Oglesby's ideas give him the edge
I like Monty. I like the idea of free public transit. And I'm always a sucker for a politician with a big idea! But the cynic in me has grown weary of reductive three-word phrases that are way more effective as social media hashtags than attainable policy goals (Medicare For All, Build the Wall, Green New Deal, Defund the Police).
That's why I was so encouraged by my conversation with Erskine Oglesby about more specific, targeted actions that could achieve much of the same goal as "free public transit," but without the heavy lift of telling the city to re-imagine how CARTA is funded and controlled. Those ideas included an expansion of the current CARTA benefits for veterans to include essential workers as well, or including some transit fare as part of the existing EBT program.
I feel Oglesby's lifetime of experience in public service and his tenure as the head of city council has given him a deeper appreciation of what it takes to govern and not just what it takes to campaign. Too often those skills pull in opposite directions.
Bruell ready to act, lead from outset
As we approach the upcoming city election, I think back to last summer when hundreds of people marched the streets of Chattanooga. I'll never forget the words: "Power to the people! No one's free until we're all free! No justice, no peace!"
Until then, I'd been oblivious to racial disparities. I thought segregation and dehumanization were only things we read about. Before then, I saw the world through the lens of white privilege. I see differently now.
It was at one of those protests where I first saw Monty Bruell. He was there as a participant, just another face in the crowd. Months later when I realized he was running for mayor, I knew he had my vote.
Monty is brilliant. He's genuine. The ideas Monty is proposing are not just ideas; he already has a detailed plan on how to execute every single one. His first 100 days won't be spent researching or deliberating. They'll be spent in action. We can't afford to wait any longer.
I have hope social justice can become a reality in Chattanooga. I know Monty Bruell is the only candidate with the desire, skill sets, experience and commitment to lead us there.
Kim White is already prepared for the job
I'm not "against" any of the many folks running for mayor of Chattanooga. All of them have some degree of expertise in some field that could be of some help as mayor.
I am "for" Kim White because she is the only candidate whose career has been laser-focused on promoting and developing our city. She knows the players and how to work with them knowledgeably.
I think she would hit the ground running, already up to speed, rather than having to try to figure things out from ground zero.
Editorialist chided for word choice
To the Free Press editorial page editor: Words matter. Your own words of Feb. 9, 2021, about the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol: " ... in which a handful of people died ... ."
Say those words to the family of Officer Brian Sicknick. Say those words to the Blue Line in Chattanooga.