Chattanooga is undergoing an abundance of gentrification and it’s moving people out of their home and remodeling them into homes they aren’t able to afford. Property is being developed forcing long time residents of District 8 out. Therefore, we are increasing our homeless population and see people flea our city due to not being able to afford the cost of living with the tax increases. I do believe this issue with Quality/Affordable housing is very complex. However, I certainly believe this can be addressed by re-evaluating the policies we have in place. I urge we look into expanding the diversity of our housing, finding ways to continue to grow our employment with more livable wages , and look into the way we are forming our zoning.
Economic Development for the People
With the facts present above, we aren’t able to provide housing for most people in district 8 anymore because of the very limited jobs. District 8 is BOOMING with businesses. I want to partner with more of our local businesses and create more opportunities for people in need of employment. To be able to provide an income for our people. Something I want to bring to Chattanooga is ways to create some form of minority and low poverty employment opportunity to open the possibilities of business growth here in District 8.
Continuing the efforts in place due to COVID-19, helping our lower income families gain access to internet in homes that typically do not have it is integral. Continuing to help with navigating technology to help kids continue their education and seeking out employment opportunities. This can bring tremendous growth to the unemployment and the long over due wage stagnation.
Over the last few months, the community has not felt safe. This is a hot topic right now in the society we live in. In District 8, there are areas that are heavily policed and have community members who are afraid of the police. My solution to this comes in two forms. Having sat down and personally reviewed the budget, I do believe there are parts of the Chattanooga Police Department that should be diverted. I would love to use those funds cut from the budget to help better our community and allocate funds to organizations to fulfill that. I also would love to partner with (CPD) and come up with better training procedures on how we believe we should look at the training of the police and start to monitor who we are allowing to have the badge.
Community safety is key to developing a strong and secure city. Unfortunately, heavy policing and law enforcement measures in our district do little to help our communities feel safe, and in some ways even reinforce feelings of insecurity in our neighbors and fellow citizens. Because this issue is so necessary, it requires a multifold solution. Research and data show that the best way to reduce crime and strengthen community safety is by investing in our citizens. After reviewing the budget, I believe that there are exciting opportunities to reallocate funding into the communities in proactive ways. Looking at our budget through a lens of positive and strength-based solutions rather than punitive and negative reactions is a long term and sustainable way to create a safer city - not just for us, but for future generations. Thoughtful community planning that allocates our resources based on research and data driven measurable goals that have been proven to increase community safety through preventative actions is one part of the solution for our city. Secondly, by partnering with the CPD to have open and honest conversations between law enforcement and community members we can increase accountability and improve our current police force. This includes pushing for better training for officers, policy reforms that reflect restorative practices, and community accountability for officers. Creating collaborative relationships between our law enforcement officers and our community servants (social workers, therapists, educators, etc) will help our law enforcement officers develop more holistic, empathetic, and respectful practices in regards to our community members.