Candidate: Delishia Porterfield
Metro Council At-Large
Occupation: “Before starting my career in public service, I served as a Special Education Coach for over a dozen Metro Nashville public schools, served as the Faculty Advisory Committee Chair for itinerant staff and was a proud, dues paying member of MNEA. “
Previous candidacy/offices held: “Councilwoman for District 29”
“Before being elected to council, I taught in public schools for almost 10 years. I was a member of MNEA and had the privilege of supporting families and working alongside talented educators across this city. This experience not only provided me with invaluable insight into the challenges our teachers face but also allowed me to witness firsthand the transformative power of education on the lives of our community’s children.
I have volunteered with several organizations and served on the Boards of The Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Ignite Her Pursuit, The Destiny Theater Experience and eMpowerment, Inc. I was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church for almost 10 years. During that time I became a licensed minister and taught Children’s Church at KidZone. These experiences afforded me the opportunity to work with families all across Nashville and gain a broader perspective of what diverse families need to thrive in our city.
Additionally, I have worked tirelessly as an advocate, passionately representing the needs and concerns of our community. Whether it was lobbying for improved infrastructure, championing living wages in Nashville, or advocating for healthcare access, I have consistently fought for the interests of our community members who often go unheard.
I firmly believe that community involvement and engagement are vital for creating positive change. Over the years, I have actively participated in grassroots movements aimed at building a stronger and more inclusive community for all. Through these experiences, I have witnessed the power of unity and the incredible impact we can have when we come together to address our shared challenges.”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
“1. Affordability, which includes addressing wages and affordable housing
2 Quality of life; which includes fully funding our public schools, increasing walkability, transit, sidewalks and neighborhood investments
3. Creating a Nashville where we all can thrive, including more equitable racial, geographical and socio-economic diversity on boards and commissions”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“Downtown has been an economic engine in our city. While I appreciate that tourism has helped fund our city; downtown no longer feels like a place for Nashvilleans. My vision for downtown is that it thrives like I envision all of Nashville’s neighborhoods thriving. Downtown has gotten their share of investments. We have proven to the world that we are the It City – now let’s prove to Nashville that we care about the people that make Nashville the “It City”. I want downtown to be properly funded so that it can continue to generate revenue for our city but I want just as much investment in all of the neighborhoods across Davidson County.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“I, like the majority of Nashvilleans, did not support the Titans stadium financing legislation. The deal that was passed underestimated the financial risks and overstated the financial benefits to Metro taxpayers, all without providing nearly enough concrete community benefits to support Nashville’s neighborhoods.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“The people of Nashville want and deserve to be safe in their communities. One way we can invest in safety is by making sure people have access to affordable housing, good paying jobs with benefits, and access to affordable mental health services. We should spend more time and effort addressing the root causes of crime as opposed to treating the symptoms.”
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 do not support the use of license plate readers and believe that they cause significantly more harm than good.
Metro should NOT allow facial recognition technology to be used downtown.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“Yes. While it is important that we are fiscally responsible and do everything we can to keep our property taxes low, we see the financial mess we get in when we don’t properly fund our city. Tax adjustments are needed to keep up with inflation and to ensure that we have the revenue needed to fund our city services and pay Metro workers.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“In my current role as a district councilmember, I have strived to always seek input from my constituents, study all the available expert information on a given topic and then vote based on the best interests of the people who live in my district.”
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 council works with the legislature on a range of issues, but as the legislature increasingly looks for ways to manipulate our relationship in order to score political points and fix their own fiscal problems, it is imperative that the council and the mayor’s office use every available avenue to push back against this egregious overreach. I was proud to stand up against the state’s overeach when I testified at the State Capitol against the harmful council reduction legislation, when I became part of a lawsuit suing the state over their unconstitutional legislation and when I helped lead the charge to reinstate our duly elected State Representatives after they were unjustly expelled. We need leaders that are willing to work with others to accomplish what’s best for Nashville but aren’t afraid to fight back in the face of injustice.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“As our city experiences rapid growth and development, the rising cost of housing has become a barrier, making it increasingly difficult for working people to find suitable and affordable homes.
Nashville is a vibrant and diverse city that thrives on the hard work and dedication of its residents. However, as housing prices continue to climb, many of our fellow community members are struggling to make ends meet. It is our duty as a council to ensure that every individual in our community is taken care of and has access to safe, affordable housing.
To tackle this issue, I believe in taking a multi-faceted approach. First and foremost, we need to work towards increasing the availability of affordable housing units in our city. This means collaborating with developers, community organizations, and non-profit agencies to incentivize the construction of affordable housing options. By expanding our housing inventory, we can alleviate some of the demand-driven price increases and provide more opportunities for individuals and families to secure stable homes.
Furthermore, I strongly believe that it is crucial to address the issue of wages in our city. Many working people in Nashville are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, primarily due to stagnant wages. As a council member, I have and will continue to advocate for policies that promote living wages for our community members. By ensuring that people earn a fair and decent income, we can empower them to afford the housing they need to thrive.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“Our public transit system needs to be available to more people, more often and provide access to more places across our city. We can make this happen by expanding hours and adding more neighborhood, crosstown, and loop routes. Additionally, we need to make sure our bus stops encourage ridership by providing safe, sheltered locations to wait for buses and sidewalks that allow you to walk to bus shelters. I support a dedicated funding source for public transit.”
Second quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $60,967
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $21,512
Link to full disclosure here