My name is Mitzi Yates, candidate for Hamilton County Commission District 3 in 2012.
I advocate those traditional American values of our Democratic heritage that include fulfilling our civic responsibilities of fair play, equality, and yes, recognizing we have a responsibility for "the least of these".
My first political awareness began in the home where my father was a labor union Democrat and Mom attended National Organization for Women meetings. My parents read the newspaper, watched the TV news and discussed the stories of the day. I grew up watching 60 Minutes, reading a wide variety of books and magazines and learning from my family their views on events.
Hixson was new then. Northgate and the new suburbs were surrounded by woods where a child could play. We lived in Middle Valley and moved to Big Ridge in 1978. I attended public school and grew into my high school years. In 1980, I began at Hixson High School.
My first Democratic functions were Marilyn Lloyd receptions I attended on my own at the age of 16. During my senior year of high school, I was offered a minority scholarship to a historically black college in Nashville. Graduating from Hixson High in 1983, I began at Tennessee State University that fall. In 1983, TSU was at the end of a five year merger process that saw the bringing together of the white UT Nashville and the black TSU. Minority scholarships were offered to white students who lived on campus and fully participated in the undergraduate experience. I was a 4.0 scholar and participated in campus activities.
While at TSU, I began my first real political work in the State Senate Clerk's Office for two legislative sessions.
I transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1985, beginning the second part of my undergraduate experience and earning a Humanities degree. At that time, the Campus Democrats of UTC were composed of a group of dedicated, smart, and creative students. I was an active member and would remain involved with this group for the next five years as it evolved into the Young Democrats of Hamilton County. It was during my UTC days, I spent a year as an English teacher in the People's Republic of China.
I have spent much of my career in the legal and healthcare fields. Currently, I am in Operations at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
Hamilton County Commission District 3 is a diverse area ranging from old Hixson to Lakesite. Having lived in the area for most of the last 40 years, I am familiar with this community: its attributes and its challenges from the perspective of an ordinary citizen.