Why Vice Mayor? Why now?
If you look at our city from a political standpoint, it’s weak in community engagement. We need a vice mayor focused on more community engagement so that we have a better buildup to a big decision. My experience with the Council is that government can and should work. Finally, the vice mayor role fits with my current life in terms of having a law practice and a young family.
How do Nashville’s new tech and entrepreneurial sectors mesh with what’s already here? Do you see them replacing or pushing out other industries, or simply growing the pie?
I don’t see the pie getting smaller. I think I’m optimistic that they’re not coming here just to work but to create and build. We live in an idea economy. The more ideas we have the bigger we’ll get.
Much of what you recommend to improve Metro schools revolves around the exercise of soft power – a common vision, collaboration to build and support that vision, mobilizing political will… what more can the Mayor and Metro Council do for Metro schools?
We need to have a good understanding of how we got to where we are now (vis a vis Metro schools). History presents us with two contradictory issues. Before the charter movement came along, there was a push to get more middle class families back into the system. We made some progress in that area. At the same time, there are places that need disruption. We have to do both at same time. Right now, the two streams are in a constant battle. The Metro Council can build lines of communication and be an honest broker between the two sides. But the big long-term problem is funding. We need more funds in the system and only the Mayor can lead on that.