CANDIDATE BIO:I am not your typical candidate. I am not your stereo typical politician. I am a millennial entrepreneur. I don’t come from money.My campaign slogan is “People Over Politics”. I truly believe we have to put start putting people first. We need to listen and focus on the growth of Knoxville for all people. We need a government who works for everyone, not just a few.I was born and raised in Knoxville. I went to Norwood Elementary, Northwest Middle, and West High. At age 17 I knew that I wanted to be the mayor of Knoxville, and began working towards that. I went to college for politics, psychology, and religious studies.I believe in smart spending, efficiency, and being innovative with how we address the cyclical problems our city faces. I believe it is the governments responsibility to insure all citizens have equal opportunity to pursue life liberty and happiness.
CANDIDATE Q&A:What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing businesses in Knoxville today? How do you plan to address this issue if elected? Knoxville fails to bring people in. We need to do better with showing the world how incredible we are. We need to market, brand, and come up with a strategy to get people to visit. 11 million people visit the Smokies every year, and they rarely spend a day in Knoxville. That is an issue. If each of those people just stopped for dinner on there way to or from, we would bring in over $2 million a year for our local economy.We need to bring back events like Boomsday and do away with the entertainment tax to begin to create revenue not only for our city, but also to boost the local economy. What do you see as the biggest infrastructure needs within the city? How would you address these as mayor? There are quite a few, but I think we need to begin to fix our roads . The potholes are out of control. I recently hit one and did $1,800 of damage to my car. That alone could cause someone to lose a job and end up on the streets. I also believe that we must step up with renewable energy. We use solar on our parking meters, so why not our street lights and lamps? Not only does this help with global warming, it also frees up money in the long run to invest elsewhere. Public transit, is also extremely important. KAT is doing amazing, but I think we need to work with the county as well to try and extend service to Forks of the River and Turkey Creek. We have to connect people to jobs. Right now some aren’t. Among the challenges faced by Knoxville is the state of schools within the city limits, particularly in its core. Although funding schools is the responsibility of Knox County government, what role do you believe the city mayor should play in education? I have personally promised to take the $20,000 raise the mayor just received and use that money to begin to fund after school programs for our kids (community gardens, renewable energy, music classes). I think we should lead by example and do more. Giving kids a place to further their education after school and stay off the streets is a must.We also need to work with some of the organizations around town who are educating kids, helping kids find jobs, and truly making a difference. Click here to visit Burkhardt’s campaign website and learn more about his views.
All candidate profile information was submitted by the candidate’s election campaign committee. The Knoxville Chamber does not support or endorse candidates in local elections.