Chattanooga Council Member Uses Past to Drive Change

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga council member elect Demetrus Coonrod tells News12 she’s moving forward from a not so perfect past.

“Life happens and it was most definitely happening for me … my path was a troublesome path”.

Years back her path took her to a slew of charges … from driving without a license to armed robbery … she says she was sexually assaulted and grew up in poverty to parents who were addicted to crack cocaine.

“We often went without meals, clothes, shoes, the necessities we needed to survive and doing so just put us on the wrong path”.

The turning point for Coonrod, she says was around seven years ago … when her fiance was killed.

“I knew i just didn’t want to continue to live my life like that … I had kids that I had to look after I had grand kids that were being born into society and I just wanted something different .. not just for myself and my family but for everybody that stayed on the block that I lived on”.

Demetrus Coonrod says she hired an attorney and was able to get her voting rights and citizenship rights restored. Later decided to run for city council.

“We often believe that once that once they’ve fallen into the system that there’s no way for them to come back well I’ve proven that system wrong and I want to help every single one that have had that troubled path such as I have you know that path is worn out from a lot of people travelling it”.

A checkered past she says she hopes will help drive change in her community.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News