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Metropolitan Nashville Council-at-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Metro Council includes five Council-At-Large positions elected by voters countywide to four year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms. Candidates must be at least 25 years of age and a resident of Davidson County for at least one year.

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    Burkley Allen

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    Fabian Bedne

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    Steve Glover

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    Sharon W. Hurt

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    Howard Jones

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    Gary W. Moore

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    Zulfat Suara

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    Sheri Weiner

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 B.S Davidson College - physics M.S. University of Virginia - Mechanical Engineering
Occupation Mechanical Engineer
Campaign Phone (615) 383-6604
Age 61
Twitter @AllenBurkley
I am honored to be running in a field that includes some very talented candidates. I bring the strength of experience, a willingness to look deeply into the issues, and the ability to get things done. As a district council member I have been successful expanding historic districts; installing new sidewalks, bikeways, and greenways; and guiding zoning in a way that protects neighborhoods. I have also worked effectively on city wide issues like storm water regulations, housing affordability, and expanding funding for sidewalks. Serving two years on the Planning Commission has given me a deep knowledge of the zoning code and what smart growth looks like. As an engineer, I bring a collaborative, solutions oriented approach to Nashville’s issues.
I intend to focus on expanding economic opportunity throughout the city, improving stormwater and transportation infrastructure, and supporting housing affordability. The city’s growth brings economic opportunity, but it also creates challenges. I will work on improving our schools and workforce development programs so that everyone can be equipped to take advantage of the new jobs being created. I will work to create conditions that encourage construction of reasonably sized, affordably priced housing to meet the needs of Nashvillians who are struggling to find or stay in their homes. And I will work with all stakeholders to find common ground on ways to move forward with improving our transportation options.
Our future depends on the youth of the city, and we are currently allowing too many of them to fall through the cracks. Surveys and data show that good education and strong after school programs are key to their success. The Council can help by fully funding the school budget and working with the school board to increase teacher pay and settle on a stable direction for the overall education plan. I will also work to increase funding for Metro Parks and Libraries so that we can open all community centers after school and on weekends when children most need positive programming and a safe place to be. The Council can support funding that can be leveraged by non-profits that focus on youth development, violence reduction, literacy, and team building. I will also support the Opportunity Now program that provides summer job experience opportunities for students. If we train the next generation well, they can help solve all the other issues.
Education Equivalent to Masters in Architecture
Occupation Architecture
Campaign Phone (615) 829-6226
Age 59
Twitter @BedneAtLarge
My background in Architecture and community engagement informs my view on how to manage our growth. I have a proven record of eight years of engagement, transparency and accountability to the residents of District 31 and a commitment and strength to stand for what is right and to fight for all people regardless of their background or influence.
a.) Affordable and workforce-level housing. Everyone knows that affordable housing is one of our city's most pressing issues, but it must be addressed with the explicit aim of removing negative gentrification pressures. Displacement to more affordable parts of the city doesn’t solve the core problem of the erosion of our communities. b.) Equitable access to all of our city services. We must ensure that we make education, transit, safety services and basic infrastructure work for all Nashvillians, regardless of their zip code. c.) Transparency, open communication, and accountability: These values have guided my service for the past eight years. They will continue to inform everything I do as an at-large council person.

a.) We have created many ways to bring more equity to Nashville; however, the State Legislature undermined our efforts to bring equity in Education, Housing, Environment and quality of life. We need to engage with all residents and local interest groups and find common ground so we can re-engage with the State Legislature on issues. We can't afford to continue to leave people behind. b.) Maintaining and/or improving quality of life is a big concern. It is clear that some of the issues people talk about (scooters, speeding, STRP, traffic, etc) require a refocusing of city services and enforcement. c.) We need to look at the issues facing Nashville holistically; for example, education suffers when housing is unstable, transit gets worse when people are displaced. Although governance seems to operate in silos, I want to deal with the issues facing Nashville comprehensively.
Education UAH
Occupation Certified Financial Fiduciary designation
Campaign Phone (615) 866-9514
Age 59
I have held a position on the school board for 4 years and presently D12 for Council for 8 years
Public Safety, Education and Paying down our debt
Honoring Metro Employee COLA, Lack of Police and Firefighters and Debt
Education Master of Nonprofit Leadership - Belmont University Bachelor of Science - Tennessee State University
Occupation President and CEO - Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership.& Street Works Executive Director - Street Works
Campaign Phone (615) 545-1778
Age 62
Twitter @sharonwhurt
Sharon W. Hurt is a proven leader, neighborhood ally and problem solver that bridges the gap that divides Nashville communities to develop, foster and promote cooperative economic development through revitalization, education and public safety programs.

