Local businessman Tim Kelly has released a plan that addresses racial disparities in Chattanooga and provides "actionable, meaningful solutions". A Better Way Forward: Tim Kelly’s Vision for the Black Community was developed in collaboration with a group of Black Chattanoogans and focuses on a set of core principles including acknowledging inequality, transparent government, and upward mobility.
“There are still two Chattanoogas,” said Mr. Kelly. “The challenges facing Black Chattanoogans are complex due to centuries of structural racism, and so will require intentional and persistent solutions. As a city, we must address the inequities and invest in black communities and as mayor, I will work tirelessly to deliver results people can feel in their pocketbooks and serve, protect and support minority communities as we merge our city into One Chattanooga.
A Better Way Forward outlines 11 focus areas including homeownership, education, culture, environmental justice, income inequality, public safety and retention. Highlights of the plan include investing more and giving local neighborhoods more say in YFD centers, making pre-k accessible to all Chattanooga children and increasing the number of city contracts that go to black owned businesses.
Among the solutions, Mr. Kelly said he will implement a comprehensive Minority Business Enterprise program for city contracting opportunities. The plan also addresses the need for quality education for all Chattanoogans by immediately expanding Head Start programs.
“I met with Tim Kelly over a year ago and then met with him again this fall to help create this comprehensive and equitable plan for black Chattanoogans,” said Ronald Elliott, political director. “Tim has the courage to keep the uncomfortable issues on the table until they’re addressed. I know he can execute on this vision and I am excited to support him in moving Chattanooga past the pandemic and bridging the many divides within the city.”