Announcing Environment for All: Climate Resiliency and Affordable Energy Plan for Knoxville’s Neighborhoods. 

We are excited to announce an extension of our platform today: Environment for All: Climate Resiliency and Affordable Energy Plan for Knoxville’s Neighborhoods. As a long-time climate activist, I believe cities are in a unique position to mitigate the causes and adapt to the changes of the climate crisis on a local level. Our Climate Resiliency and Affordable Energy Plan is a long-term strategic plan for the City of Knoxville with the causes, impacts, and effects of climate change at the forefront.

Here is our proposed plan in full:

Climate Resiliency and Affordable Energy Plan for Knoxville’s Neighborhoods

With hotter summers and more extreme storms, the impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt in Knoxville and around the country. Many in our communities already struggle to pay their utility bills and as Knoxville continues to grow, we need a long-term, strong, and comprehensive plan to ensure that growth is sustainable and accessible to all of Knoxville’s neighborhoods. While Knoxville has made some important steps, we need to dramatically expand our efforts to protect our communities and do our part to address the climate crisis on a city level. Our Climate Resiliency and Affordable Energy Plan is a long-term strategic plan for the City of Knoxville with the causes, impacts, and effects of climate change at the forefront. Addressing the climate crisis is an opportunity to instill real democracy, good jobs with living wages, healthy, safe, and well-resourced communities, and affordable housing for all Knoxville neighborhoods.

Energy efficiency and weatherization

  • Building on the success of the Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM) program, expand the low-income home weatherization program to serve the thousands of households on the waiting list
  • Create bill financing programs to expand access to energy efficiency upgrades to more Knoxvillians
  • Following Memphis’s example, adopt an energy efficient building ordinance for rental properties to ensure affordable power bills for Knoxville’s tenants

Renewable Energy

  • Join with cities like Athens, GA in committing to getting 100% of Knoxville’s power from renewable sources by 2035
  • Support a community-scale solar installation in Knoxville with battery storage and microgrid to create local clean energy jobs and protect Knoxville from large-scale blackouts


  • Build on the recent purchase of electric buses for the KUB Sutherland route by expanding the city bus system and converting all city buses to electric. Expanded electric bus service will reduce air pollution, commute times, carbon emissions, and fuel costs
  • Promote strong local economies in ALL of Knoxville’s neighborhoods to reduce commute times and vehicle emissions

Energy Democracy

  • Expand public participation in KUB governance and Board appointments
  • Create a multi-year climate plan with KUB and community organizations to set and meet benchmarks for reducing overall energy usage through weatherization and adoption of renewable energy sources
  • Leverage Knoxville’s position as one of the largest customers of TVA to advocate for a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the TVA system

David Hayes at the Moms Demand Action – TN (Knoxville Chapter) candidate forum

David Hayes: “I support common sense gun laws, background checks and community demands like transparent, complete and readily available gun violence stats.” Click the link below to see coverage of the event:

David Hayes wins 40% of the vote in the primary election!

Knoxville, TN – On primary election night, David Hayes, Knoxville City Council Candidate for at-Large Seat B, pulled in 6,854 votes, just shy of 40% of the total vote for the seat. Despite being grossly outspent, David and team are excited about the momentum that came out of this primary effort. He will be moving on to the general election held on November 5th, 2019.

Run for Something Endorses David Hayes

From Run For Something:

Aug. 21, 2019-  We’re incredibly excited to introduce our August 2019 endorsement class! These 55 individuals are ready to tackle the issues plaguing their communities, while also ushering in new, bold ideas that push our country in the right direction. 

“Each of these candidates has their own amazing story about what drives them a

nd why they have chosen public service,” said RFS co founder Ross Morales Rocketto. “From gun reform to childcare — they have seen a problem to solve, decided to get off the sidelines and are taking the reigns of leadership. We couldn’t be more honored to have the opportunity to endorse them for office.”

RFS was founded in 2017 and recruits and supports young, diverse progressives for down-ballot races to build a bench for the future . They aim to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to training.  

Democracy for America Endorses David Hayes

From Democracy for America:

This morning, we’re excited to endorse 17 (!) additional 2019 candidates for City Council across the U.S. These leaders hail from cities large and small & share a deep commitment to the kind of bold, inclusive populist agenda we need to transform our country.

