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CTVKnox.org video of the Mayoral Forum is available below

Thank you for joining us at the CODI Mayoral Forum

Mayoral Candidates Forum were hosted by the Mayor’s Council on Disability Issues (CODI) on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the City County Building's Main Assembly Room.

Certified American Sign Language Interpreters and CART Captioning provided effective communication for this forum.

Mayoral and City Council candidates were given the option of also submitting written responses to the questions asked during the forum. Submitted responses are below:

Indya Kincannon – Candidate for City Mayor
Marshall Stair – Candidate for City Mayor
Davis Hayes – Candidate, City Council at Large Seat B
Charles F. Lomax – Candidate, City Council at Large Seat A
Charles Thomas – Candidate, City Council District 5

During the forum, each candidate was allotted no more than 90 seconds to answer each of the following questions. Candidates received all questions in advance of the forum:

1. Describe your experience with individuals with disabilities in Knoxville. How have you included individuals with disabilities in your campaign efforts? How do you plan to include this population during your tenure as Mayor?

2. The City of Knoxville has aging and outdated recreational facilities and park spaces that are in included in an ADA study to identify what needs to be done to make these areas inclusive, and able to promote healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities. We have received 1.4 million dollars to date to remediate 21 facilities. While this is a good start toward making these facilities ADA compliant, more funding is needed to complete additional improvements. What is your plan to ensure that accessibility and ADA compliance is a necessity when it comes to providing resources and funding?

3. How will your leadership as Mayor encourage other departments and local businesses to support greater civic participation by residents of all ages and abilities?

4. For years, the City of Knoxville has supported the meaningful employment of individuals with disabilities by participating in National Disability Employment Awareness Month activities, hosting several job seekers with disabilities throughout the city, as well as regular engagement with the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium. Describe your past participation in these efforts, and how you would improve them.

5. Knoxville’s Disability Services Office serves over 300 residents and visitors with disabilities each year, and is comprised of one full-time, and one part-time employee. This office is responsible for providing information, addressing ADA complaints, guiding the City’s ADA compliance efforts, and providing City employee accommodation requests. CODI has long supported the expansion of this office in order to provide additional supports and services to individuals with disabilities who live and visit Knoxville. How are you going to ensure that our City makes more headway in supporting persons with disabilities through an expansion of disability services?

6. Active leadership by persons with disabilities is necessary to ensure that any decisions made are made with these voices being present to identify how those decisions may impact our community. How will you engage individuals with disabilities to be included in key City leadership posts?

7. Living with a disability is very expensive, and the lack of accessible housing and aging compounds the problem. This can force individuals to live in institutional settings vs. independent living within their communities. As Mayor, how will you increase the percentage of accessible housing units required to address this systemic issue?

8. Transportation options are a critical concern for thousands of individuals with disabilities and those aging in the Knoxville area. How will you address the lack of accessible cabs/Uber, lack of and compliance with accessible street parking, accessible sidewalks, bus stops and crosswalks, and the lack of accountability for access in emerging transit technologies?

9. Homelessness is a term that goes a lot deeper than what is actually seen on the surface and is greater than just mental illness and addiction—veterans, persons with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, individuals with job loss, individuals not qualifying for services, opioid addiction, etc. How do you perceive homelessness in Knoxville and how are going to combat this issue during your term as Mayor?

CODI Members at Mayoral Forum