Knoxville City Council Dist 4 Prim AUG 2021

The rating system is on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best.

Knoxville City Council, District 4, Primary Election

Jim Klonaris *****

Jen McMahon *

Lauren Rider **

Knoxville City Council, District 4, Primary Election

Jim Klonaris

Jen McMahon

Lauren Rider

Primary election takes place on August 31, 2021

Recommendation: Recommend Jim Klonaris who is supported by the Knox County Republican Party, wants to cap taxes, and attends a Christ-centered Greek Orthodox church.

Jim Klonaris: Recommend      

            Overall Rating: 73.6%

Big Government/Small Government Rating: Big 21%; Small 79%              

            Christian World View Rating: Christian 70%; Secular 30%                

Background

59 years old

Married for 35 years with three children

Lives in Knoxville

Is a downtown restaurant owner – Through my design, architecture, entrepreneurial background, I refurbish and revitalize existing urban and historic commercial buildings. My wife and I also invest in renovating and preserving historic homes in our community.

Bachelor’s Degree, Fine Arts, University of Tennessee

Big Government/Small Government

Budget, Spending, and Taxes          Possible Score 30       Total Score 4

Jim Klonaris supports the Knoxville Cap the Tax Petition that urges the city of Knoxville to establish limits on taxation levied by the city of Knoxville. (3)

Fiscal Responsibility – Jim Klonaris will restore fiscal sustainability to the city’s budget, maintain low taxes on Knoxville households, and expand the revenue base through economic expansion. (5)

Business and Consumers                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 4

We should have a council majority that encourages job creation to reduce poverty in our city. (5)

I dedicate time to empower young adults through life coaching in entrepreneurial concepts and financial planning, I have volunteered for local homeless missions, and I currently serve on Knoxville Mayor’s Business Advisory Council. (4)

Strong Job Creation – Jim Klonaris believes Knoxville needs strong job creation that will provide prosperity for all. He will increase job opportunities by cutting red tape, reduce poverty in Knoxville by attracting good paying jobs, and will support smart economic development in Knoxville. (4)  

Conservative                                      Possible Score 30       Total Score 6

Supported by the Knox County Republican Party (6)

Facebook Likes include:

  • Volunteer Republican Women’s Club (6)
  • Fountain City North Republican Club/Knoxville (6)

Other                                                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 7

Safe Communities – Jim Klonaris will promote a safer Knoxville. Jim will push effective crime reduction policies, focus on solutions to homelessness, mental illness, and drug addition, making Knoxville a better place to live. (7)

Knoxvillians deserve a new direction to empower job creation, help reduce poverty in our community and create systems to support a healthier city for all people. (7)

Christian World View

Abortion                                             Possible Score 40       Total Score 28    

Family Values                                    Possible Score 30       Total Score 21

Member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church – Our community is a body of faithful Orthodox Christians, dedicated to worshiping and serving God, committed to the sacramental life of His Church and sincere in the effort to live in obedience to the teachings and commandments of Christ.  

Marriage                                            Possible Score 30       Total Score 21    

Jen McMahon: Strongly Do Not Recommend      

            Overall Rating: 9.6%

Big Government/Small Government Rating: Big 87%; Small 13%            

            Christian World View Rating: Christian 9%; Secular 91%                        

Background

Marred to Cody McMahon with one son

Has lived in Knoxville for six years; is a native of Ohio

2017 – Present – CEO, and Co-Founder, of Century Harvest Farms Foundation – CHFF has become an alternative to incarceration for individuals in the 9th Judicial District, has provided 8,763 hours of Workforce Development Training for 96 individuals enrolled in their From the Ground Up Program, has provided over 37,000 meals donated to makers and families in need, has provided over $22,000 in housing assistance during the pandemic, donated over 5,867 lbs of fresh produce to local nonprofits, has helped 91% of their folks maintain housing and the same living-wage position for 1-year post-graduation, and has welcomed over 500 volunteers from all over East Tennessee on the farm

Bachelor’s Degree, Interdisciplinary Anthropology, French, and a Minor in Linguistics, University of Akron

Budget, Spending, and Taxes          Possible Score 30       Total Score 27

Business and Consumers                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 17

Living Wages and Equitable Workforce Development – I will work with the people to:

