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  • Mike Deming

Residents Respond To Climate Action Plan

by Mike Deming

Friday, September 8, 2023


By way of introduction, we are the group of residents loosely affiliated by the name Save Chattanooga referred to in the article “Local group attempts to undo Climate Action Plan” published Sept. 5 in The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

We have come together with a common belief that the 64 page Chattanooga Climate Action Plan, if enacted as written will, as Rick Walser was quoted in the article "...broaden surveillance in the city, force residents to abandon their gas-powered vehicles and violate property rights."


The proponents of the CAP may indeed be well intentioned. Who would argue against the goals of a cleaner environment? It is the premise and methods proposed in the CAP to achieve these goals where we differ.


Some history: The CAP was first released on March 11 of this year, followed by a public hearing on March 21 in City Council. Residents were encouraged to voice their opinions, for and against. Those opposed had numerous specific concerns. That none of the elements of the CAP had ever been on any ballot, where the citizenry could vote these points up or down was disconcerting to say the least. To many, this was the first that they had learned of this plan and its aim of a public and private citywide makeover.


The people’s voice was heard, ostensibly. On March 28 the city reissued the CAP, without addressing any of the major concerns but adding a “Preamble” that along with some reassurances on Page 7 states that there is nothing in the plan that would result in a loss of privacy, property or increase surveillance and that all Constitutional rights are secure.

On this point we must respectfully disagree.


On March 28 the Council voted 5-2 to pass the CAP.


We believe that many residents who read the CAP will come away with more questions than answers, and that a transformation of Chattanooga requires the vote of “We the People”.

To that end we are proposing ballot measure petitions.


As we want our petition efforts to be both valid and fruitful we contacted the Election Commission for guidance. After some initial confusion we are pleased to report that the Commission was most helpful in getting us on the right track.


This effort will require grassroots support and we hope that means you, gentle reader.

We second County Commissioner Lee Helton's advice for residents "to reach out to elected officials with any concerns they may have."


If Interested we encourage you to visit our website, Save Chattanooga, to learn more about the CAP, and to stay current with our ongoing bi-weekly town halls.


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