More than a year ago, I announced that I would be running for Vice Mayor of Nashville. I said that I would engage in a "conversation with our community about where Nashville should be going, what we want this city to be, and what are the most pressing issues of the day." Since that time, I've written both about process and about substance.
As I work for the citizens of Nashville, I will focus the process on the values of inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability. Focusing on these values will go a long way in helping the public decide whether the decisions of their government are well-informed and make sense. We will also stay focused on these issues:
To improve the quality of Nashville's public eduction, I will work to forge a common vision for educational equity and excellence. We will form collaborative bodies to support the vision, and expand services for student learning and healthy development. As Vice Mayor, I want to mobilize public and political will for quality schools.
Transportation and Transit
I will empower council members who are committed to improving the quality of our sidewalks, streets, and mass transit though reliance on objective, expert information. I will also work to build more consensus, acknowledging the diversity of impacts, and thinking more regionally about transportation and transit.
Writing about my ancestor who was charged with murder, I noted that to confront the realities of crime and incarceration, we must build a better mental health intervention system. We must scale up the drug treatment programs in the jail and run by our judges. Domestic violence needs to be confronted at its source, and the conversation about racism should not wait for the police.
To address gentrification, I believe that we should take a portion of increased revenue from every demolition and rebuilding project in Nashville and dedicate it to the construction of affordable housing in the neighborhood where the demolition took place. This dedication could last for 10, 15, 20 years, or longer if needed. Making such a dedication of funds like this would help us preserve the vitality and affordability of our urban neighborhoods, while acknowledging the power of the real estate market.
My year of travel in Latin America changed me forever and will always be with me as I represent Nashville as its Vice Mayor. I will fight to meet the challenge of converting the energy, desires, and hospitality of Nashville’s newest residents to make us an even greater place to call home. With the help of the young men and women graduating from our high schools, we will make a NextNashville of which we can all be proud.
The Environment and Innovation
Trying to get your attention on serious, dry matter, I posted photos of Lenin and J. Edgar Hoover. It's clear to me that if we persistently invest in what we know works - like green building practices and expanding our open space - we'll take great strides in improving our environment. If we marry persistence with the innovation for which Nashville's becoming known, we will lead the nation in transforming the environment we leave for the next generation.
I also wrote about cycling, what's best about Nashville, and one of Nashville's great lawyers. But, for now I'm taking a break to focus on more traditional campaigning activities. Keep following the campaign on twitter and facebook or shoot me an email at email@example.com. With your help, I'll restart the blog as Vice Mayor after August 6, 2015.