At BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, our culture revolves around a simple belief - that
everyone is valued. Every voice is important, respected, trusted, communicated with and made to
feel a part of the team.
Our mission of peace of mind through better health is for all Tennesseans - from our employees,
business partners and members to our neighbors throughout Chattanooga and across the state.
BlueCross is one of the largest employers in the Chattanooga area, with approximately 4,800 team
members who work on our Cameron Hill campus or telecommute. In my role as Vice President of
Diversity and Inclusion, I often say, "You're either going to be intentionally inclusive or unintentionally
Inclusion is part of who we are, and we consider not only race, nationality and gender, but also
other facets of each person's identity and story. We actively recruit veterans and people who
self-identify as disabled or differently abled. We have a program specifically designed to help people
on the autism spectrum integrate into our workforce. And we offer LGBTQ benefits, host LGBTQ
awareness sessions and work with universities to encourage their LGBTQ students to attend
Therefore, we want to express our support for all members of our community to be valued,
respected and treated equally.
Mayor Berke and City Council:
I’m writing today not only as a candidate for office, but also as a concerned citizen. I
wholeheartedly support the Call for Equality Ordinance that the Chattanooga Queer Community Forum has
It’s vital that our community is an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all walks of life.
When our LBGTQ+ neighbors can live and work with the confidence that they enjoy basic legal
protections from discrimination, harassment, and exclusion, it will make Chattanooga a better
place for all of us.
At the moment there is no better opportunity to set the tone for such inclusion than for Hamilton
County’s biggest city - Chattanooga - to take a bold step in affirming legal protection for its
LGBTQ+ citizens. Should I be elected as Hamilton County’s next mayor, I will ask the County
Commission to pass a companion ordinance so that these protections are ubiquitous throughout
I urge Mayor Berke and the City Council to unanimously pass the Call for Equality Ordinance. Not
only will this measure provide important legal support our local LGBTQ+ community, but it will
also signal to the entire country about the kind of welcoming, inclusive community that
Chattanooga and Hamilton County are.
Candidate for Hamilton County Mayor