Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

City Council, 6th District

Knoxville City Council
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    Gwen McKenzie Executive Advisor

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    Jennifer Montgomery Principal Broker, Trotta Montgomery Real Estate

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

The city has embarked on an ambitious two-year project to overhaul our local zoning code. What changes would you like to see? What parts of the existing code should be retained?

What do you think the vision and objectives of the present council and administration have been? How would you like to build upon or change that direction?

Please provide examples of how you have served the community in the past five years and how you think those efforts have prepared you to serve on city council.

Campaign Phone (865) 524-1458
I would like to see emphasis on sustainable solutions to assist any residents in historical zoning code areas who may be in jeopardy of being displaced.
I think the current council vision has been on greenways, connectivity and economic development and growth across the city. I would like to shift the current direction slightly to evaluate and focus on the areas across our city (specifically in the 6th District) that have been underserved in terms of economic development growth in comparison to all projects scheduled within the next 4 years.
My volunteerism spans 20 years with various organizations however within the past 5 years I have focused my efforts on working with the Knoxville Area Urban League National Achiever’s Program and caring for a parent. Working with young people who are striving for academic excellence, higher education opportunities and giving back through community service projects has been very rewarding. This experience has equipped me for city council by realizing the great need to encourage and expose young people to current issues in local/state government and becoming actively engaged in the political process.
Campaign Phone (865) 406-4364
The current zoning code is over fifty years old and based on development patterns that are more applicable to automobile transportation. The new zoning code will hopefully promote mixed-use development, compatible commerical and residential development together. This kind of zoning is much more suitable to older neighborhoods and districts with infrastructure that is historically based on public transportation and walking and riding alternative modes to automobiles. Much of the Sixth district is composed of older neighborhoods. I am especially interested in opportunities with light manufacturing work in the context of residential and other commercial development. The new zoning should be adaptable to different historic and future neighborhood and district styles as well.
The vision and objectives of the current council and administration has been smart and sustainable growth. Much recent focus has been on downtown as commercial and residential trends have shifted, here as well as on a national level. Focus on redevelopment of the city neighborhoods and commercial districts has started to spread, from the West and North sides of town to the South and East sides. The focus has also been on changes in more suburban land-use patterns as well. I have a Master of Science in Urban Regional Planning and own a real estate company. I'd like to be part of the continued conversation and effort with regard to smart and sustainable growth. As a representative of the Sixth District. I'd like to extend redevelopment districts along the commerical corridors, like Sutherland Avenue and E. Magnolia Avenue into the Burlington District. I'd like to offer developer incentives, like we have downtown, but for affordable and workforce housing.
Over the last five years, I have been working in the community to build a business based on the mentorship of people in the community that want to serve as trusted advisors about housing opportunities. My business is located in the Sixth District, where I spent a great deal of my career acting in just about every neighborhood around the Sixth District as this kind of advisor. I have learned a great deal about the hopes, dreams, and necessities of people in the neighborhoods where I've been working. I have also been active in my neighborhood group. I am now serving as President. I have had the experience of facilitating and providing support for difficult conversations that have led to greater participation and dialogue over the last year. My term ends at the end of this year. I am looking forward to bringing my experience to the recently formed Lion's Club in East Knoxville and a merchant's group that I started, Magnolia Avenue Market Area (MAMA), a few years ago.

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