Candidate: Jeff Preptit
Metro Council District 25
Occupation: “I am a Civil Rights Attorney with a broad base of both legal and policy work.”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “I have not held public office before.”
“I am a board member of the Davidson County Young Democrats and have volunteered extensively with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. During my time at the Public Defender’s office I worked to advocate for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Many of my clients were unhoused or living with some form of mental illness or disability.
I have also participated in an annual Safe Surrender event where our justice system involved neighbors who can come and update their status with the Courts.”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
“- Supporting local businesses and working to make sure development is based on community need
– Investing in safe, walkable neighborhoods that have access to our public transportations
– Investing in education to ensure that every Nashville student receives a world class education”
What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?
“Community safety is a top concern for myself and my neighbors. We ought to be free to safely walk our dogs or exercise in the evening without risking our well being, whether by vehicle or someone with ill intent. Safety means that lives and property are not threatened by continued flooding that has been exacerbated by unchecked development. Our children should be able to safely attend school.There are things Metro Council can do to enhance public safety and I look forward to creatively working on these issues when elected.”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“Our local businesses, run by Nashvillians, are the soul of our economy and I want to make sure we support local businesses especially with new developments such as the East Bank. Additionally, we have a real opportunity to build this new neighborhood as a connected, transit friendly neighborhood. Nashvillians are asking for their needs to be prioritized and we can honor the people who make Nashville, Nashville by staying committed to smart development that benefits the people who live here.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“The next Metro Council will be the stewards of the Titans Stadium deal. It will be my job as a Metro Councilor to ensure that Nashville receives all that has been promised to us within this deal. That is one of the reasons I am running, to make sure that Nashville gets the greatest possible return on its investment.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“Nashville needs both police and other complimentary services and programs that are aimed at preventing criminal activity. I want to make sure that we are investing our resources to ensure that we are maximizing the utility of services and preventing crime.”
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 have concerns about implementing the use of facial recognition technology. The use and collection of such data can have a chilling effect on people exercising lawful first amendment activities. The collection of similar data by cities and police departments has come under scrutiny by our federal courts and raise constitutional concerns.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“As stewards of the city, it is crucial that Metro Council continually monitor streams of revenue and seek to maximize their utility while ensuring that our citizens are not being overburdened.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“My role as Metro Council Member will be to elevate the voices of the people I serve. Leadership is about giving power to the people you represent and making decisions based on their needs. For me, leadership and service go hand in hand, and we need a Metro Council Member who is reflective of the voice of our community and accountable to the community.”
How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?
“The General Assembly actions over this past legislative session have been undemocratic and have been counter to our most basic principles of local governance and representative democracy. Local Governance is a bedrock principle that cannot be eroded. As a Metro Council Member I will be willing to work with all stakeholders. However, I will stand up to any efforts by the state to usurp the will of our community. Nashvillians should be the decision makers for Nashville.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“Attainable and Affordable housing is crucial for ensuring that our city is able to be a sustainable center of commerce and economic growth. I would support Council entering into community benefit agreements with non-governmental entities to have complementary investment into more accessible housing throughout the city.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“I believe firmly that Council must work with WeGo to expand and improve bus routes. Increasing access will help to increase ridership and reduce the number of cars on the road, making it safer for everyone. I want to examine the creation of neighborhood bus lines that will help to further connect our neighborhoods to other bus routes. Additionally, I want to examine creating new lines that would further connect our city and reduce the time of commutes.
I would be in favor of examining and potentially creating dedicated funding sources.”
Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $18,583
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $12,980
Link to full disclosure here