I spend the overwhelming part of my day shuttling young adults to and from Chattanooga State. These are students of East Ridge and recent high school graduates. Some are grown up adults.
I also run groups of teenagers, neighbors, and friends to and from downtown several times weekly. That’s where all the fun stuff is – you know, the activities that keep teens out of “trouble.”
This is not how I want to spend my life. I do it because there’s no other way for these people to get the education or enrichment they deserve and need.
Look around East Ridge. In fact, I’m sure you know of someone here who doesn’t have a vehicle. Go to the high school and look at the student parking lot. There’s always plenty of room to park because parents around here can’t afford to buy “extra” cars.
The majority of higher paying jobs are offered in the downtown and Amazon area yet people who don’t have transportation can’t apply. The opportunity to better yourself, family, and community is lost.
You want the teens out of Pioneer Park? You want access to higher education? You want for your neighbor to be able to apply at EPB, TVA, any place downtown? Do you want to stop paying the insane parking fees to work or visit the downtown area? Do you want families that do not have vehicles to be able to enjoy our city? What about just getting from one side of East Ridge to the other?
There is one answer and it’s easy. Carta.
Myself, all the students that are 18+ that ride with me, their parents, my neighbors who can’t drive, will all be traveling together to vote this time. We’ve already have the after party in place, complete with swag bags. We will only vote for City Council people that promise to get us Carta – to the best of their ability.
Imagine if all the people who can vote could actually get there? Regardless of who you vote for, I will give you a ride.
I do not participate in social media. Any candidates or voters interested in responding can email us at [email protected]
_ Samantha Baker