As a young man growing up in Chattanooga’s segregated Westside community, mayoral candidate Chester Heathington learned the racial boundaries for African Americans.
Schools were underfunded and learning materials were outdated. However, the neighborhood thrived because the merchants, preachers and professional service providers looked just like him and lived next door.
Changing attitudes fueled by the Civil Rights Movement opened doors for change and new opportunity.
Heathington left Saint Francis, a segregated Catholic grammar school to enter the newly integrated Notre Dame High School and the rest is history.
He went to war to protect our country. Upon returning home from Vietnam, Heathington got hired by city government, graduated from Cleveland State Community College with an associates of arts in law enforcement and UTC, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.
He is a former small business owner. His community services activities include being past scoutmaster of Troop 922 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration volunteer.
Robert Chester Heathington, Jr. said he wants to couple his experience as a former firefighter and department of public works employee to retool city government, roll back the sewer rates, reduce crime, and create an efficient operation at City Hall.
His plans call for creation of a veteran’s affairs office, placing a moratorium on annexation, developing a housing infrastructure bank and building a city-ran homeless shelter with wrap around services to address the variety of needs of these citizens.
Heathington is a member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He says he is running to make a difference for safe streets and freedom from fear. He believes the voice of the people must be heard at the table of government. He says it’s up to you to vote responsibly and elect a candidate who shares your conservative core values.
Remember that early voting ends Febr. 28 and Election Day is March 5.