of victims of domestic violence, securing permanent protective orders for them and their children. In his free time he’s actively involved with causes and organizations he cares deeply about, and as a musician, he shares the stage with the region’s elite talent.

Why now?

Ben will bring a working-class sensibility to the job of representing this district in the NC Senate through demonstrated commitment to service and to progressive policy goals. He’s drafted legislation to legalize medical cannabis, which has been introduced in every session since 2008. He will bring the vision and change our that community, and our state, need.

We need progressive leadership to counteract and reverse the years of bad policy and malfeasance by Republican control in Raleigh. We need large investment and pragmatic solutions to western North Carolina problems, like the urban-rural divide and isolation due to the absence of adequate transportation and communication infrastructure.

We need a proven veteran of the cannabis law reform movement to ensure the eventual re-legalization of cannabis works to protect the rights of growers, distributors and consumers alike, while maximizing the economic, medical, and environmental benefits of the industry.

We need someone who will champion policy proposals such as the Green New Deal, universal health care, free fully funded public education from pre-K through College, electoral reform, immigration enforcement reform, and criminal justice reform.