For her advocacy of Nashville and service to the community, the Nashville Post named Hurt one of the "Most Powerful Women" of 2011.
Improve equitable access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.

Prioritize infrastructure improvements that allow for residents of all abilities to access and live in any neighborhood.

Develop and promote programs to help individuals and families, especially those most vulnerable to displacement, access affordable housing.
1. Invest in our youth and senior citizens.

2. Champion economic growth.

3. Advocate for sustainable and smart development.

4. Strengthen our neighborhoods.
Education BS-Sociology MS-Education both from Tennessee State University
Occupation Senior Pastor, Fairfield M. B. Church Goodlettsville, TN
Campaign Phone (615) 473-5816
Age 57
I am the best candidate for the position of Council-At-Large, representing the citizens from throughout the county. In my career positions as a pastor and educational leader with MNPS, I am keenly aware of the concerns of the citizens and their issues. I have helped many citizens in my adult life as a servant leader. I am aptly qualified because as a servant leader in juvenile justice, I provided social and emotional stability among families.

I am a Servant leader in education. I was a part of leading Cameron Middle School to be designated as a Reward School. I was a part of the leadership team at McGavock High School transforming it into a mega safe learning environment. I am a Servant Leader in the faith-based community, providing housing, jobs and economic development. Because of these and other attributes, I am keenly qualified to serve effectively as a Council-At-Large member, as a Servant Leader. I know the people, I care about the people and I will serve the people.
My major priorities are Equity in this city for its citizens, as it relates to fiscal responsibility, affordable housing, and jobs. I am concerned about equity with tax breaks for businesses and taxing the citizens. Real implementation for affordable housing and programs in schools and agencies for jobs. The significant concern is transportation. This is a regional and state issue and officials at that level must be involved in solving this problem for Nashville and Middle Tennesse.

We need to take a strategic look at neighborhoods and collaborate with all its residents. It is then we may calculate growth and its impact on citizens. Nashville's growth is astronomical! In practically every neighborhood, there is some residential and business development. We have had from 75-100 people moving to Nashville a day. Growth is good but the swelling is a sign of sickness. Therefore we need to manage the growth for safety and sustain the unique character of our neighborhoods and city.
The most pressing issues facing the public include no new taxes, better schools, being safe and traffic issues. I will fight to fix these problems working with the citizens, fellow council members, and officials. Traffic & transportation are a major concern. Something must be done to halt the transportation gridlock. This issue is larger than Metropolitan Nashville; it is a regional and state issue in order to develop positive solutions. Establishing equity-meaning access and involving all citizens to participate in government activities.

I will steadfastly address the property tax increase to be placed on our citizens and fight for no new taxes. An increase in property taxes will not be equitable for all citizens, for example, teachers. Furthermore, if property taxes are increased, everything will be increased, food, shelter, rent, etc. An increase in property taxes will trickle down to negatively impact our citizens and help create more poverty.

Education some college
Occupation Retired Firefighter
Campaign Phone (615) 319-6691
Age 70
I am a lifelong resident of Davidson County and retired from the Nashville Fire Department in 2011 after thirty-two years of service to Davidson County as a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, (EMT) and Captain. I have served as President of IAFF Local 140 and also served as President of the Tennessee AFL-CIO from 2011 to 2015, where I championed the issues of working men and women of Tennessee.

I also served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 2005-2012. Equally important to serving four terms as a State Representative, I have a lengthy track record of public service including public service involvement with environmental groups, concerns related to working men and women, and being a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility in government.

In addition to my public service, I have a lifetime of community service. I know Nashville and I have the leadership skills to hit the ground running on Day 1.
My three highest priorities are 1) public safety and adequately funding infrastructure, 2) adequately funding public education, and 3) smart growth.

Nashville has experienced an explosion in population without the critical thinking to plan for the infrastructure and public safety to accommodate this growth. Our public safety personnel is stretched thinner than it should be to handle our city's needs. If the growth continues at this rate, we have to start budgeting and planning now for the future.

Public education is an issue facing all urban cities and Nashville is no different. We must plan accordingly now as we build schools and zone students. We must budget to be able to fund our schools adequately including teachers and staff.

