What started as the sighs of exhaustion and frustration with an unaccountable government soon became the biggest grassroots volunteer effort ever co-ordinated in our city’s history. With little to no knowledge in the methods of canvasing, meeting facilitation or volunteer training, hundreds of Chattanoogans gathered 15,559 signatures in less than 60 days, getting the agreement of over 1 out of every 10 city residents that Chattanooga deserved change. Despite the malicious attacks by the Mayor against ordinary citizens leading the effort and despite the patronizing warnings of the city’s only newspaper to not sign the petition, the all volunteer effort gathered thousands of signatures weekly. With less than three days remaining until the petition deadline, members of Chattanooga Organized for Action turned in the final amount of signatures needed to force the first recall election in Chattanooga’s history.
In a desperate attempt to hold on to power, Mayor Littlefield “lawyered-up” and took the voters of Chattanooga to court. The case, heard in Hamilton County’s Circuit Court, was cited as being one of the most important trials in Chattanooga history. In a stunning denial of the rights of ordinary citizens, Judge Jeff Hollingsworth threw the recall petition out and allowed for Mayor Ron Littlefield to stay in office.
While Littlefield was temporarily successful in winning a court order to stop the election, the case went to the Tennessee Court of Appeal in Knoxville. There, the Appeals Court sided with the grassroots citizens of Chattanooga.
Led by Chattanooga Organized for Action, the history of our city will never be the same.
History of The Recall of Mayor Ron Littlefield:
When the avenues for public participation are shut down and the citizens are shut out, there are those who will say “you can’t fight City Hall.” Chattanooga Organized for Action knows better.
The summer of 2010 saw the City of Chattanooga in a political uproar. Ron Littlefield, entering his last term as Mayor, had written a harsh budget balanced on the backs of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. With a proposed 33% property tax hike guaranteed to make rents and mortgages climb even higher in the midst of the Great Recession, citizens from across the entire political spectrum demanded accountability and answers, but citizens’ questions were met with silence. The Littlefield Administration exhibited outright disdain for demands of transparency. The Chairman of the Chattanooga City Council harshly shut down citizens trying to speak at Council meetings with the words “we don’t have to listen to anybody!”
The grassroots people of Chattanooga sprung up in active resistance. They decided to do the unthinkable – force the democratic removal of Mayor Ron Littlefield.
Moving from protests at City Hall to the streets of Chattanooga’s communities, members of the newly-formed Chattanooga Organized for Action allied with individuals and organizations from all across the political spectrum to form a truly post-partisan coalition to force change and begin a push for real grassroots democracy. From college students to city workers, from businessmen to the clergy, the everyday people of Chattanooga decided to take action and educate themselves in the democratic methods of change in order to accomplish their goal: the Recall of Mayor Ron Littlefield.
Armed with petitions, clipboards and pens and with only their singular determination to guide them, a massive volunteer team took to the streets and entered the pages of Chattanooga history.
This article is factually inaccurate. The City Charter requires 50% of the number who voted in the last mayoral election, the Hamilton County Election Commission determined this number to be 8,957 - see the Election Commission minutes: http://elect.hamiltontn.gov/citizen/Election%20Comm%20Minutes/2010%20Minutes/2010-8-23.pdf
The Recallers went well above this number having around 9,600 verified signatures.
For more information visit www.chattaction.org
Fact of the matter is that Chucky believes that people who make money off of money, like himself, should NOT PAY ANY TAXES at all - while people who actually work and produce for a living are left bearing the entirety of the tax burden.
Fleischmann is just another big business mouthpiece advancing the interests of Wall Street fat cats and corporate elites over the needs of actual working families in the Third District.
For more information, visit www.chattaction.org
NOT TEA PARTY!