You need a voice on city council. A representative that will listen and consider the input of the community in the city’s decision making. Lauren will work for you – a representative that will be there on the front line, raising your concerns.
Not a career politician, but a fresh perspective with the community’s needs in mind. As an active community leader, Lauren has participated in city and MPC meetings for the last 12 years. As a member of Neighborhood Advisory Committee for seven years, she has provided input on policies that affect our communities. She has experience and will bring your concerns to the process.
Building Stronger Community
We’ve seen a strong city center develop in the past few years. It’s time to focus on our neighborhoods and business corridors building off that strong city center.
• Revitalization: As properties along our commercial corridors change and are revitalized, it’s important to connect them with the surrounding neighborhoods. Good connections between neighborhoods and commercial centers creates stable communities and encourages economic opportunities. Strong leadership with knowledge of development and community-mindedness is needed on council as properties are revitalized at the borders of neighborhoods. Lauren wants to address the barriers in our zoning code that stall redevelopment in our community.
• Housing: Growth and housing are a challenge we need to address in Knoxville. As one of the fastest growing cities in the state, we see a real strain on housing supply, which affects affordability and availability. Housing is essential to our stability and ability to attract and keep businesses. When demand pushes housing further away from employment, commutes and traffic increase and quality of life decreases.
Allowing a mix of housing and commercial use along our corridors is needed to increase housing options. A mixed-use building with a restaurant below and 2nd or 3rd floor residential creates more options for renters or buyers. Currently, our zoning only allows residential separate from commerical with the exception of downtown.
Housing is also a primary factor that leads to homelessness. The city needs more housing, particularly for middle and lower income ranges. As we focus on increased economic development and revitalization, we must consider and address the need for housing at all income levels.
• Connections: How do you get places? Car, bike, walk, bus? How we move between places where we live, work or play is important to our quality of life. As more people move into the city, we experience more traffic and congestion. Well designed, walkable communities are healthier and desirable.
As traffic increases, we must look at enhancements that improve flow and reduce congestion.
Support pull-offs for KAT bus stops along major corridors. This current proposal will work to improve traffic congestion along with the already grant-funded synchronized traffic light project underway.
Connect existing Greenways, through available green space or minor surface street connections, to tie neighborhood-commercial centers together. Linking business areas to neighborhoods creates alternative transit modes and encourages economic opportunities along those routes.
Safety in our Communities
Trust and partnership with KPD is essential, as is training for officers in de-escalation and awareness of community partners for those needing help. Currently, we are short officers and are training only 39 to fill vacant positions. Efforts to recruit new qualified candidates and train them to be excellent officers and community partners is essential.
Addressing the violence in our community is multifaceted and positively impacted by job opportunities, education/job training and safe/stable neighborhoods. Supporting and partnering with KPD, education providers and social service providers is a strategy to addressing violence and its root causes.
Eye on Efficiency
The city must budget and spend wisely. Your council representation is your eye on efficiency. With the city's expenses inflating at a greater rate than the tax revenues, we must keep mange future projects and look for efficiency to maintain reasonable property taxes. Budgeting wisely, we can continue to progress as a city and improve city services that we need and depend on like KFD, KPD and Public Works. Redevelopment of Brownfields and vacant/blighted properties will help revenue streams that fund these services.