NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This August, Nashvillians will head to the polls to vote in the Metropolitan General Election.
Earlier this year, Mayor John Cooper announced he would not be seeking re-election, creating a wide-open field of candidates in the race to be the next mayor of Music City.
One of those candidates is Natisha Brooks.
Brooks is a longtime educator and an educational consultant who has previously owned and operated a homeschool academy in Brentwood. The self-described Christian conservative constitutionalist has previously run for Congress. In 2022, she lost in the Republican primary to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.
News 2 submitted questionnaires to each of the candidates running for Nashville mayor. The form featured six questions addressing some of Music City’s biggest issues—including crime rates, mass transit, homelessness, and the Metro government’s current relationship with the state government. Below you will find Brooks’s answers to those questions.
How would you address the homelessness issues in Nashville?
Brooks: “Start by reducing the property taxes back to where it was “Pre Covid”. The high price of rent is a result of increased property taxes. Work with the Non-Profit agencies along with a Grant Writing Team/Department to ensure that these agencies are never underfunded or without money.
Work with Leasing agencies towards reducing rent for those who have recently lost their jobs or struggling with their mental health. Work with the state legislators to fund more mental health clinics regarding residency in Nashville.
Work with the Davidson County School Board to help those children/families find housing placement for those who have struggled with the current economy.”
What does the future of mass transit look like in Nashville, in your opinion?
Brooks: “Light Rail, Underground Transportation and Amtrak needs to be given to the ballot box with the voters. Currently, for mass transit, BUT it doesn’t need to be at the taxpayer’s expense – our primary focus should be on the homeless. Would like to commit to having a Grant Committee/Board to seek federal funds to have additional transit for the city of Nashville. Additionally, need more studies to ensure that alternative transportation would actually relieve Nashville’s Traffic Issues. Many new people are moving to Nashville daily – would they use alternate transportation or continue driving their vehicles/riding the bus.”
If elected, how would you work to repair the relationship between the Metro Nashville government and the state government?
Brooks: “Currently, visit and work with have relationships with State Legislators to understand upcoming bills that might affect Nashville. That commitment would continue throughout my time as mayor. Funding for Nashville post Covid is crucial to our necessities for survival with many Nashville Citizens. Moreover, will start and complete a great relationship with the Metro Council regarding communication on matters such as National Conventions – RNC/DNC/Church Conventions and all other major conventions that want to host their events here in Nashville. Conventions bring Billions of dollars and what monies brought to Nashville by events can ensure no increase in property taxes are needed in the future. There will be Daily meetings with the legislature through the mayor’s office when legislators are in Session.”
What would be your approach to addressing crime in the city and the increasing rate of violent crimes committed by juveniles?
Brooks: “Areas like Bordeaux and Antioch have been wanting more after-school programs for their young adults. Would like to have the Metro Government fund/ create a relationship with non-profit organizations that teach/instruct entrepreneurship/ community gardens with our young adults to stimulate their minds and keep them occupied until they arrive home. Would like to see police officers team with schools weekly with young adults to create relationships of safety and security. Finally, would like to submit to the media – “Young Adult” of the week to inspire other teenagers to be “productive and great “producers” with their lives.”
How would you address the lack of affordable housing options around the city?
Brooks: “Planning Commissions/ the Council need not accept every building project without an explanation of how companies will give back to the area of where they wish to build in Nashville. Also, business/leasing apartments/landlords who have units reserved for low-income citizens should be given tax breaks incentives for helping with the housing crisis.”
What do you believe is the biggest issue affecting Nashville and how would you plan to address it?
Brooks: “All ROADS Lead to MENTAL HEALTH! We are the “Bible Belt” Of The South! There are churches on every corner of this great city. We need Mental Health Clinics all around the metropolitan to have a “Safe Place” for those individuals struggling with depression. Have to work with the Metropolitan Davidson County School Board to make sure our students have their “safe place” in our schools. Finally, as Mayor, will work hard with DHS – The Foster Care/Adoption agencies to get children quickly in wanted and needed homes. A part of our Mental Health Crisis is the fact that children aren’t loved and are moved around throughout their school age years. This creates depression in many children and they carry that through adulthood. Only a Healthy Child Can Learn And Education Starts In A Loving Home.”
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To read responses from other candidates in the race, click here.
The Metropolitan General Election takes place on August 3. A runoff will be held on September 14, if necessary.
Candidates have until noon on May 18 to qualify.