Sometimes I have to think pretty hard about how much of a story I want to tell.
Last week, I got a press release about the mayor suddenly being about to present "his" agenda for young people.
Considering the conversations I've had recently involving open musing about the lack of attention to young people from this administration, I was surprised.
I went back and revisited the Child and Youth Master Plan Mayor Dean launched at the Oasis Center in 2010. I was there for the release. The task force that worked on it was robust, committed, and experienced.
It had a big impact on NashvilleNext.
In fact, two years ago, we should've followed some good advice in refreshing the plan rather than paring back its goals. Instead, we reduced the funding for Opportunity NOW and reduced its scope, moving it over to the Metro Action Commission. We've watched a similar effort to shrink the Nashville GRAD program.
Over the time since the Child and Youth Master Plan was created, the ACE Nashville policy group has continued to make recommendations about how we reduce adverse childhood experiences, Community Achieves has continued to draw vibrant community partnerships into schools where they're desperately needed, and Launch Pad has been there for our young people at their most desperate. We can always do more.
If we actually listen to our young people—which I do regularly, at Hume-Fogg, MLK, USN, Napier Elementary, at Oasis—they're very clear about their agenda. They want fewer barriers to college access, less gun violence, safer routes to schools, more transit, and climate action, among other priorities.
So back to the interesting out-of-nowhere announcement from Mayor Cooper about "his" agenda for young people. I'm not aware of any of the stakeholders who have been working hard with and on behalf of our young people being involved in it.
I hope the Mayor's Youth Council being deeply involved in it. The last time I was at their annual celebration, the mayor wasn't there.
So why this focus now?
Even though I'm aware that he has now announced that he's not running for mayor, Hal Cato had reportedly advised some people to save the date tomorrow for an announcement at the Oasis Center. The mayor's event was scheduled for the same location the following day.
I'll be interested to hear what's in the agenda and who worked on it!
- I'm not ready to support an update to Rule 6 that would allow at-large members not on a committee to parachute in to provide a quorum. [Rule 6 Amendment]
- We have a community meeting set up after tonight's Council meeting, so I'm intending to defer the public hearing on an exemption for a non-owner-occupied short-term rental in Spence Manor on Music Row. [RS2022-1689]
- I'm excited to see CM Allen advancing a new sustainability tool. [RS2022-1767]
- I'm still not persuaded that "dedicated" revenues from the convention center to affordable housing has reached final form. [BL2022-1381]
- I support CM Syracuse's public health bill expanding prohibitions on smoking and vaping, but I'm concerned that it's brush is too broad. I'm trying to exempt businesses like Buds & Brews, but we might not succeed tonight.
- I want geographically equitable traffic calming, but I don't want to risk not funding very dangerous areas. I think the option for private funding is an important enhancement. [BL2022-1384]
- I'm for permanently available sidewalk cafés. [BL2022-1405]
- I'll be deferring my proposal to modernize our wayfinding to allow more discussion. [BL2022-1410]
- I support expanded family planning services. [BL2022-1411]
- I'm hoping to resuscitate the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee that was dismantled by the mayor. Our year-over-year pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths are unacceptable.
What I'm Hearing
- Noise is still a top concern of District 19 constituents. From construction to new bars with outdoor amplified music, to rooftops to transportainment, urban living is simply louder than it was even just a few years ago.
- We still haven't restored trash collection to where it was even a year ago. I still hear about it weekly.
What I've Been Up To
- Hope Gardens neighbors gathered for the first time in person since COVID, and I was glad to join them and get an update on their refreshed community concerns, not the least of which was feeling a little neglected by the city on everything from trash pickup to noise to property standards and public safety.
What You Can Do
- Register to vote! (Or check your voter registration.) Today is National Voter Registration Day. We have a big state and federal election coming up in November. You need to be registered by 30 days beforehand.
- Check out the Nashville Symphony's "Music in Your Neighborhood" series. All week, they're bringing great exposure to incredible musicians in Edgeill.
Thanks as always for your patience, your support, your engagement.
My best ...
Metro Council, District 19
Mayoral Candidate, 2023