In this blog post, we examine the policies and positions of Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate running for U.S. House District 7 in Tennessee. Also in this series, we profile Mark Green, the Republican incumbent for the same House seat.Guest Blog | October 24, 2022
This blog post was written by Brady Watson, former Civic Engagement Coordinator for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
This post is part of a series examining where 2022 candidates running for public offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites, and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools.
In this blog post, we examine the policies and positions of Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate running for U.S. House District 7 in Tennessee. Also in this series, we profile Mark Green, the Republican incumbent for the same House seat. Election Day is November 8, 2022.
Odessa was born and raised in Nashville and worked in Nashville’s Parks and Recreation department leading the Napier Community Center for more than a decade. She co-founded Stand Up Nashville, a non-profit community organization in 2016. Odessa now has two kids and lives in Inglewood. She is a member of the historic Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Kelly supports the Green New Deal, which emphasizes massive investments in clean energy. “The Green New Deal is a vision where we create good-paying union jobs to build a new America powered by clean energy,” Kelly said. She also said, “And let’s be clear: The folks most impacted by this [climate] crisis are poor communities of color. We’ve got to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, carbon-free renewable energy, and a just transition, because like it or not, the climate crisis is here.”
The Green New Deal section on Kelly’s website states: “The climate crisis is already damaging communities like our own and we must act boldly to combat its devastating impacts.” Further, it states: “The Green New Deal also includes a Just Transition that prioritizes union workers, communities on the frontline of the climate crisis, and low-income families who have powered our economy for more than a century and who have too often been neglected by corporations and politicians.”
Kelly published an op-ed in the Tennessean touting Ford’s Blue Oval City electric vehicle manufacturing plant in West Tennessee as an investment in clean energy, and a way to confront climate change. “Just outside Memphis, Ford and SK Innovation plan to bring 11,000 good-paying — hopefully union — jobs, manufacturing electric trucks and batteries, part of an $11.4 billion overall investment in production, jobs and clean energy.
Call it whatever you like, but I call it the Green New Deal. It’s an investment to the scale we need to begin to meet the twin crises of generational poverty and climate change.”
Energy Equity and Energy Burden
Kelly’s website states: “While our planet suffers and working-class communities battle pollution-related diagnoses like asthma, corporations and those at the top continue to pollute our water and air, and profit off our suffering. It’s time to cut a new deal for America’s working and middle class — one that ensures everyone shares in the dream of shared American prosperity.”
High-Risk Energy: Coal, Nuclear, Oil, Gas
On her Facebook page, Kelly posted: “Every oil spill should be a warning as to how dangerous fossil fuels are, not just to the planet, but to us! We need a #GND and we need it now.”
Early voting in Tennessee runs from October 19 – November 3. Election Day for the 2022 midterms will be held on November 8, 2022. Find voting information in Tennessee.