Smart growth goes to the heart of where we build and requirements to accommodate infrastructure. Our current public transit and roads cannot keep up with the growth. We need to make sure what is proposed fits the development of the existing area
Nashville has many pressing issues and I believe they can be worked on at the same time but the most pressing issue is public safety. Whether making it safer for emergency vehicles to get through traffic, eliminating scooters that clog many downtown sidewalks or the additional need for safety personnel due to the rise in emergency calls, public safety is critical to the success and growth of Nashville citizens and visitors.
Education Higher National Diploma in Accountancy CPA Certification
Occupation Assistant Controller, Restricted & Endowments Meharry Medical College
Campaign Phone (615) 538-8686
Age 53
Twitter @zulfat4council
I bring to this position both my professional and community activist experience. As a CPA, I have over 30 years of experience which includes working as an auditor with KPMG as well as working with county and city governments in my CPA practice. In addition, I am an MNPS parent and have been an activist for over 20 years. I served as the Chair of the American Muslim Advisory Council as well President of the Business and Professional Women of Tennessee. For the last 6 years, I served as the chair of the TN Women’s Day on the Hill and help co-ordinate annual legislative day for 25 organizations. I am a commissioner with Metro Action Commission and serve on other non- for profit board. A good budget must be financially sound but it must also be a moral document that prioritizes issues of importance to the citizens. As a CPA, I know the numbers and as an activist, I know the issues. I want to bring both experiences to help build a Nashville for ALL
a. Community based budgeting- This is a budgeting mechanism that prioritizes and takes input from the community. It ensures that government funding reflects issues that are important to the citizens A good budget must have two components. First, it must be financial sound and secondly, it must be a moral document. It cannot be a moral document, unless it is in tune with the issues that the citizens care about. Community based budget help create/reinforce trust between the government and the people. b. Increased funding for our schools- As a mother of 5 children who are past and current MNPS students and someone in countless conversations over the years with teachers and staff, I know the importance of providing equitable funding for ALL schools. When elected, I am committed to ensuring that our schools get the resources they need regardless of the location or zip code c. A livable wage speaks for itself- no one should be working full time anywhere in the US and certainly not here in Na
The biggest frustration is the rising cost of living with stagnant wages. According to a report by Open Table Nashville (a Nashville No for Profit Organization) the minimum wage in Nashville is the same as it was 10 years ago, while the average cost of rental has increased from $760 to $1,400. While the issue of minimum wage is decided at the state level, metro government with MNPS is the 3rd largest employer in Nashville. Therefore increasing metro employees and MNPS wages will help alleviate part of the burden. Achieving a livable wage will encompass tackling affordable housing and transportation.
Education BSEd, Communication Disorders, UGA M.A., Audiology, UTK AuD.,Doctor of Audiology, UF
Occupation Audiologist Vice President, Champion One, LLC President, Hearing Services of TN, Inc
Address 417 WF Rust Ct
Campaign Phone (615) 347-7544
Age 63
Twitter @sheriweiner
I am known for getting things done, prompt responsiveness, transparency and accountability. My constituents were clear - redevelop Bellevue to breathe new life back into the community. Today, where we did not have activity or jobs, we are thriving. We have a new firehall, community center, new high school underway, and look forward to a late summer opening of the Ford Ice Center. The redeveloped mall is now One Bellevue Place, home to restaurants, shopping, movies, Preds, community center and hotels. I will use my experience to support our neighborhoods making the most of Nashville's success. As a leader of the initiatives for greater transparency and accountability, I will continue to press for continuity throughout government, increased community input and to ring every bit of efficiency out of our current operations.
1. Our over 50 year old budget process has gone from a few pages to hundreds and needs to reflect today's world. We need to ring every efficiency out of our current operations. We need to put need ahead of want, to establish our employees as a top priority and to be mindful in how we spend taxpayers' money. I will seek charter amendments to change how we manage the budget process. 2. Nashville is growing. Our infrastructure is aging. If we wait our costs go up and problems multiply. We need to fund repairs and updates for our children and our children's children. 3. Affordable housing and transit are linked. It's time we got that right. I'll work with our colleagues and stakeholders to establish a plan to get us around and through Nashville that starts making a difference sooner rather than later. Access to transit, reasonable employee wages and housing that is affordable will make Nashville's success attainable for everyone in Nashville.
1. Transit - spending hours in your car impacts your quality of life, impacts the ability of many to retain jobs and have access to services with a multi-modal phased approach. Scooters as a transit modality are not something I support and requires serious limitations or should be banned. 2. Affordability - a long term plan for public-private partnership that will keep Nashvillians in Nashville. 3. Maintain neighborhoods - businesses change the integrity of neighborhoods when they move in next door. Cup of sugar? Your kids want to come play? That is lost when the house next door is empty and only fills with strangers on the weekend. Respect for property rights, enforcement and caps on encroachment are key. 4. Our MNPS staff deserve a supportive environment and appropriate funding to support positive student outcomes. Focus should be redirected on the students we are charged with educating for their futures and ours.