Supporting Yusuf Hakeem For District 9

Monday, February 18, 2013

One of the most difficult parts of an election is choosing between a long time friend and a neighbor, both of whom are distinguished. That is what I have faced as Yusuf Hakeem and Peter Murphy vie for the District 9 City Council seat.  It would be easy to just sit back and take no position under those circumstances, but I haven't been known to keep my mouth shut. Therefore, here is my opinion.

I first encountered Yusuf at a Glenwood neighborhood meeting in the mid-70's, when I was struck by this young GE appliance repairman who captivated the crowd with his demeanor and grasp of issues on revitalization and community. We proceeded to work together in establishing a Neighborhood Housing Services program in Chattanooga's first successfully integrated neighborhood. 

Through his neighborhood leadership, Yusuf was elected to the city's school board, where he served with the respect of an otherwise divided group. With the demise of city schools and the change of city government, he was elected to the new City Council. Again, he emerged as the voice of reason with a bitterly divided Council at the time, often choosing policy over politics. He was always at our Ridge meetings. He always listened, but asked good questions. My golfing buddy, Gene Roberts, and I always referred to him as the "gentle giant."

After his service on the Council, Yusuf was appointed by the governor to the Pardons and Paroles Board, where he served with integrity and without scandal. Now, he has offered himself again to represent his district. 

I don't know Mr. Murphy very well, but I find him reasonably accessible and a dedicated and intelligent public servant. I commend his work on the Orchard Knob Reservation and other issues. If he wins, I will support him. 

But, in the final analysis, I would strongly recommend electing Yusuf Hakeem to the seat, based on his above record.  

 Mark Rudisill


No To The Gas Tax

Americans are finally catching a break at the gas pumps after more than 1,245 days of gas over a national average of $3 a gallon and what do members of both parties want to do, they want to tax you more on a gallon of gas. Haslam, Corker  and Washington D.C. want to talk about raising gas taxes.  Tennesseans already pay 39.8 cents (18.4 federal and 21.4 state) on every ... (click for more)

Opening Relations With Cuba Is A Good Move

Opening relations with Cuba is a good move.  The world is not perfect. Nor is it the same as it was 50 or even 20 years ago.  American engagement in Cuba can only serve to enhance freedom and the opportunities for democracy there. Slowly opening an economic market of 11 million people, just 90 miles off our coast, is good for American business and jobs.  ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Caldwell Arrested In Rapes Of 2 Women Over 60 In Brainerd, Hixson; Forced His Way Into Homes

Investigators have made an arrest in the rape cases that were reported last weekend. Taken into custody was Derrick Dewayne Caldwell, 30. He is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated burglary. Police said two women over 60 years old were raped in Brainerd and in Hixson in separate incidents. In an incident last Thursday, a woman ... (click for more)

UTC Cagers Upset No.7 Stanford

"Defense kept us in the game and our fans are great!." UTC sophomore Moses Johnson after the 54-46 win.   The giant killer has done it again. Relying on hustle, determination, key 3-pointers and 10 made free throws down the stretch the Chattanooga Mocs defeated visiting No.7 Stanford women 54-46 Wednesday at McKenzie Arena. Playing before 2,128 cheering ... (click for more)

Vols Land 4-Star JUCO Running Back Alvin Kamara

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has signed junior college four-star running back Alvin Kamara, who is from Norcross, Ga., and originally signed with Alabama and then transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Information on Kamara: ALVIN KAMARA R-Sophomore • Running Back • 5-11 • 200 Norcross, Ga. • Norcross H.S./Alabama/Hutchinson ... (click for more)