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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Metropolitan Nashville Mayor

The Mayor is responsible for the executive and administrative work of the Metropolitan Nashville government and law enforcement within its boundaries. The mayor is elected countywide for four year terms, with a limit of two terms. Candidates must be at least 30 years of age and a resident of Davidson County for at least three years.

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  • Candidate picture

    David Briley

  • Candidate picture

    John Cooper

Biographical Information

1. What qualifies you as the best candidate for this office?

2. If elected, what will be your three highest priorities?

3. What are the most pressing issues facing the public that you plan to address?

Education Georgetown University, B.A. History, Class of 1988 Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., Class of 1995
Occupation Mayor of Nashville
Campaign Phone (615) 200-8370
Age 55
Twitter @brileyformayor
I have been in this role as mayor for 17 months, and I’m proud of what my administration has been able to achieve in that time in education, public safety, affordable housing, job creation, small business development and other areas. Before this, I served as a Metro Councilman At Large from 1999-2007 and as Vice Mayor from 2015-2018. My record is clear. I care deeply about this city, and I have the knowledge and experience to lead the city forward while ensuring no one is left behind. My opponent in this runoff has chosen only to harp on the issues facing Nashville and prey on the fears and anxieties that some Nashvillians have experienced during our boom. His message is negative and divisive. While he only complains, I have been doing the real work to address some of Nashville's toughest challenges.
Public education, affordability and public safety will continue to be my top priorities.
Given the limited space for this answer, I’ll focus on education and affordability.

Regarding schools, I formed an Education Kitchen Cabinet, whose focus is to address the needs of our 21 priority schools. I’ve also increased our education budget. I allocated an additional $34.8M to schools this year, which brings our MNPS allocation to more than $1B, the biggest-ever amount from Metro. Teachers are getting a 4.5% raise - the biggest raise they've seen in 10 yrs. I also launched Nashville GRAD, which will help our MNPS graduates afford the costs of attending Nashville State or TCAT. To combat affordability, I launched Under One Roof 2029, our largest-ever plan for affordable housing. In the next decade, we aim to invest $500M in affordable housing and call upon the private sector to contribute and additional $250M. Through this initiative, we will build more than 10K new units of affordable housing that will deconcentrate poverty & help residents take the next step toward better lives
Education Bachelor of Arts, History, Harvard University and Masters of Business Administration, Vanderbilt University
Occupation Council At-Large
Campaign Phone (615) 762-8856
Age 62
Given the current situation Nashville and my financial background and experience on Metro Council, I am the right person to lead Nashville right now. I am uniquely qualified to provide sound financial management and rebuild trust in Metro government. Nashville needs better management and a mayor who will be a strong leader and responsibly steward taxpayer dollars and public assets.
My top priorities after taking office are:

1) Restoring public trust in Metro through transparency and accountability

2) Fiscal stewardship; rebalancing the city’s priorities and refocusing our budget to address all neighborhoods’ needs, not just a single area of the city.

3) Addressing the costs of growth by focusing our economic and community development efforts on people and not just buildings. I will invest in our schools and neighborhoods, create a real affordable housing plan, and address our transportation needs within my first term.
The issue that needs to be addressed most urgently is Metro’s fiscal mismanagement. At every event, I receive some form of the same question: “How, in this time of unprecedented economic success, can we not afford to fund our priorities?” Many people don’t know about Metro’s deficit spending, our rising debt per capita, or that Metro has over $100 million in new revenue this year. Many people are frustrated that even with all this growth, we cannot fulfill the primary obligations of a city, which are to provide high-quality universal services. We fall short of these basic duties because we have prioritized tourism and development, often over residents and neighborhoods. Fiscal stewardship is the foremost issue that voters have asked me to address as mayor, and I believe that better financial management is the key to addressing many of Nashville’s current concerns.