Our neighborhoods are the heart of our city and need more attention and protection. From sidewalks to safe walkable and bikeable streets, from transit to affordable housing, we need to refocus on strengthening our residential communities. We must carefully consider the future growth of Nashville Next but make sure we have a Nashville Now to address our communities’ current needs. We must make sure infrastructure and public services keep pace with growth.
I will fight for public education. Our schools are underfunded, our teachers are underpaid, and the unique characters of our schools are at risk. While it’s true that council members only have one big vote, the budget, they also get a microphone. I have the knowledge and background to use that microphone in a unique way. I will fight not only for better funding, but also for our schools themselves, their character and their thriving. I attended our district’s schools, I’ve taught in them, and my children have benefited from them. I will be one of the strongest voices our schools have had on the council.
I have the experience to hit the ground running as a council member. As Hillsboro West End Neighbors (HWEN) President, I’ve organized and participated in many community meetings to educate and build consensus on issues. From proposed zoning changes to park master plans, I know how to bring stakeholders together to discuss these issues and find solutions. I’ve worked “constituent services” as well: helping neighbors navigate Metro government in reporting crimes and code violations, finding the right city resources for problem-solving.
It’s past time for new transit solutions. I’ve endorsed the Nashville Community Transportation Platform and will help facilitate the dialogue around their four guiding principles and priorities. For a bold plan to move forward, we need consensus built before the plan is finalized. We need more bus routes, safer and more walkable streets.
Affordable housing in Nashville has become a problem for many Nashvillians. What we can’t forget in the discussion is that incomes have stagnated for many and doing what we can to improve the earning power of families is key. But we need to address affordable housing as well- I support continuing to fund the Barnes Fund to have non-profits build more affordable housing in a cost effective way.
We need to make sure all Nashvillians feel welcome and we should resist efforts by state government to marginalize LGBT individuals and counter the federal government’s assault on immigrants with inclusive policies and practices.
We need to protect our local, small businesses from going extinct. If we can incentivize new large businesses, we can surely find a helping hand for protecting that local flavor that comes from home grown small business. I grew up close to Hillsboro Village and many of the shops there had an impact on me- Mills Bookstore and Acme School Supply, I’m certain, influenced my becoming an English teacher.