The 2019 City Council Candidates DFA is endorsing today include:

  • Alison Brown, City Council District 5, Indianapolis (IN)
  • Joseph Busig, City Council Position 3, Oak Harbor (WA)
  • Isaac Crouch, City Council District 1, Morganton (NC)
  • Danielle Duckett, Township Supervisor, Lower Gwynedd (PA)
  • Jonathan Grieder, City Council Ward 2, Waterloo (IA)
  • David Hayes, City Council At-Large B, Knoxville (TN)
  • Shelley Kennedy, City Council District C, Houston (TX)
  • Bryan Lindstrom, City Council Ward 6, Aurora (CO)
  • Juan Marcano, City Council Ward 4, Aurora (CO)
  • Will Mbah, City Council At Large, Somerville (MA)
  • Tammy Morales, City Council District 2, Seattle (WA)
  • Anthony Nelson, City Council District F, Houston (TX)
  • Zach Niemiec, Alderman Ward 2, North Tonawanda (NY)
  • Dean Preston, Supervisor District 5, San Francisco (CA)
  • Lawana Slack Mayfield, City Council At-Large, Charlotte (NC)
  • JB Smiley, City Council Super District 8-1, Memphis (TN)
  • Caleb Theodros, City Council District 3, Charlotte (NC)

DFA has supported local candidates running for county, city, and municipal offices since its founding 15 years ago, and remains one of the only national, multi-issue progressive organizations to do so while also endorsing dozens of state and federal candidates each cycle.

In 2019, five DFA-endorsed candidates for county, city, or municipal offices have already won their general or determinative primary elections including Kate Gallego (Mayor of Phoenix, AZ), Helen Gym (Philadelphia (PA) City Council, At-Large), Bethany Hallam (Allegheny County (PA) Council, At-Large), Tobi Jackson (Fort Worth (TX) Independent School District Trustee District 2), and Melissa Cabello Havdra (San Antonio (TX) City Council District 6).

Statement from CEO Yvette Simpson on the slate of 2019 City Council candidates DFA is endorsing today:

“The 17 City Council candidates we’re endorsing today are not only excellent additions to one of the largest slate of municipal leaders Democracy for America has ever endorsed in a single election, they each share a deep commitment to the kind of bold, inclusive populist agenda we need to transform our country.

“The leaders we’re endorsing today understand that City Councils aren’t just where pot-holes are filled and budgets are balanced, they’re critical avenues for putting our values into action, empowering communities that are frequently ignored, and building the bench we need to enact progressive change over the long haul.

“As a former Cincinnati City Councilmember, I’ve seen the impact that bold, inclusive populist leaders like the seventeen we’re endorsing today can have on real people’s lives and all of us at DFA look forward to fighting alongside them through Election Day 2019 and beyond.” — Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America

David Hayes’s positions on Vote Climate’s questionnaire

Vote Climate, a network of climate change activists across Knoxville and Knox County, recently distributed a questionnaire on candidate positions on climate change policies and practices. You can read the summary of all candidates here:

David Hayes fully supports robust and meaningful action on climate change through policies and community input. David’s responses to the questionnaire are include in full below.

David Hayes City Council, At Large Seat B

1. If elected, would you support a comprehensive and equitable community-wide Climate Action Plan to reduce Knoxville’s carbon emissions in half by 2030?

Yes, I would support a comprehensive and equitable community-wide Climate Action Plan. The climate crisis calls us all to take urgent and significant action towards a just transition from fossil fuels while also mitigating the current and locked-in consequences of climate change. In order to reduce Knoxville’s carbon emissions in half by 2030 and end our use of fossil fuels for energy by 2050, we will need to transform our economy so people and the environment are prioritized over profit. The city must take a leadership role in addressing the climate crisis and adopt a comprehensive and equitable community-wide Climate Action Plan. The plan must include democratic community engagement along all parts of the development and implementation of the plan, particularly with those most vulnerable to the impacts and effects of climate change.

2. How would you engage the community in developing this plan?

The city has a responsibility to democratically engage with communities directly affected by the city’s actions. The creation of a Climate Action Plan would include a democratic process to develop the Plan’s priorities. Participants of the process would include community members, local green businesses, unions, city, county, and state departments, community and non-governmental organizations, colleges and universities, environmental experts, weatherization and energy efficiency experts, and anyone else needed to make a robust climate action plan that works for all. Community forums, focus groups, surveys, canvasses, interviews, and other methods can be implemented to ensure that the community voices are gathered through a variety of ways.

3. What would be your timeline from the launch to develop the plan to when the city would put the plan into action?

6 months to a year will be enough time to develop the climate action plan with the community, identify necessary funding, and approve the plan. I will do all in my power to ensure the plan is implemented in an urgent and effective manner.

City Council Forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and Knox News Sentinel

David and all of the city council candidates participated in the League of Women Voters and Knox News Sentinel candidate forum.

On homelessness, David highlighted the need for more of the city budget to go towards social services:

Seat B candidate David Hayes said the city’s budget should reflect human rights and should be reprioritized.

“Because right now, the option of displacing homeless people and criminalizing homeless people is not working. It’s unjust,” he said.

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