Events of Notable Civic Importance

Yes, there are several meetings of perhaps greater-than-normal importance, or at least wider appeal, than those we usually feature in this space. The first is this week's City Council Candidate Forum, featuring all 14 candidates now competing for votes in the city's Sept. 22 district primary election. The forum will be held on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building. Now on to health care. Eight of Tennessee's nine House members (including three of its four Democrats) as well as both of its Senators have indicated an opposition to a so-called "public option" as part of a health reform bill. Want to talk to them about it in one of those wacky town-hall meetings you've been hearing about? Well, you're going to have to drive a bit. Despite a scheduled town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 26, (in the hateful limbo between MP's production and distribution days), a most assuredly bipartisan effort featuring State House Reps. Stacey Campfield and Frank Niceley, the good folks at, and Drew Johnson of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Knoxville isn't slated to host any of our actual Congressional leaders. But some of our neighbors are. Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Chattanooga, will be at the Loudon County Courthouse, at 101 Mulberry St. in Loudon, on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. Rep. Phil Roe, Republican of Johnson City, will be at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education at 300 W. Market St. in Kingsport, on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Finally, Rep. Zach Wamp, Republican of Chattanooga and a 2010 gubernatorial candidate, will be hosting his annual Labor Day Picnic at Coker Farm, 6730 Standifer Gap Rd. in Chattanooga, on Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. E-mail backzach(at)zachwamp(dot)com for free tickets.