Better Know A Candidate: Marshall Stair

Laura Braden Politics Leave a Comment

Just who is Marshall Stair?

Marshall Stair was born and raised in Knoxville. In 2000 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.  After college, Marshall traveled around the world visiting 26 countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and South America. When he returned to the United States, he moved back to New Orleans and worked at the front desk at the Crown Plaza Hotel in the French Quarter. Shortly thereafter he took a job with a non profit environmental group which led him to live in Houston, TX, Austin, TX, and Chicago, IL.

After applying to law school Marshall decided to pursue his goal of learning Spanish and moved to Mexico City, Mexico in early 2004. While living in Mexico he taught English part time to various business executives and learned Spanish, which he now speaks fluently.

In the summer of 2005 Marshall returned home to attend the University of Tennessee College of Law. While at the University of Tennessee, he served as the director of the Pro Bono Organization and served on the Public Interest Committee. In 2008, Marshall received the William M. Leech, Jr. Public Service Award for outstanding service to the legal profession, the legal system and the local community.

While attending law school, Marshall worked for the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, as a bilingual legal assistant.  He assisted federal investigations enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. In the summer of 2007, Marshall interned at the State Attorney’s Office in Miami, FL where he prosecuted DUIs, prostitution, moving violations, and other misdemeanors.

Marshall received his J.D. with honors from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and began working at the law firm of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C. that fall. He concentrates his practice primarily in insurance casualty defense, employment law, and general commercial and tort litigation.

After living in the Historic Fort Sanders neighborhood during law school, Marshall moved to his current residence in downtown Knoxville in 2009. Marshall is involved in a number of civic organizations including the Central Business Improvement District (Vice Chair), City People (President), Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (board member), Bijou Theatre, Fort Sanders Community Development Corporation, KBA Barristers, and Knoxville Opera.

Marshall’s hobbies include canoeing, hiking, rafting, long city walks, and UT football.

Marshall comes from a long line of Knoxvillians. His great grandfather worked for White Lily Flour, his grandfather worked for Standard Knitting Mills, and his father has practiced law in the community for over 30 years. Marshall has a deep commitment to the city and is excited about the opportunity to serve publicly helping Knoxville become the most dynamic, vibrant city in the region.

If Elected to City Council, Stair Will…

  • Be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. The most important role government leaders play is to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair deal. As a City Council member, I will work to make city services more effective and efficient.
  • Promote quality development. Downtown has experienced remarkable success over the last fifteen years due to community based development that focuses on creating attractive public spaces surrounded by vibrant small businesses. We need to take this model for quality development to other parts of the city. That means supporting the plans for the South Knoxville Waterfront, Cumberland Avenue, the Central and Broadway Corridor, and the Magnolia Avenue Corridor, as well as small area plans like those for Bearden, Vestal, and Inskip. We must make sure these plans are implemented properly and as quickly as feasible.
  • Support neighborhoods. Through strict codes enforcement, placing an emphasis on addressing blighted properties, and supporting our neighborhood organizations, we can make our neighborhoods more healthy, vibrant, and sustainable.
  • Foster meaningful public participation. To be an effective voice for you, I must first hear your voices. I will strive to create opportunities for the public to be involved from the very beginning of decision-making processes.
  • Build a strong local economy with good jobs for all our residents. I will seek new opportunities for sustainable economic growth. We must support the businesses, especially the small businesses that already call Knoxville home. We must work with the Chamber to attract new businesses with well-paying jobs. And we must focus on education to build a competitive workforce.
  • Get the most from our transportation investments. I support the Complete Streets concept, which focuses on designing and operating roadways with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
  • Nurture an excellent quality of life. A city with excellent quality of life draws both visitors and new businesses and enriches the lives of its residents. Our nonprofit organizations and their volunteers make major contribution to Knoxville’s quality of life – City leaders should recognize their contributions and partner with them when possible. I support Knoxville’s dynamic music and arts community. Our historic structures connect us to a city with a vibrant past and must be preserved where economically feasible. Our City parks and greenways must be well maintained and expanded. In addition, the scenic ridge tops and hillsides that are our heritage must be appropriately protected.

10 Questions for Stair…

  1. Favorite Local Guilty Pleasure: Ribs (Beef and Pork) at Chandler’s Deli
  2. Favorite Childhood Memory of Knoxville: Walking to Shoney’s in Bearden on snow days and hanging out at the Mercury Theatre on Market Square.
  3. Favorite Local Restaurant: Pete’s Coffee Shop
  4. Favorite Annual Knoxville Event: Christmas Parade
  5. I’m Rooting for the: South Knoxville Waterfront Project because it has so much raw potential and for Sierra Nevada locating in East Tennessee. Also, the “Urban Wilderness” is my favorite oxymoron.
  6. One Word that Describes Knoxville: Authentic.
  7. I’m Currently Reading: Choice and Consequence by Thomas Schelling and Tennessee Rivers by Bob Lantz are on my nightstand.  I have to admit that I have not made much progress on these since I started the campaign.
  8. I Can’t Start My Day Without: Not sure I need anything to start my day. But I’ve found those around me like it when I shower and brush my teeth.
  9. Most Inspirational Politician/Statesman: Martin Luther King, Jr.
  10. Quote that Sums of Your WorldviewWe should not live in cities where we have to drive to take a walk.

For more information on the Stair campaign, please visit and Facebook.

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