Candidate: Brandon Taylor

Metro Council District 21


Occupation: “I’m a fundraising professional – 16 years” 

Previous candidacy/offices held: “City Councilman – District 21”

Community experience: “Elizabeth Park Neighborhood Association”

What will be your top three priorities on the Council?

“Infrastructure: The normal ones, sidewalks, roadways, etc. However, I am extremely concerned about the things we cannot see. For instance, our sewer and water systems are in need of updates and repairs. As the city continues to see rapid development and growth, we will need to provide maintenance for our systems. We also will be working towards finding mitigation factors for a quickly filling landfill. Affordable Housing and Transit are also major priorities.  I’ll go into more detail in these areas in later responses.”

What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?

“It’s tough to choose just one. Affordability around housing and cost of living are major focuses in District 21, actually, the entire city. Illegal dumping and traffic calming are also major concerns that are communicated from constituents daily. I believe budgeting and direct investments are ways to help with these issues. Using Metro land/properties for affordable housing is an area I am currently researching. We have several properties that aren’t being used and we could use these to keep the cost of housing attainable.”

Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?

“My greatest priority throughout the stadium and East Bank process was finding a way to get the best return on our enormous financial investment as a city. I passed an amendment to the stadium proposal that would have directed roughly $470 million in Titans facility rental payments to Metro’s General Fund, to give neighborhoods like District 21 the funding we need for schools, sidewalks, and services. That amendment was immediately attacked, and it was essentially overturned at the next meeting. I voted No on the stadium, because in our hurry to get out of a bad deal, we did not get the new deal that was best for Nashville. My priorities and focus is on District 21.”

Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?

“I did not vote to approve the Titan’s stadium deal. I don’t believe this was the best deal for the city.”

Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?

“I’d like to see how MNPD operates fully staffed prior to making any recommendation.”

What do you think of the current framework passed by the council around LPR (license plate readers) usage? Do you think Metro should allow facial recognition technology to be used downtown?

“I voted to not have LPRs.” 

Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?

“No, I do not think we will see adjustment. However, it’s hard to forecast. There is Covid funding that we will not be receiving after this year and we’ve been using these funds to address a few of the budgetary needs of the city and other organizations. We need to be sure to assess all properties at the level they are to pay. We can no longer allow big business to receive tax breaks after appealing their tax bills. They have to pay just like regular residents and home owners.”

Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?

“As a Council Member you do both… You lead the District in the direction we need to go. It’s a partnership. The district residents are the people that set the course and direction.”

How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?

“My relationship is to my constituents. I have a great relationship with the State Representative and the State Senator who represent the bulk of my district, and we work together well. But the state is going to do what the state is going to do. Our priority is taking care of the citizens of Nashville. There is a strong responsibility for the new mayor to help manage this relationship. I will work with whoever that person is.”

The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?

“I believe that housing is a human right. We as a city do not always have the bandwidth (financially) to do the things we need to do. MDHA has to maintain their current housing, a struggle I’ve seen up close through having two of their largest properties in my district. And Council has to keep attacking this problem by finding areas of growth and offering affordable housing incentives like tax rebates, or moving affordable projects up in the permitting process. We definitely need to add to the Barnes fund and create opportunities for MDHA to build new housing. We can’t legislate anything due to pre-emption from the state, but we can keep finding creative ways to make it more attractive to build much needed affordable housing.”

What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?

“WeGo’s plan to open more Neighborhood Transit Centers is a step in the right direction. In this last term, I was able to work with them to create a $17 Million investment that received dollars from Federal, State, and Local governments. This was the largest investment in North Nashville in over a decade. These local transit centers will allow for more options for riders within their neighborhoods. As a city, we must formulate a strong transit plan that goes beyond bus transit. A light rail option will need to be discussed and possibly approved this term.”

Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure

Raised: $26,229

Spent: $11,216

Cash on hand: $19,790

Link to full disclosure here

Pre-General campaign finance disclosure

Raised: $9,675

Spent: $14,959

Cash on hand: $14,505

Link to full disclosure here