  • Reallocate and invest funds into workforce training and skill trade programs for youth, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals exiting incarceration. By empowering, creating a supportive environment for folks to learn new skills, and opportunities for future employment, folks thrive. (14)
  • Advocate and reallocate funds to create affordable childcare. When parents have reliable and affordable childcare, they can maintain employment for longer periods of time and ultimately create sustainable income for their families. (18)
  • Allocate and Invest funds into providing transportation to and from work for individuals without transportation. Too many folks are limited in the jobs that they are able to apply for because of their lack of access to reliable transportation. (18)
  • Allocate and Invest funds into Black-Owned Businesses, with the leadership & guidance of Knoxville’s Black Business Owners and Community Leaders. For too long, funding choices and economic initiatives have been created by folks who do not truly represent the community. I want to work with Black Business Owners and Leaders to reallocate funding to create more Black Owned Businesses and more living-wage jobs. (18)
  • Expand and Solidify Worker and Union Rights with local organizations and clubs. Workers deserve a living wage, paid leave, sick-time, on-the-job protections, vacation, and affordable healthcare. (19)

Conservative                                      Possible Score 30       Total Score 28

Other                                                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 15

Our communities deserve affordable housing, living wage positions, and healthy neighborhoods. (13)

I believe in Equitable and Affordable Housing. I believe that everyone deserves the right to work in a supportive, safe, and living-wage position. I believe in a safe, and healthy, community for ALL. (14)

Knoxville, you deserve fair, and equitable housing for all. You deserve funding for health and human services, over putting it into a new building for KPD or another billionaire’s pet project. You deserve safe spaces for ALL youth to thrive and not just white youth. You deserve leaders who will listen to working-class families, black folks, LGBTQIA+ folks, undocumented folks, folks with limited mobility, folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities, folks who have experienced incarceration, folks who are houseless, and so many others who have always felt that their voice doesn’t matter. (18)

Equitable, Affordable, and Transitional Housing – I will work with the people to:

  • Invest funds to create more affordable housing units throughout Knoxville. No one should have to go into extreme debt or have to work 3 jobs to keep a roof over their head. (16)
  • Stop the sweeps of our houseless encampments and reallocate funds to create more transitional supportive housing units for individuals who have experienced homelessness. Individuals need support and resources, not the destruction of their property. (16)
  • Lower Utilities in Knoxville and increase utility assistance funds for families and individuals with limited income. Families shouldn’t have to accrue debt to pay to keep their lights on, and their homes heated. (17)

Safety, Healthy Communities for All – I will work with the people to:

  • Create more community-shared gardens, run by folks already doing the work within their own communities. Access to fresh food is a human right. (16)
  • Allocate funds to help expand mental and physical health resources in our communities. No one should go without health care or wait 6 months to see a mental health care provider. (11)
  • Create community-led safety programs, designed by the people directly within that community. Community story circles, research, questionnaires, and open forums will be used to help create the best, safe, and supportive plan for the community. In addition, the community will create an oversight board for Knoxville Police Department. Our communities deserve to feel safe and be in control of how they feel safe. (14)
  • Allocate funds and resources for grass-roots and community lead non-profit organizations. So many organizations are on the ground providing services that our city does not provide, and are scrambling for funds to continue to offer life-saving services. (15)

Christian World View

Abortion                                             Possible Score 40       Total Score 2    

Family Values                                    Possible Score 30       Total Score 7

Member of Saint John’s Lutheran Church – A Place of Grace … St. John’s is an inclusive church that welcomes ALL GOD’S CHILDREN to worship, receive Holy Communion and participate in ministry and mission with us. Everyone is welcome! We are an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation and we confess our faith through the words of the Apostle’s Creed. (10)

Works with Black Lives Matter Knoxville (3)   

Marriage                                            Possible Score 30       Total Score 0

Is a member of the LGBTQ Community (0)

After being out the last week or so with my little one not feeling the best, I am back in the saddle! What a better day to start than the beginning of Pride Month! As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I recognize that this month is so much more than fun parades and rainbow flags.

Pride is about remembering Black and POC Trans Liberation Activists, like Marsha P Johnson, and their fight against police brutality and white supremacy. Without them resisting oppression and being the force behind the Stonewall Riots, we would not have the rights that we have today.

