Candidate: Jordan Huffman
Metro Council District 14
Occupation: “Director of Product Management at I2I Population Health”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “None”
Community experience: “I have been involved in neighborhood organizing for the past decade.”
– “President: Donelson-Hermitage Neighborhood Alliance
– Board Member: Neighbor 2 Neighbor
– Committee Member: MNDP Community Advisory Committee (Hermitage Precinct)
– L’Evate Alumni (FKA Leadership Donelson-Hermitage)
– Founder and Steering Committee Chair of the Hermitage Christmas Tree Lighting
– Steering Committee Chair: 2023 Good Neighbor Day Festival
– Steering Committee Member: The Greater Nashville Litter Cleanup
– Member: Donelson-Hermitage Exchange Club
– Member: Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
- “Controlling incoming development in a responsible manner. I will always prioritize the needs of District 14’s neighborhoods over anything else. If a developer wants to build in D14, they will need to present a plan to me that shows how their project will benefit the community.”
- “Keeping our community safe: The MNPD Hermitage Precinct has the largest service area in Metro Nashville. We must prioritize opening the Antioch Precinct. This will help our community by decreasing call response times and allowing our officers to focus on a more succinct area of Metro Nashville. We also have a growing homeless problem in Metro Nashville. The homeless population in Hermitage has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Metro has kicked this can down the road for far too long. Metro must lead an effort to get all entities who work to serve the homeless population (churches, non-profits, community groups, etc) at the same table so we can address this crisis head-on. So many members of our homeless population suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues. We must get these individuals the help that they need. There have been numerous incidents in which community members have been put in potentially unsafe situations due to a lack of focus in addressing these needs.”
- – “Addressing our city’s crumbling infrastructure: Additional sidewalks, protected crosswalks/bike lanes, road repair, funding for our schools in dire need of repair, stormwater issues, expanding transit options, increased green space, etc.”
What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?
“Our growing homelessness crisis is the most urgent issue. While there is no easy solution, there are things that we can do in the short-term to begin to remedy this situation.”
“We must first bring all key parties (churches, non-profits, community groups, etc) who are working in some form to address different aspects of this crisis together in order to get everyone at the table. It is Metro’s responsibility to lead this effort and to get everyone on the same page so that we can coordinate a proactive plan of attack that addresses the short and long-term needs of our homeless population. Metro HID (Homeless Impact Division) cannot solve this problem alone. We must all come together as a community in order to get this crisis under control.”
– “Increase mental health and substance abuse services. Many members of our homeless population suffer from substance abuse and addiction or mental illness. Metro needs to increase access to meaningful mental health and substance abuse services. Many members of our homeless population suffer from one or both of these problems. Just last year, Metro set aside a substantial chunk of the $50 million in federal funding to address homelessness. Unfortunately, none of this funding that Metro Nashville received was allocated to these services. Metro’s budget going forward must include dedicated funding for mental health and substance abuse services.”
– “Increase housing options for our homeless population. It is estimated that we will need at least 600 permanent supportive housing beds over the next five years in order to support our chronically homeless population. We broke ground last year on a $25 million dollar facility on 2nd Ave that will have 90 residential units. Wouldn’t it make more sense to invest in renovating properties currently owned by Metro such as nursing homes, warehouses and other large buildings? We also have hundreds of housing pods sitting in a warehouse due to the State of TN Codes Dept not signing off on their use for homeless housing. These should be utilized ASAP to help us solve the housing component of this very complex issue. We must look at options such as this in order to maintain a level of fiscal responsibility while continuing to provide adequate housing options for this vulnerable population.”
Much of the city’s developmental focus, like plans for a new East Bank, have focused on downtown. What’s your vision for downtown?
“I think we have invested enough in downtown as a city at this point. We need to pump the brakes and turn our focus to the needs of the remainder of Nashville. Many residents (including myself) feel that Metro has forgotten about us. It’s past time that we prioritize the residents of Nashville.”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“There is no doubt that the East Bank needs a facelift or that this stadium will bring a significant amount of revenue into our city through numerous opportunities such as concerts and sporting events. It is a very real possibility that Nashville will get a Super Bowl in the next decade and/or an opportunity to be a World Cup host site. It’s hard to say that it would be bad for the city to bring an event of this magnitude to Nashville considering that the 2023 Super Bowl brought in nearly 1 billion dollars in revenue to the greater Phoenix/Glendale economy.
