Candidate: Arnold Hayes
Metro Council At-Large
Occupation: “Retired Engineer/Management Ford Motor Company”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “Past Chair and member of Nashville’s Community Oversight Board”
Community experience: “COMMUNITY ADVOCATE, FAITH LEADER. Arnold Hayes was one of the core advocates to push for Nashville’s Community Oversight Board and is a past Chair. He is a fully paid life member of the NAACP and has devoted much of his life and professional career to speaking for those that often have no voice. For this reason, Arnold Hayes strives to be a “drum major for justice.”
“As a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) he now serves as the Regional Moderator for the State of Tennessee. Arnold Hayes has served the church at the local, state and national level on numerous boards and in various leadership capacities, while focusing on service, outreach and justice issues. He completed over 80 hours of Crossroads Anti-racism Training, which sharpened his understanding of the negative effects of systemic racism on society.”
“Arnold Hayes’ local congregation has been Alameda Christian Church, Nashville, TN since 1984, where he currently serves as an elder. In the past, he has served in various leadership capacities. Arnold Hayes and his late wife of 35 years, Vivian Reed Hayes, started and initially funded the Alameda College Scholarship in 2001, and in 2010 they started the Mobile Food Pantry Ministry. Both ministries continue until this day.”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
● “Fighting for the underserved, and focusing on caring prosperity.”
● “Helping make Nashville a safer city for all, including addressing mental health.”
● “Addressing the lack of Affordable and Emergency Housing”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“The city’s dealmaking on downtown projects like the East Bank and Titan Stadium should better ensure that those on the margins are part of the upfront negotiations and not an afterthought. Far too many poor and working people lack the basic resources of shelter, food, and a living wage to continue to live in Nashville, including downtown.
My vision is to have an impact on lives of the people like those that I served at the Nashville Rescue Mission on Christmas Day 2022. Seeing hundreds of people, left with no other choice, come to the Nashville Rescue Mission on one of the coldest days of the year is one of the reasons that I am running for Council At Large. People like them and others deserve better, in a city of enormous wealth. As economic prosperity continues, so should the care for those on the margins. If we are to improve the lives of Nashville’s underserved, then we need to do a deep dive into the people that find relief at the Downtown Nashville Rescue Mission.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“No, but considering the long-term effects of this deal, I would have advocated for it be approved or disapproved by Nashville voters.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“No, if we address the environmental issues that put police in more danger, like the lack of gun reform. Also, if we effectively address mental health and policing. The reality is that police officers don’t want to perform the functions of social workers.”
“A ‘Safer City for All’ cannot be achieved in a vacuum. We need to work toward creating a public safety environment that is conducive to protecting both citizens and sworn officers. Nashville is becoming more dangerous for all of us with assault weapons on the street, relaxed open carry laws, and a lack of background checks. We applaud police officers for running into danger, as in the case of the Covenant mass murders. But why not work on eliminating the danger in the first place.”
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?
“Now that LPSs have been approved, I look forward to receiving performance data on them.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“No sure. I need more information to determine if a tax rate adjustment will be needed.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“Does not apply (Council At-Large Candidate)”
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 relationship is poor. With the systematic attacks by our supermajority GOP Tennessee General Assembly on the lives of Nashville and other Democratically controlled cities, it is more important that we have someone in Nashville’s local and state legislative bodies that will stand up and push back on the infringement of our rights. We need to do everything possible locally to protect the rights of voters, Black and brown people, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ + community, and workers.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“We need more Council Member to support the Barnes Fund as one of the ways to address long-term affordable housing. However, short-term emergency housing during the summer is often an afterthought and needs to be reevaluated. For example, what are the minimum and maximum temperatures that have to occur before Metro emergency shelters are opened? We also, need to focus more on effective ways to measure the magnitude of the housing crisis in Nashville. Is the current data used to guesstimate the number of people without affordable or emergency housing accurate?”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“Expanded bus routes and improved technology.”
Second quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $8,636
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $1,609
Link to full disclosure here