Sohn: District 27 needs Democrat Dr. Brent Morris

Sohn: District 27 needs Democrat Dr. Brent Morris

October 18th, 2018 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Dr. Brent Morris, a pediatrician, in a January protest talks about the effect lead has on the health of children at Jefferson Heights Park in Chattanooga. Local leaders called on senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to oppose drastic EPA cuts that would undermine efforts to clean up harmful pollution in the city's Southside neighborhood.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Here's another turn-the-tables suggestion.

District 27 state House Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, 68, wants a third term, but Democrat Dr. Brent Morris, 71, a retired pediatrician wants to take her seat. We're with him.

Why? Again, it's a matter of the GOP thinking things are just great, when they are not.

Hazlewood touts the great things happening in Tennessee right now with "improving" education and workforce development. After all, economic development is her passion, and in the early years of Gov. Bill Haslam's administration she was regional director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

But clearly, our state's workforce development must improve since new and existing employers all over the state are crying foul because they cannot find a well-prepared workforce. Hazlewood acknowledges that "we're not being honest or fair if a diploma is not worth the paper it's written on."

Morris is clear-eyed and passionate about that and other things he sees as state musts: Especially better access to health care. He believes health care is a human right.

"I see a lot of problems that could be addressed, but aren't being," he says. "I call it [what we're doing] using the middle of the road to get to the high road. Expanding Medicaid would be a step toward the high road."

Morris wants more. He supports in-state tuition for Dreamers here, comprehensive immigration reform, Medicaid expansion, universal comprehensive background checks for gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons.

He's tired of party hardliners and believes shared values can be found that will move lawmakers of differing parties to find solutions.

As longtime physician and a founding member of the Children's Advocacy Center and the creator of a public relations campaign for keeping children safe on the way to school, Morris has a track record of making things happen.

Let's send him to Nashville to represent Lookout Valley, Soddy-Daisy, Walden, Red Bank, Signal, Mowbray and Lookout mountains and part of Chattanooga.

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