Providing More Resources To Fuel Small Business.
The majority of jobs in the US are created by small business, yet our state and local governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars on tax breaks and incentives for huge corporations. Some of these breaks are justified, but many are not. At the local level, our city government should be focused on helping small businesses thrive and prosper. Dollars earned locally are spent locally.
Identifying Livable Wage Jobs That Do Not Require A College Degree.
One of the things that I frequently hear from employers is, “There are plenty of jobs. People just don’t want to work.” Well, I want to put this opinion to the test. Let’s create a database of jobs that pay a livable wage (at least $15/hour) that do not require a college degree. I believe that people want to work and provide for their families. Let’s do a better job of connecting the people who need jobs with the businesses that have them.
Provide Job Skills Training That Leads To Job Certifications.
There are many jobs that don’t require a college degree, but do require some sort of professional certification. These jobs include construction trades, environmental sciences, technology, etc. Many people could increase their earnings capabilities with just a little extra training. We have to make sure that workers understand and can take advantage of these certification opportunities.
Make CARTA Free To Ride For All Passengers And Reroute The System.
One of the main reasons cited for not looking for work or being able to keep a job is the lack of affordable, reliable transportation. One of the first things that I will do as Mayor is make all CARTA buses (except the Incline) free to ride for all passengers all the time. Currently, revenue from fares only covers 11% of CARTA’s operating expenses. We can easily produce revenue from other sources to make up this relatively small amount. Also, the CARTA system needs to be rerouted so that buses go more places that riders need and want them to go. It should not cost money to look for a job or to get to and from work.
Recruit Minority And Women Owned Businesses To Come To Chattanooga.
Since Women, African-Americans, and Latinos are disproportionately affected by wage disparities, it makes common sense that women and minority employers will do a better job of hiring and paying female and minority workers. Our city spends a lot of time and resources courting large corporate employers. This is all well and good, but we need to refocus some of our efforts to recruiting different kinds of employers. These companies generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and provide many high-paying jobs in their communities.
A Leading Parks & Recreation Dept.
Former administrations completely dismantled the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and outsourced a few functions to Outdoor Chattanooga and other agencies. Sure, we have won awards, accolades, and have even been named the Best Outdoor City Ever, but, realistically, all the City has done is turn the outdoors into a luxury good for affluent tourists and residents.
When do our inner-city kids get to go rock climbing, paddle boarding, or even get to walk or bike the Tennessee Riverpark? This is outrageous and our kids deserve access to Chattanooga’s great outdoor resources!
Families all across our city are under increasing pressures to secure affordable housing. This is not just a problem for low income households. Many middle class families are feeling incredible pressure as well. First and foremost, workers need to earn a living wage. No one can pay rent or a mortgage with just a minimum wage job.
As Mayor, I will focus on job training and workforce development to help working people better afford quality housing. Our city government needs to explore every tool in its arsenal. Solving the problem of housing affordability will require a wide range of creative solutions using the best practices of cities across the US.
Building Strong Neighborhoods.
It is true that we have developed a vibrant Downtown, Riverfront, and Innovation District. However, isn’t it time that our City provide resources to neighborhoods too? Imagine how great Chattanooga would be if all our communities had easily accessible jobs, quality daycare, and public transportation—just to start!
Neighborhoods are the building blocks of our city, and families are the building blocks of our neighborhoods. Our families and neighborhoods need more support.
Great Community Schools.
I know that our public schools are run and funded by Hamilton County. This doesn’t mean, however, that the City should ignore its responsibility to educate its children. We should work with the County in ways that make sense.
I think that the City can be an effective partner in expanding Future Ready Institutes, creating transportation solutions, and developing community schools that provide a wide range of services (e.g. job training, healthcare, etc.) to our neighborhoods.
As a community, we are not doing all we can to support our senior citizens. We have a growing elderly population that needs our help. Currently, Seniors are calling the Fire Department because they can’t find their medicines or because a lightbulb needs to be changed.
Chattanooga must find better ways of delivering to the elderly the services and resources they so desperately need and deserve.
The most important thing that any Mayor does is pass a budget. The City’s budget lays out where every dollar will be spent and shows citizens exactly what the Mayor’s priorities are. Unfortunately, very few people take the time and make the effort to follow the money. Of course, the City does not make it an easy task for citizens to see how all taxpayer dollars are spent.
Past administrations have hidden behind a shell game of public-private partnerships that make it hard to see who gets the money. I will make sure that we have truly transparent government and will fully disclose how every budget dollar is spent.
Thank you for your support.
Paid for by Friends of Monty Bruell
LaToya Bonner, Treasurer
If you believe that these issues are important, I am asking you to support me and help me become Chattanooga’s next Mayor. More than anything, I need your vote (this is essential). However, if you can volunteer with our campaign, that would be great. Finally, if you can contribute financially, that would be awesome too.
Together we can create One Chattanooga that has opportunity and prosperity for all!