OPINION: INDYA KINCANNON SHOWS UP (Knoxville Mayor’s Race)

Indya Kincannon shows up, and when the votes are counted on November 5 it will be clear that voters showed up for her as a result of her accessibility and overwhelming qualifications for the job of Knoxville Mayor.

Indya Kincannon shows up to listen. It’s hard to recall a public meeting, forum, or event where the tenacious and hardworking Kincannon hasn’t been present, listening to the concerns of voters and soliciting feedback about the issues they face and the ways they feel local government can improve. In order to speak directly to area residents, Indya has personally spent countless hours knocking on doors and making phone calls, rather than relying on paid canvassers to do it for her. She understands that often, the best ideas come from the people most impacted – and she genuinely wants to know where the pain points are and how to best streamline the City’s processes.

Indya Kincannon shows up to solve problems. While the mayor can’t solve every problem alone, Kincannon has often said that she would be the “convener-in-chief” – pulling together a coalition of area nonprofits, faith groups, and others to stretch the government’s limited resources and make Knoxville stronger, healthier, and more economically sound.

Indya Kincannon shows up to lead.She has the leadership experience to step into the City County Building on day one and get the job done. As Chair (for three years) and member of the Knox County Board of Education (10 total years), she helped lead a $450m organization with 8,000 employees. Comparatively, the City of Knoxville has an annual budget of $231m and 1600 employees. Additionally, she served the City of Knoxville as the Mayor’s Liaison and Special Programs Manager, and with the Arizona State Legislature as a Budget Analyst. She understands that government work requires a level of accountability and transparency far beyond what is needed in the business world, and she’s an effective communicator who welcomes that transparency.

Indya Kincannon shows up to build consensus.A natural collaborator, she also knows that in the public sector it is imperative to build consensus. Throughout her career, she has shown time and again that she has the ability to pull together groups with competing interests in order to accomplish goals. At no time was this more apparent than when she successfully lobbied to include protections for LGBTQ+ students in the Knox County Schools anti-bullying policies.

Indya Kincannon shows up to get things done.Quite simply, Indya Kincannon is a pragmatic progressive who gets things done. Her tenure with the Board of Education shows a laundry list of accomplishments: her stalwart support  of Project GRAD, the rollout of a new family-friendly school transfer policy, dramatic improvements in graduation rates at area high schools, the launch of Community Schools, and new educational programs like the Kelley Academy, Career Magnet Academy, and L&N STEM Academy. As Mayor, she’ll continue to connect people with the educational, training, and workforce development opportunities that will help them to become more successful members of the community. Kincannon knows that Knoxville’s people are its greatest value, and that when we invest in them we will win.

Indya Kincannon shows up to stand up. When the going gets tough, Indya stands up for what’s right – even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. As BOE Chair, she successfully fought against a plan to outsource school janitorial services. On the campaign trail, she hasn’t been afraid to tell people that something won’t work – but she’s always quick to explain why and provide alternative solutions. She’s the rare honest, transparent candidate who doesn’t make promises she knows she can’t keep.

Indya Kincannon shows up for all of us. Indya isn’t a rich philanthropist; she has been involved in the way we all can be involved – leading her neighborhood association, serving as PTA  President, coaching youth soccer and basketball. When she saw a need in her community, she jumped in to help however she could – whether that meant volunteering for a local nonprofit or running for school board. Indya has done the hands-on kind of work that it takes to make a difference from the ground up. She’s not beholden to special interests, and her priority is to make Knoxville work for all residents – not just the wealthy and connected.

On November 5, let’s show up for Indya Kincannon.It’s time to vote for the candidate with the qualifications, temperament, experience, leadership skills, and moral compass to lead Knoxville forward. It’s time to vote for Indya Kincannon.

Chyna Brackeen Is The President of Attack Monkey Productions

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