Knoxville City Council Considering $50K Funding for ‘Violence Interruption’ from Nonprofits

Knoxville City Council is considering whether to grant $50,000 to community nonprofits for their “violence interruption” services. The resolution would award the funds to United Way of Greater Knoxville (UWGK). According to the resolution, UWGK would appoint a committee of community leaders to determine how the $50,000 would be spent.

Violence interruption is a community-based mechanism for preventing violence by intervening in conflicts through violence interrupters. The idea is that individuals encountered by violence interrupters have greater needs that the community can meet through services and programs, therefore eliminating that individual’s need for violent crime. Last month, the Biden Administration released a statement extolling the value of community violence intervention, under which falls violence interruption mechanisms. 

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Knoxville to Fund Up to $25,000 for COVID-19 Memorial Mural

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon pledged up to $25,000 for a mural dedicated to memorializing COVID-19 deaths. The mural will be a permanent memorial for over 600 Knox County residents who reportedly died from COVID-19. The commissioned artist, Kelsey Montague, is best known for “What Lifts You” – the popularized angel wings mural located in the Nashville Gulch.

The pandemic memorial mural will be located on one of the Clinch Avenue Viaduct underpasses at the World’s Fair Park; it will depict brightly-colored birds flying upward into a blue archway toward the base of the historical Sunsphere. Kincannon announced this development in a press release on Thursday. 

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Knoxville Appoints ‘Youth Council’ of 12 to 20-Year-Olds to Help Address City Issues

On Wednesday, Knoxville announced the appointment of 17 youths to a council dedicated to addressing city issues through “strategic planning.” The “Mayor’s Youth Council” will work alongside the Knoxville City Council and other city officials as they focus on community organizing, leadership, and advocacy. The council has a total of four eighth-graders, three high school freshmen, four sophomores, four juniors, and two seniors representing eight schools.

The council will begin meeting over the summer. They will be tasked with learning municipal services, collaborating with their peers and youth-serving nonprofits, and “strategic planning.”

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Knoxville Mayor Allots $100k for African American Equity Restoration Task Force

Knoxville’s newly-established African American Equity Restoration Task Force was allotted $100,000 in the latest city budget. Mayor Indya Kincannon highlighted this task force as one of their biggest diversity initiatives. 

That is one tenth of a percent of what Kincannon projected the task force may receive. At the end of January,  The Tennessee Star reported projections that the task force may receive $100 million in government grants over the next seven years.

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Mayor of Knoxville Latest Politician to Have Home Vandalized

The Mayor of Knoxville is the latest politician to have her home vandalized, in a trend that has become commonplace since last summer’s Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots. 

“The Knoxville Police Department is investigating after a vandalism report at Mayor Indya Kincannon’s home Sunday night,” according to a Monday report by WBIR. “When officers arrived on the scene, they observed the word ‘Death’ spray-painted in black on the backside of a detached garage at Mayor Kincannon’s house.”

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Knoxville Opts Out of Controversial Practice of Sharing Personal Data of COVID-19 Patients with Police

The City of Knoxville said Tuesday it will opt-out of sharing the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients with law enforcement following a statewide controversy over the practice.

Mayor Indya Kincannon and Police Chief Eve Thomas said that the Knoxville Police Department will leave a state program that allows law-enforcement officers across Tennessee to access a database of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19.

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