Lauren Rider

Lauren Rider

Knoxville City Council

Councilwoman, 4th District

Hometown: Augusta, GA

What is your vision for Knoxville 10 years from now?

A thriving and engaging city with ample and varied housing options, accessible education and job opportunities, connected with walkable, bike-able and transit friendly commercial hubs. To reach this goal we need early child education programs to support working parents and children ready to learn, healthcare accessible to all, and increased, improving housing options.

What is Knoxville’s Best Kept Secret?

The waterways – we have amazing waterways that can be used for local activities like kayaking or longer trips to the Gulf of Mexico, the midwest, or the Great Loop. I’d love to see more opportunities for everyone, particularly youth, in Knoxville to experience our waterways.

What would you do to strengthen Knoxville?

Childcare and Pre-K opportunities: healthcare, greenways, housing, and transportation are high on my list, but childcare supports families need to work and Pre-K creates Kindergarten ready learners. It’s a weakness we need to address to grow a stronger and healthier community.

What is your favorite Knoxville memory?

The annual Knoxville Christmas tree lighting – usually with visiting family. I love sharing the excitement of Santa, fireworks, and the countdown to lighting with all of the kids and families, including my visiting nieces and my kids. It’s magical and exciting and kicks off the season.

What is your favorite book or what book is currently on your nightstand?

The Onliest One Alive; Surviving Jonestown, Guyana by Jonestown survivor Catherine Thrash

What is the best advice you have received from a mentor, and who was that mentor?

Make decisions with the team’s input, the people doing the work must be part of the change process and buy-in from the beginning (from the Deming Model of Management). – Sheila Hofstetter, Library Director at Community Hospitals of Indianapolis

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Enjoy and live the moment you are in, the here and now, rather than hyper-focus on what’s next/future planning.

Lauren Rider