The Midis touch: Newcomer runs for city council

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies, West Knoxville

Betty Bean has been getting me into trouble for years. And while I’m getting smarter, she’s getting more devious. So, a couple of weeks ago when Bean wrote an ode to Amelia Parker (one of five candidates for Knoxville City Council at-large Seat C; the others are Amy Midis, Hubert Smith, Bob Thomas and David Williams), I got a quick call from Midis.

Three of the five candidates will be eliminated in the Aug. 27 primary; the top vote getters will move to the general election on Nov. 5.

Midis is a relative newcomer to Knoxville. She grew up in Houston and moved here 21 years ago when her husband, Greg, took a job. He’s now a general surgeon with Premier Surgical Associates, and he must be pretty smart. He had fellowships in surgical oncology with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colon and rectal surgery with The Cleveland Clinic, according to the business website.

Amy Midis holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M and a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University of Tennessee. She was in pharmaceutical sales before marrying Greg and now works as a financial analyst for Covenant Health. The family includes daughters, ages 10 and 15.

So why is Midis running for city council?

She’s the only candidate for Seat C who has not previously run for office. Thomas was an at-large Knox County commissioner and was defeated by Glenn Jacobs in the Republican Primary for Knox County mayor. Smith and Williams have been fixtures on the local political scene for years. Parker ran for city council two years ago, seeking to replace Nick Della Volpe. Lauren Rider won that District 4 race.

Midis edged into politics by serving first as president of the Forest Heights Neighborhood Association. She served on the Bearden Council and Community Forum. She is pro-community and says community comes in many forms. “Whether it’s our family, street, neighborhood, church, business or city: All forms of community are important and should be respected and promoted.”

She says the most important role of a city council member is to “engage constituents and work to protect and advance our community.” Mayor Madeline Rogero appointed Midis to boards and committees including the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Recode Knoxville.

Midis is a preservationist. As an endurance athlete, she has run or biked the rural roads of Knox County. She supports greenways, parks and connectivity. She favors population density along corridors where infrastructure is already in place. Her experience growing up in Houston has convinced her that “the time to plan for growth is now.”

“I support the underlying vision of Recode,” she says, and she doesn’t want to scrap the work that has been done. “Ultimately, (development) is up to the developers.”

Her previous political involvement has been minimal. She hosted a house party for Renee Hoyos, who ran for Congress, and has supported Rider and former council member Duane Grieve. Amy Midis is Catholic and attends Sacred Heart Cathedral. Greg Midis is Greek Orthodox. She has volunteered with the Bike Walk Knoxville coalition.

So here is a brief introduction to Amy Midis. Standing by for phone calls from Smith and Williams.

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