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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

TNDP Exec Member Resigns After Hate-Speech Video Goes Viral (Bonus: He’s Also a Mayor)

A member of the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee and elected official in East Tennessee has resigned after a hate speech-filled video of he and his wife aired on YouTube. (Warning: This video contains obscenities.)

Bill Fannon, mayor of Tazewell in East Tennessee, resigned from his District 8 seat following posting of the video which showed him evicting tenants from an apartment owned by the Fannons.  The video is filled with obscene language and features Fannon and his wife, Kat, insulting and threatening teenage renters and their mother.

“Wait till the cops get here and I’m going to let him know about you and then I’m going to knock your teeth into the back of your g–damn head,” Fannon says to one of his tenants, a 17-year-old boy.

His wife, Kat Fannon, calls the boy a “queer” and says “I wouldn’t touch you: I might get something,” while calling a young woman shown in the video a “whore” and “poor trash.”

In the two minute video, the Fannons say the teens didn’t pay rent, while the renters in turn say the couple didn’t make necessary repairs to the property.

Another TNDP Executive Committeenmember, Robin Smith, former mayor of Decherd and committee member from District 16,  resigned after being indicted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on charges he allegedly stole money from misdemeanor probationers under his supervision and used it for his own use.

Members of the TNDP Executive Committee said they were notified about both Smith’s and Fannon’s resignations via e-mail Sept. 9.

The resignations bring the total number of vacancies on the TNDP Executive Committee to eight.

Robin Smith, former Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member and former mayor of Decherd was indicted by the TBI.

(Editor’s note: Tennessee Holler co-founder, Holly McCall, ran against Mary Mancini for chair in January 2019.) 

Why Won’t Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland & Former Mayor Willie Herenton Debate?

No matter how you vote, we should all be able to agree debates are an essential part of democracy. Every candidate for every office should stand before the people and make their case for why they deserve your vote.

In 2018 we saw a number of Republican candidates across Tennessee refuse to debate their Democrat counterparts – Mark Green, Brandon Ogles, Scott Desjarlais, to name a few.

As it turns out, Republicans aren’t the only ones who play this game.

Nashville has just seen two its mayoral candidates – Mayor David Bailey, and John Cooper – debate each other. But a debate in the Memphis was just canceled, apparently because former mayor Willie Herenton declined to participate, which gave current mayor Jim Strickland all the excuse he needed to pull out.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer and Lemichael Wilson were ready to go, but the mayors, it seems, were not. From WMC Action News 5:

Herenton would only say he “respectfully” declined to partipicate. In response, Strickland’s campaign opted out.

“without the top challenger in the race participating, in informed and balanced debate could not happen,” said a spokesperson for Strickland’s campaign.

News 5 goes on to relay Sawyer and Wilson’s comments.

Sawyer:

“By refusing debate — no matter the circumstances — Mayor Strickland and Herenton are denying taxpayers the right to hear where we all stand on the issues and make an informed choice on who will lead our city over the next (four) years.”

Wilson:

“It’s unfortunate that the citizens won’t have an opportunity to engage with mayoral candidates in order to share their concerns or to hear the candidates’ visions to address their concerns.”

Columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee of the Memphis Commercial Appeal agrees, saying:

“The two top contenders for city’s top job are choosing convenience over courage… If Strickland and Herenton can’t handle a debate, can they handle Memphis’ real issues?”

Sawyer has been running an inspired campaign with a lot of grassroots momentum, just recently drawing a mention in a tweet from Hillary Clinton. Could her footsteps be what is causing the mayors not to want to stand on a stage next to one another?

There’s no excuse for this type of behavior. These men are robbing the people of Memphis of the opportunity to hear from those who seek to govern them. It’s cowardice, and Strickland and Herenton both need to feel the pressure.

ACTION STEPS:

Email Willie Herenton HERE, Reach out on Facebook or Twitter, and call Dorchelle Spence for him: 901.628.7760

Email Strickland HERE Reach out on Facebook or Twitter, and call him: 901.636.6000

Post and tag them on social media asking them “WHY WON’T YOU DEBATE?” with the hashtag #MemphisMayorDebates and #DebateMeMane.

Let’s fix this together.

CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: Indya Kincannon for Knoxville Mayor

Our video of Indya Kincannon, a school board member running for mayor of Knoxville. Indya considers herself the “progressive” in the race, and has the support of State Representative Gloria Johnson.

Learn more about her HERE.

 

 

CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: Marshall Stair for Knoxville Mayor

Our video of Knoxville mayor candidate Marshall Stair, a city council member running for mayor. He’s against vouchers, believes Detective Fritts should’ve been fired, and sees diversity as a strength. He see affordable housing as a major issue facing the city.

Learn more about him HERE.

Mayor Briley and Rep. John Ray Clemmons Clash Over Vouchers

At Last Night’s #StateOfBlackNashville Mayoral Forum, John Ray Clemmons for Mayor & Mayor David Briley clashed over Briley’s public silence when Gov. Bill Lee‘s school vouchers were being passed.

Briley says he was lobbying Republicans behind the scenes to kill the bill.