I started this week in Tacoa Park, where Councilman Russell Gilbert and several neighborhood leaders joined me for a discussion about our new Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund. This fund will support smaller projects with huge implications for how we make our whole city more safe, beautiful, and connected.

Over the next few months in Tacoa Park, for example, we’re going to be replacing playground equipment, repairing the pavilion and the basketball goal, and adding some benches and picnic tables. In Washington Hills, we’re going to be putting in some new sidewalks so kids will have a safer and easier time getting to our YFD Center. Along Highway 58, Shepard Road, and Concord Street, we’re going to install and replace streetlights to make things safer and brighter.

They may sound like small investments but sometimes we can go big by going small. These investments make a big impact on our neighborhoods — we know, because we are responding to specific requests from people like you. If you have a specific idea for a way that we can invest in your neighborhood, let us know at

Chattanooga is a city of creators, as we see everywhere in our city’s incredible public art program. In just the last few months, we’ve unveiled great new works all over Chattanooga — at the Wilcox Tunnel, at Blue Goose Hollow, at Milliken Park, and all along our Tennessee Riverpark, to name a few. There’s much more to come in 2019.

The new 10-year plan that Public Art Chattanooga presented to City Council earlier this week shows exactly what we plan to do, and I encourage you to read the whole thing. Specifically, we’re going to do more to integrate art in our various city departments and divisions. We’re going to do more to provide training opportunities for emerging local artists. We’re going to increase our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, especially as we work in more neighborhoods of Chattanooga. Together, we’re going to use public art to connect more people to their city.

Thanks to the staff and board of Public Art Chattanooga for their work on this visionary plan.

Last but by no means least, I want to congratulate the sixteen graduates of a new training program that Chattanooga State Community College has created in partnership with Gestamp. After a week of specialized training, these individuals are now at work at one of the many Volkswagen suppliers that will be growing in the years ahead. Good jobs with good wages and the potential for upward mobility are at the core of our economic development strategy. I’m grateful for creative, results-oriented partnerships like this one that really work.

Thanks for everything you do.

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