Effective progress for a vibrant and sustainable Knoxville. 

Knoxville’s next chapter is innovative, equitable, and united. It will require empathy, creative solutions, and effective progress. More than anything, it will require moving forward together. 

THE ISSUES

Vibrant 1st District

A vibrant South Knoxville and Fort Sanders is an asset for all of Knoxville. Just a few years ago, South Knoxville and Fort Sanders seemed to be an afterthought. Bridges and businesses closed. We lost a Disc Exchange, Emery 5 and 10, and barber shops. Smart investments in Cumberland Avenue, the Urban Wilderness, and South Waterfront connect us by rivers and creeks, trails, bike lanes, and great neighborhoods. The result is a better quality of life for all residents, and we must continue with thoughtful investments that serve historic neighborhoods.

Much needed improvements on Chapman Highway will play a critical role in connecting residents in South Knoxville but also improve the quality of locally-owned businesses. New affordable housing, a lively downtown Vestal, and expanded park and trail network all lie ahead. We can do this. With any luck, we can find a solution for kudzu too.

Everyday Economics

Investing in people is just as important as investing in places. If we support local businesses, we all win, because they are the most sustainable fabric of our local economy.

Small business apprenticeships with high schools. Rapid transit corridors and public transportation to good jobs. Empowerment grants to Black-owned businesses. Innovation districts for entrepreneurs. Housing navigators. Permanent supportive housing. Homeless-to-work programs.

All of these ideas point to better jobs, reduced poverty, and a better quality of life. And, we are making progress on theses ideas now.

Housing Navigators at United Way help people find housing. 100Knoxville provides grants to Black-owned businesses to grow and hire more people. The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center provides resources that make for a Maker City full of startups.

But we can do more. Everyday economics is about empowering people to find real, life-giving opportunity and supporting Knoxville small businesses, and we can do so responsibly to respect the tax-paying residents we represent.

Safe and Strong Neighborhoods

Knoxville is a diverse community, and communities that work together win. Dedicated funding for sidewalks, greenways, and stormwater, and equitable zoning codes all make neighborhoods stronger.

We also need adequate funding for our fire and police departments, those that put their lives on the line for us, including improved training, recruiting, police community relations, violence intervention, and body cameras.

Sustainable zoning for historic neighborhoods like Fort Sanders requires careful development. Public health, public safety, and public access provide joy for every neighborhood. Every neighborhood deserves its own investment that is of, and for, its residents. This inclusive growth requires a community-out approach that results in investment without displacement.

Sustainable Knoxville

Our natural resources are second to none, and we need to increase efforts to provide open green spaces, reduce waste, transform brownfields, preserve natural tree canopy, and keep our creeks, rivers, and streets clean. New programs such as our Tree Mitigation Bank, Tennessee RiverTowns, and a City and County litter reduction plan can both enhance the quality of life for residents and attract new ones.

Preserving our natural resources also leads to economic development. The Urban Wilderness is a great example of how making life better for Knoxville residents also brings visitors. Some of those visitors become residents in other ways, such as new green tech businesses at UT Research Park and partnerships with ORNL, both of which can lead to good jobs for Knoxvillians.