Irwin Venick, chair of the Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable speaks with candidate Vivian Wilhoite
Last month the 11 candidates vying to be Nashville’s next Mayor came together in a forum to discuss their views on affordable housing and the city’s need for better transit options. The forum, held at West End Synagogue, was presented by the Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable; co-sponsors included The Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Committee; the Social Justice Committees of Congregation Micah, The Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom, Congregation Sherith Israel and West End Synagogue; The West Nashville Clergy Group; and AMAC (The American Muslim Advisory Committee).
Pictured l. to r., Mayoral Candidates: Vivian Wilhoite, Matt Wiltshire, Heidi Campbell, Freddie O’Connell, Stephanie Johnson, Sharon Hurt, Jeff Yarbro, Jim Gingrich, Alice Rolli, Natisha Brooks, Fran Bush
The forum was attended by: Vivian Wilhoite, Matt Wiltshire, Freddie O’Connell, Heidi Campbell, Jeff Yarbro, Alice Rolli, Natisha Brooks, Fran Bush, Sharon Hurt, Stephanie Johnson, and Jim Gingrich. The discussion, moderated by journalist Emily Siner, provided each candidate the opportunity to introduce themselves, and answer a series of questions.
Among the common issues discussed was the notion that affordable housing and public transit are linked together. Solutions included the need to streamline the permit process to enable more development and assist those in need of housing subsidies.
When it comes to transit, there was agreement that a top priority is addressing regional transit funding and developing more efficient, affordable options between downtown Nashville and the surrounding counties.
The audience of approximately 150 people came from Nashville’s diverse populations within the Jewish community and the community at large. The candidates were available after the formal program to answer questions and provide further information about their views on the topics addressed.