TLDR: Covenants and Exhibits

April 4, 2023

We have a Metro Council meeting tonight. You can review proposed amendments and analysis of the agenda. There is a public hearing.

Last week was one of the hardest I've endured in Nashville.

Alex Apple, who recently joined our team as communications director, knew something was wrong immediately from his mom, who has been on staff at The Covenant School for decades. Today we're just glad she's still with us. And we mourn those who are not.

This was Nashville's first mass shooting at a school. May we never have another.

What has been extraordinary for me to witness has been the response of young people and their parents demanding stronger protections from gun violence from the state legislature. For my part, I hope that the governor and General Assembly can produce a bipartisan red flag law before this session adjourns.

So far, the state's reaction has included seeking to expel three state house members who sought to elevate the urgency of the potential for state action. Watch the video and marvel that this legislative body wants to tell others about how to structure themselves for "effective government."

Meanwhile, it appears that a majority of my colleagues are prepared to advance a deal that would put taxpayers on the hook for $4b worth of new stadium for the Titans even as the state is in the process of taking over our Sports Authority.

I give you Exhibit B from the East Bank Stadium Committee Q&A document, which shows the expected revenues, all from public sources. Now add $500m of required infrastructure. Now add $500m in state bonds. Pretty soon we're talking real public funding!

For my part personally, I do not want my legacy on Council to include one of my final votes setting a record for public subsidy of an NFL stadium, especially at a time when the state is aggressively wresting control of our oversight mechanisms.

What's Happening

  • Public Hearing
  • We will have a public hearing on a resolution intended to have us recommend maps based on compliance with state law reducing the size of the Metro Council from 40 to 20. I have no opinion on any maps until and unless a court compels us to comply. The chaos the state has caused here is unreasonable. [RS2023-2062]
  • I'm very supportive of using some of our last discretionary dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act to support a rebate for e-bikes, but I don't know if this has been heard by the oversight committee yet. [RS2023-1951]
  • Given the $4b in public subsidy for the stadium, the so-called Nashville Needs Impact Fund is peanuts. I would prefer that the stadium deal be improved or defeated, so we'll see what happens. If the deal is approved, I would not want to reject this opportunity, but this does not move me to feeling favorable about the overall deal. [RS2023-2044]
  • I support the idea of extending funding for supporting our tree canopy. [RS2023-2063]
  • I still don't know where we are on the competing entertainment bills. I'll listen tonight. [BL2022-1630, BL2022-1631]
  • The stadium deal. I support almost all the amendments that would improve the deal. I expect most of them to fail, and I cannot support the deal without them. [BL2023-1741]

What's Coming

  • Lots of basic zoning and infrastructure bills.

What I'm Hearing

  • I'm still hearing that Metro is a limiting factor for projects actively working to create long-term affordable housing. We have to be in a position where Metro is accelerating—not slowing—affordable housing.
  • I'm not sure why, but there seem to be a lot of traffic signals out more often than I've seen before in different parts of the city.

What I've Been Up To

  • I stood with students and families last week and this week
  • I enjoyed celebrating Lorenzo Washington Day with CM Syracuse.

What You Can Do

  • Support survivors of the Covenant School shooting.
  • Add your voice to those calling for a safer Tennessee.
  • Continue to speak out against state pre-emption.
  • We're 101 days out from early voting in municipal elections. Go ahead and check your voter registration. Know a friend who recently moved to Nashville but hasn't registered yet? Get them registered. Got a friend or student who just turned 18? Get them registered.

Mayor's Race

There's a lot going on, much of it difficult, so thank you for your patience and grace as we work through it together.

I hope you're doing okay.

My best ...


Freddie O'Connell

Metro Council, District 19

Mayoral Candidate, 2023


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