Mayoral candidate Monty Bruell said he plans to renew the relationship between the Chattanooga faith community and city government by establishing a Faith Action Committee to leverage citywide opportunities and begin a new era of cooperation.
Here is what Mr. Bruell said he is proposing:
Faith is an integral part of any community, and that is certainly true of Chattanooga.
According to the latest study by the Barna Group, Chattanooga residents attended church more than any other city in the United States. Fifty-nine percent of Chattanoogans reported attending church at least once a week, compared to an average of 38 percent nationwide.
This city has a proud history of faith-based organizations which continue to work toward a more equitable future. Over the past several years, purposeful engagement between the city and its religious community has diminished.
A Bruell Administration will focus on strengthening the bond between the city and its faith community. The first step: create a Faith Action Committee composed of religious leaders from across Chattanooga. As mayor, Mr. Bruell will convene monthly committee meetings to identify solutions for the issues facing our neighborhoods. Mr. Bruell is particularly interested in the many ways city government can empower community-based leadership.
“From churches in Alton Park to East Brainerd, I have sought to better understand how the faith community can play an enhanced role in shaping Chattanooga’s future,” said Mr. Bruell.
“There should be a strong partnership between city government and our faith community.”
Mr. Bruell believes the right leader can unite Chattanooga’s faith community by providing a seat at the table for all religious denominations. His Faith Action Committee will serve as the beginning of a renewed relationship between the city government and its religious organizations.
“We are at a pivotal ‘all hands on deck’ moment in our city’s history," said Mr. Bruell. "It will take every last one of us to fix what is broken in our community — economically, spiritually, and emotionally. I find that there’s a tremendous amount of goodwill in the faith community, but it just hasn’t been properly tapped. We must work together to bring healing to Chattanooga and promote social justice and economic equity.”
Pastor Steve Caudle of Greater Missionary Baptist Church said he personally endorses Mr. Bruell for mayor because Mr. Bruell understands the issues facing all Chattanoogans.
“[Monty] is the only candidate who joined us in the prayer protest in front of the sheriff’s office, the only one to worship with us at G2,” Mr. Caudle said. “I’m not able to vote in the Chattanooga election, but if I could, I would not hesitate to vote for Monty Bruell.”
If elected, Mr. Bruell will convene the first Faith Action Committee meeting within his initial month as mayor.