With that said, I would have liked to have seen a secondary opinion on what the overall cost of the remodeling of Nissan Stadium would have been (The initial estimate was at $1.8 billion). At the end of the day, this was the largest public subsidy for an NFL stadium in history. I would have liked to have seen more money allocated to fund key community priorities such as transit, affordable housing, infrastructure, education, etc.
I would have also needed reassurance from the state that they would not attempt to back out of their $500 million commitment. Doing so would potentially put Nashville taxpayers in a bind.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
“Yes. I serve on the MNPD’s Community Advisory Committee for the Hermitage Precinct. I see the struggles that our officers deal with due to being stretched thin in the Precinct with the largest service area in Metro Nashville. The Hermitage Precinct service area stretches from Antioch in the south, Donelson/Hermitage/Old Hickory and Rayon City in the north. It is not feasible to think that MNPD can cover this broad of an area without it hindering call response times and public safety overall in our communities.
We need additional officers in order to open our new Antioch Precinct. Having an additional Precinct in a high-density area will ensure that the patrol officers assigned to the Hermitage Precinct can focus on a much smaller coverage area.”
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 support LPRs due to their track record of getting dangerous individuals off our streets. The current pilot program is already proven to be working as LPRs have assisted police in arresting individuals wanted for violent crimes. I look forward to working with my fellow Council members to expand this program in a more permanent manner this fall.
Facial recognition technology is another example of a proven tool that has assisted police departments across the country in helping police locate individuals wanted for specific crimes. I would need to fully vet the implementation of the proposed vendor before committing to supporting them in Nashville. I would also like this to go to a public hearing in order to get input from our residents.
There are privacy concerns by some regarding both solutions. While I feel that these tools are proven to get criminals off the streets, it is also important that we work to alleviate these concerns by closely monitoring any fully-implemented program to ensure that tools are not abused and that data-breaches are not occurring”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“Yes. An increase across the board in 2020 was not a wise decision for our city. The tax increase should have factored in household income to begin with. This tax increase has put many families and elderly members of our community in a financial bind. Also, small businesses deserve to pay to a lower tax rate. We should be creating opportunities for small businesses to succeed instead of unnecessarily hindering their growth and potentially forcing them to move out of Metro Nashville in order to keep afloat.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“I plan on being the voice of my constituents. I will work for them. Plain and simple. That’s how a democracy is intended to work.”
How do you view the relationship of the city and Council to the General Assembly in the face of adverse legislation from the state?
“It is currently rocky, but I look forward to being a voice who can potentially lower the tension so that we can focus on moving Nashville forward. When Nashville succeeds, so does our state.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“12 years ago, I lived in a 1-bedroom apartment here in Nashville. My rent was $1,100 a month. That same apartment now rents for over $1,800 per month with little to no renovations. There is no way I could afford that type of rent at the time and I am not alone. So many folks are forced to live outside of Metro Nashville simply because housing prices are outrageous.
While there is not an easy solution for this issue, Metro can do the following in the next 4 years.
- Create affordable housing options by repurposing currently owned Metro property should be a priority. We currently have a large number of city-owned buildings (nursing homes, schools, warehouses) that are sitting vacant. These properties could be turned into quality homes/units that are affordable, safe and healthy options for individuals who would qualify for them.
- Increase investments into proven solutions such as the Barnes Housing Trust Fund in order to continue producing quality housing.
- Partner with developers who are seeking to create affordable housing communities.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“I’m a big fan of the proposal in this year’s budget that will create a dedicated bus lane down Murfreesboro Pike. I am hoping to see more dedicated bus lanes in high-traffic areas in the next four years.
Adding covered/easier to access bus stops. We can’t expect more folks to ride the bus if we don’t provide anything more than a bench without any coverage from the rain/sun. We also will continue to have challenges to get folks to ride the bus when we force them to cross high-traffic areas to access certain bus stops. The bus stop at the corner of Lebanon Pike and Old Hickory Blvd in Hermitage is a prime example. This bus stop sits in between busy lanes of traffic and a highly-utilized turning lane. It’s not feasible to ask folks to risk their life to take a form of public transportation.
I would back the creation of a dedicated funding source to address these short-term solutions, while also planning ahead to solve our transit issues long-term.”
Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $21,849
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $23,621
Link to full disclosure here