Pride is about remembering folks within our community who died during the AIDS epidemic because our government did nothing to stop the spread. In 1984, Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announced the discovery of the virus that caused HIV. After Heckler’s announcement, it took a year before Reagan publicly uttered the word “AIDS” until 1985, when over 12,000 Americans had died. LGBTQIA+ activists and AIDS activists banned together to help be the voice for those who had been killed by a disease that could have been prevented. Thousands of our elders never had the chance to live out their life.

Pride is about remembering the names of the hundreds of Black Trans Women that are murdered every year just for existing. Women like Jaida Peterson, Remy Fennell, and Tiara Banks who were all murdered within the last month and a half. Our policymakers and political leaders continue to push through Transphobic and dangerous legislation, all while Trans folks have no basic protection.

Pride is about remembering that no matter how you identify, who you love, or how you love, you are beautifully and wonderfully made. Let’s celebrate Pride this year by remembering all of our elders who have gone before us, and by fighting to dismantle white supremacy and police brutality within our own local government. (0)

Lauren Rider: Do Not Recommend      

            Overall Rating: 27.2%

Big Government/Small Government Rating: Big 47%; Small 53%            

            Christian World View Rating: Christian 10%; Secular 90%                        

Background

46 years old

Married with two sons

Lives in North Knoxville

2018 – Present – Knoxville City Councilwoman

Faculty member at Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC), serving as the Librarian at their Division Street campus

BS, Exercise Science, Georgia State University, 1997

Master of Library Science, Indiana University, 2002

Budget, Spending, and Taxes          Possible Score 30       Total Score 5

Find budget efficiencies to ensure Knoxville continues to provide and improve quality services like police, fire and trash in the face of tightening budgets. (5)

Business and Consumers                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 7

Post-pandemic Recovery – Supporting businesses and community partners as we move forward in an era with the Vaccine. Recovery funding can be used to support infrastructure improvements that foster developments for job growth, job training, and housing additions. Working with the city and Chamber to foster continued job growth and support of underserved communities and sectors. (8)

We have a strong core downtown, investing in infrastructure along the major corridors will connect neighborhoods to the city center. As a council member, I’ve worked with Engineering to support connectivity with the Old Broadway sidewalk addition, Mineral Springs Bridge/Greenway, and future Broadway Shopping Center greenway. (6)

Conservative                                      Possible Score 30       Total Score 28

Rider has contributed to:

  • James Mackler (D-TN) for Congress (twice) (27)
  • Democratic Party of Tennessee (twice) (27)
  • Renee Hoyos (D-TN) for Congress (27)
  • Jon Ossoff (D-GA) for US Senate (28)
  • Phil Bredesen (D-TN) for US Senate (27)

Endorsed in 2017 by:

  • Women for Tennessee’s Future – Dedicated to electing progressive women to office. (29)
  • Former Knoxville Councilwoman Carlene Malone

Other                                                  Possible Score 20       Total Score 7

Became active in the community working with neighbors on traffic calming, abandoned and blighted properties, a pocket park and solar installation, greenway clean-ups, crime prevention, and zoning issues. (6)

First Term – Listening to the community and working on collaboration, compromise, and solutions; Tackling Barriers to redevelopment – zoning code improvements including a revision of our 50 year old zoning code; Building upon existing city services: sidewalk survey to identify needed missing segments, Co-response team for behavioral health calls to 911 (non-police need and response), redevelopment of former St. Mary’s hospital to merge city service departments, identify traffic improvement needs with Engineering to address safety concerns in neighborhoods. (6)

Housing shortages – Continued focus on funding and opportunities to increase housing; additional Permanent Supportive Housing as a solution to homelessness; continued support for and additional beds for low-barrier shelter options like the The Foyer, a shelter option added during my time on council. (12)

Supporting KAT transit to achieve more sustainable operations and routes that connect citizens to work and play destinations. (6)

Stabilizing her community by focusing on development programming, land use and zoning codes to mitigate blighted properties, advocate for affordable housing and address challenges like homelessness. (12)

Strive for increased mobility through improving Knoxville’s public transit, greenways and walkability. (6)

Wants more police officers and partnering with education and social service providers to address violence and its root causes. (4)

Christian World View

Abortion                                             Possible Score 40       Total Score 4    

Family Values                                    Possible Score 30       Total Score 3    

Marriage                                            Possible Score 30       Total Score 3