Carol M. Swain + NOAH – Task Force Questions

Affordable Housing:

Nashville has an affordable housing crisis, a study commissioned by the Mayor’s Office says that 31,000 units of affordable rental units will be needed by 2025. Will you commit to developing and implementing a strategic affordable housing plan with specific and
measurable goals, a timeline, and (dedicated) funding?

Nashville’s has seen unprecedented growth over the last decade. This growth has brought tremendous opportunity to many in our city but there is thousands of fellow Nashvillian’s that have been priced out of the market. I have spoken with churches who have extra land and would like to work with developers to build homes on that land, but are having a difficult time getting approval from codes. We also have many of tracts of city land that could be utilized to build workforce housing for $150,000 and less, with the right public private partnership. I have also already begun discussions with HUD to secure funding for federal pilot programs that will address the housing needs of those living at or below the poverty level.

Criminal Justice:

Do you believe there is a problem with Metro police policing their own conduct and with distrust between the police and community? NOAH has endorsed Community Oversight Now’s proposal for a referendum on a Community Oversight Board. Do you support this proposal? What other solutions do you suggest?

I do believe there is a problem of distrust between some members of the community and the police. As Mayor, I will bring community leaders and police to the table to resolve the issues that each party has. I would support a board that consisted of trained citizens and police members. This training would help to provide needed insight into the day-to-day functions and operations of the police force. I will also combat violent crime by expanding the support for programs that utilize community leaders to identify neighborhood conflict and prevent violent crime through engagement.

Economic Equity & Jobs:

Economic Equity starts with a good education, which leads to better paying jobs & greater opportunities for personal and financial growth. Nashville schools are far short of what they need to operate, and many of the people who work within MNPS need second jobs to get by. Developers and investors are making huge profits in Nashville, but our schools still can’t get the funding they need to operate on a yearly basis. What is your plan to get our schools the funding they need?

Our schools are most certainly under-performing. We are spending roughly $10,000 per student each with sub-optimal results. Too much of the budget is being used for general administrative and operating costs, as well as, testing that is incentivizing schools to teach to a test, instead of teaching children how to think. We need to restructure school incentives to reward high performing teachers with pay increases and bring low performing teachers up to standards.

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