It's time we put community first.
Let's grow a city for all of us!
Nashville needs city leaders who will take care their community outside the boundaries of downtown. In the 16th, we've been waiting for years for sidewalks, but somehow there never seems to be any money. Unless it's a behemoth, with their hand out for a handout.
Nashville needs to invest in the livability of our neighborhoods. We could easily refine and expand programs that improve our quality of life, with traffic calming measures, traffic control systems and better public transportation. But we don't.
Why? Because we are not spreading our resources equitably throughout the city so that everyone benefits.
As 16th district councilwoman, I put community first. I support budgets that:
fully fund our public schools and public services, including living wages and guaranteed COLA and Step increases
invest in measures to make Metro fully accessible for all, including language equity
invest in community infrastructure like sidewalks, crosswalks, bikeways, green space and trees
create more affordable housing, and invest in and work toward making homelessness rare, one-time, and brief
create a dynamic, livable community where everyone is welcome and can have a full and fulfilling life
Preserving the heart and soul of our city
Growth is good, but it brings along with it a host of obstacles that our community deals with every day. I don't want our growth to come at the expense of the heart and soul of Nashville. The city’s rapid growth is causing uncertainty among the people who live and work here. Small business owners don't know from day to day whether their landlord will sell their building or break their lease. And because the growth brings with it rising property values, they can't afford to buy a permanent space.
Young people who want to start families and put down roots are being priced out. Lower income residents are being pushed out to the margins, where there’s not infrastructure in place to support them and get them to and from their jobs.
We need to take intentional, proactive measures to preserve what we value - our people, our diversity, and all the quirky small businesses and things that make this district our home. Because the bottom line is, a culture is people. Not buildings, not amusements, but people. And if those people leave, then no matter what the landscape looks like, the culture is dead. It can't be old Nashville versus new Nashville. We're one Nashville, and we need to consciously work together to make certain that stays true.
As your councilperson, I will continue to work to
develop tools to incentivize and support locally-owned small business so they can get established, thrive, and survive
make sure any incentives offered to private companies have clear and verifiable community benefits, with mechanisms built in to assure that the companies live up to their commitments
ensure that as we continue to grow, we have local community input and realize a true community benefit, so we don't lose what makes us great
Changing Nashville's priorities
If a budget is a moral document that reflects values, what does Nashville value?
Not our Metro workers. They’ve gotten meager raises over the past 10 years that haven't even kept up with inflation.
Not public services like the fire department and emergency services. We've only built one new firehouse since 2001, despite growing by over 100,000 people. We don’t meet the federal two-in two-out rule, putting not only our firefighters in danger, but the community, too. And the 911 call center has added only 1 full time person since 2008. That adds up to one 911 staff for each 14,348 people.
Not education. In 2019, students used textbooks that didn't even mention President Obama. We don’t have enough teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers or bus monitors. And wages are so low that school personnel can't afford to live or work in the city.
Not community infrastructure that makes a community, livable, walkable and sustainable, like connected sidewalks, protected bike lanes, reliable and consistent bus transport, neighborhood parks and green space, and more .
As your councilperson, I prioritize our community first. As we grow, we need to make intentional decisions based on what our community values and needs as a whole, so our community well-being and quality of life is enhanced, and everyone benefits.