Over the last several days we have seen the integrity of our elections here in Hamilton County questioned by a candidate for Hamilton County mayor. The fact is there was no concerted, organized effort by the Hamilton County Democratic Party to influence the primary for the GOP on May 3.
With that being said, the Adams for Mayor campaign would rather focus on the people of Hamilton County. This campaign has the people of this community at the center of its plans. The equitable funding of our education system is a top priority for me and this campaign. For decades now, we have neglected our schools, our teachers, and our students. We must work to rebuild our schools that are beyond repair. The most recent school board budget proposal has tens of millions of dollars allocated to repairs of our schools. Not only are we ready to invest in educational infrastructure, but also into forward thinking programs in our schools. Investing in programs such as Future Ready, a program that provides industry training to our students in areas such as hospitality, aviation, and other strong, growing industries, is essential to the long-term success of our education system.
Several politicians talk about pathways to employment but there is more to employment than merely having a job. If someone does not have the ability to go to and from their place of employment, then job training is a moot point. As it stands, Hamilton County only invests $100,000 annually in CARTA (the county’s largest provider of public transportation). To ensure we are truly providing opportunities for folks, we must be investing in the programs that offer said opportunities. We certainly have the money to be investing significantly more in CARTA annually to expand fixed routes and fast track their transition to an all-electric fleet.
Jobs and transportation only go so far if you can’t afford a place to live. We have a major shortage of affordable housing in Hamilton County that affects every community, municipality, and neighborhood. We consistently see our neighbors be priced out of the communities they call home. On top of that, we’ve seen a 182 percent increase in homelessness in the last two years. It is the moral responsibility of the mayor to work with developers and nonprofits to close the gap of affordable housing in this community. We hear all the time about the ‘rainy day fund’ we have in our county’s accounts, but my question is “how much rain must we see before we use these funds?”
I will continue to talk to my neighbors in this great county to understand the issues we all face, and as county mayor I will work to solve these issues and close the gaps that impede on the well-being of the folks who call Hamilton County home.
Lastly, we have heard a lot about ‘crossover’ voting in the last several days. For those that believe in building opportunities for folks and believe the next county mayor can do just that, regardless of party affiliation, I welcome you to vote “Matt Adams” to make Hamilton County all it can be.
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Adams, the Democratic candidate for county mayor, is bringing a gravitas to the campaign that his Republican opponents – still trying to figure out “who’s on first” – do not.
Adams’ letter hit on all of the important issues; certainly, issues that matter to me as a resident of Chattanooga. Whether it be education, transportation, affordable housing or infrastructure, Matt Adams seems to have a thoughtful, serious response. That’s so refreshing in today’s local political environment.
Of course, no one candidate has all the answers. And no one, regardless of political party, can fix all of our problems right away. But, after reading Matt Adams’ letter on your site, I look toward Election Day (Aug. 4) with a lot of optimism. As he wrote, he is committed to working to “close the gaps that impede on the well-being of the folks who call Hamilton County home.” Sounds good to me.