By Camm Ashford
Around 25 family, friends and faith leaders gathered outside the Community Haven, 815 N. Hickory St., Tuesday morning to support Marie Mott’s race as Chattanooga City Councilwoman for District 8.
Community activist Mott will face incumbent Marvene Noel during a runoff election on Sept. 15.
“This is not a contest between me and my opponent, but rather this is a contest between the concerned and the complacent,” Mott said. “And you must decide what you are. Are you concerned, or are you complacent? Do you look to the future, or do you cling to the past? The next three years will be decisive in the life of our city.”
The runoff was triggered because Mott, chairperson for Civic Engagement at the Hamilton County Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP, did not secure a majority by receiving more than 50% of the vote in the Aug. 4 general election.
Mott received 557 (46.3%) of the 1,202 ballots cast to Noel’s 341 in the District 8 race to fill out the remainder of the term of former Councilman Anthony Byrd, who in February resigned his post on the nine-member council to become Chattanooga’s new City Court clerk.
Malarie B. Marsh, who won’t proceed to the runoff election this September, came in third with 294 votes. Marsh joined Mott at the news conference Tuesday and urged her supporters to back Mott.
“I stand here today to show my public support of Marie as our first elected councilwoman,” Marsh said. “And I ask everyone who supported me to now support Marie, and give her your vote. My voice is clear. My support is unwavering.”
Mott said the priorities she sees for the Sept.15 election are “cleaner neighborhoods, safer streets, accessible housing and better opportunities for every resident regardless of ZIP code.”
“You must decide as citizens whether you believe what we’re doing now is good enough, or whether you take the view that we need change,” Mott said. “I believe you agree with me. If we’re going to improve our position in the nation, the quality of our lives and peace in our communities, we must change.”
District 8 includes areas of Chattanooga, including Alton Park, Avondale, Bushtown, Courthouse, Downtown, East Chattanooga, East Lake, Eastside and Ridgedale.