Hello City Council Members,
As a local business owner, a life-long Chattanoogan, and a concerned citizen, I’d like to
wholeheartedly express my company’s support of the Call for Equity Ordinance, issued
recently by the Chattanooga Queer Community Forum.
As we have learned from Mayor Berke’s fine leadership, we are a stronger community
when everyone has a seat at the table. I remember how impressed I was at Mayor
Berke’s response to the tragic 2015 shooting at the US Navy Reserve as he
immediately ensured the Muslim members of our community felt safe and protected
from any undue retaliation. The best moments in our city’s history has been when we
protected the most vulnerable of our citizens from any form of discrimination or abuse.
I have no doubt that our city and your ordinances will be at the forefront of ensuring
equal rights and treatment of the LGBTQ members of our community. As a mental
health therapist, I can tell you that homosexuality is not a new trend sweeping our
nation – rather, people of all sexual orientations have long been a part of our
community, nation and world - and it’s time that we make room for them. LGBTQ
people deserve more than tolerance, they deserve to be celebrated, accepted and
protected at the same level of any other community member.
LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a
mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorder. The fear of coming
out and being discriminated against can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress
disorder, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. Let’s do all we can to lessen this
statistic and make our city a welcoming place for all.
Dear City Council Members,
I wanted to write to fully express my support as a local business owner for the Call for Equity
When we chose to relocate our business to Chattanooga two years ago, one of the big factors
was how much it felt like Chattanooga was a city on the rise. Chattanooga is a forward thinking
city that has used cutting edge thinking to advance and grow a great deal in a short period of
time. The city has done so much to make itself an attractive place to live and work, including
development of the waterfront area, installation of the best internet in the country, and the
creation of a community based on innovation; all of this definitely played a factor in our decision
to move our business here.
I feel strongly that passing the Call For Equity ordinance would be a significant continuation of
the policies that have led to Chattanooga being a city on the rise. I know that creating an
environment where all citizens are treated equally will ensure top talent is excited to come to
Chattanooga. Passage of the ordinance would show leadership and a forward thinking mindset
from the city government, and would show businesses that Chattanooga will continue to be
leaders and innovators on all civic-oriented fronts. I believe that not only is the Call for Equity
Ordinance the right thing to do, but it also would continue to make Chattanooga a place for
businesses to start, relocate to, and grow.
I hope you will vote to pass the Call for Equity Ordinance; I believe it reflects a respect for the
diversity of Chattanooga, as well as making Chattanooga a great place to do business.
Dear Chattanooga City Council,
ChattaVegan is a local nonprofit that strives to create a healthier, more environmentally conscious, and kinder Chattanooga. We support for the Call for Equity Ordinance put forth by the Chattanooga Queer Community Forum. We both affirm and ally with the LGBTQ community and believe that one’s sexual and gender orientation should have no bearing when it comes to considerations of equality in all aspects of life.
While Chattanooga’s residents represent a wide range of political and religious views, it is apparent that our city is a harbor of inclusion and progress that sets us apart and promotes growth. The Call for Equality Ordinance aligns with the ethos and trajectory already set forth by Chattanooga's city and residents.
Chattanooga is bursting with talent, and the path forward is to celebrate such talent without discrimination. We view the allowance and lack of accountability regarding discriminatory practices as fundamentally incompatible with the vision of Chattanooga’s future.
A better Chattanooga engages in practices that promote conscientiousness and kindness. ChattaVegan does not see those principles as separate from the inclusion of our queer community. Inclusion is intrinsic in our values and a truth we consider self-evident in any persons pursuit of justice and equality in today’s America. We ask that you consider our voice–among so many others–to support for the Call for Equity Ordinance put forth by the Chattanooga Queer Community Forum.