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David Hayes is an activist, organizer, and working-class Knoxvillian

who is devoted to uplifting and empowering individuals, families,

workers, and communities in Knoxville and throughout Appalachia.

David has lived in south Knoxville and the UT area since moving to

Knoxville at 18, and is deeply committed to seeing it thrive and be

an affordable place for all. 

David grew up in a working-class household, with two veteran

parents who were committed to serving their community through

their involvement in the church. David’s upbringing led to his

commitment to community organizing and fighting injustice, a passion that began in his teens and led to his leadership in a number of community, political, and labor organizations.


Through a number of hands-on experiences, David has gained the insight and courage necessary to bring important changes to Knoxville’s city council. These experiences include: organizing workers for a union and a living wage, organizing neighbors to improve their neighborhood, helping people in need find affordable housing, working with families and their loved ones who are battling court cases, drafting policies to grant more power to communities and neighborhoods, and many more.


David is proud to be raising a beautiful and loving young child in South Knoxville. Ensuring South Knoxville is a safe, affordable, and accessible place for all is an important reason David is running to represent District 1 on Knoxville’s City Council. In addition to caring for a little one and community organizing, David also works at the Highlander Research and Education Center.


David understands that people deserve a city council that will work with communities to improve their lives and bring living wages, affordable homes, safe and healthy communities, and real democracy to Knoxville.



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