Knoxville City Council to meet Tuesday night, confirm African American Equity Restoration Task Force


(Photo: WATE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — City Council is slated to meet Tuesday night where several agenda items will be discussed and possibly approved by council members. Among those items includes the creation of the African American Equity Restoration Task Force, which had been proposed by Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie late last year.

In mid-December, the city council unanimously approved the vice mayor’s resolution with next steps discussed regarding the grant funding for $100 million over a 10-year period to create opportunities for economic equity in order for the African American community to thrive, according to city leaders.

The African American Equity Restoration Task Force will be comprised of members from business, community, financial, education, faith, healthcare, youth and city leaders. Those members will also be approved by the city council Tuesday night. The new task force will be tasked, according to the city, “to identify strategic solutions to improve areas of disparity and disenfranchisement in the Black community and work with existing agencies in the community.”

The move comes after months of development to make amends for the city’s past removal policies via its urban renewal projects in the 1950s – 1970s. Urban renewal impacted mostly Black residents and Black-owned businesses in the area that is now the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum.

Also on the city council agenda for Tuesday night is the resolution confirming the appointment of a new member to the city’s Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC). Other ordinances on second reading include some zoning approvals, budget appropriations, city code amendment requests; plus some hearings on zoning matters brought forward from the Board of Zoning Appeals or plans review. There are also resolutions authorizing the mayor to execute agreements for grants, subgrantee agreements; as well as first readings on other proposed ordinances. A public forum will also be held.

The full public agenda can be viewed below. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building.

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