‘Thrive in 9’ has voters delighted
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — One representative in Chattanooga innovated a creative way to reach out to her community.
District 9 Representative Demetrus Coonrod, along with community supporters, walked the streets of Eastdale today.
The idea is to bring people together.
She says you have to ‘walk the talk’.
“We address people as just our citizens, but even just calling them citizens it gives a negative overtone where they are stakeholders. We have to have communities build up to understand and believe that they are stakeholders in it,” Coonrod says.
The area has been neglected long enough and her voters want action.
“Say, hey I remember I saw those 32 abandoned homes. I saw the dilapidated homes. I saw the elderly lady who’s roof needed to be repaired. I talked to that gang member. I want to get them on the right path.”
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke says, “I think always in our city people are talking about how we make sure our streets are safe. How we get better jobs that provide a path to the middle class and how we make sure our kids are educated.”
Eastdale resident Kaynise Smith says she is happy in her home.
She wants to see more family activities in the neighborhood.
They’ve been close with Coonrod for a long time.
“I think that’s real good what she’s doing and my husband knows her real well. He’s known her all his life. I think she’s a good person and what she’s doing is wonderful,” Smith says.
“Thrive in 9” first event was today.
So far, it’s a one of a kind for the Chattanooga area.
The community walk takes place every other month.