Candidate: Terry Vo
Metro Council District 17
Occupation: “Non-profit board leadership, community affairs consulting”
Previous candidacy/offices held: “First-time candidate”
“In addition to the following recent positions, Terry’s community involvement goes as far back as her childhood. In 2015, Terry served as the Director of Communications for the Jeremy Kane for Mayoral Campaign. Then, Terry started at Comcast as the External Affairs Manager and was in charge of government and community affairs throughout Middle Tennessee.”
>Founder and Board President of API Middle TN, a non-profit founded in 2019 to serve the Asian Pacific Islander community in Middle TN
>Hosted Inaugural Nashville Soccer Club API Night in May 2022
>Hosted Inaugural Nashville Predators API Night in January 2023
>Board President, Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association, she revitalized this organization and turned it into a non-profit that went from $386 to over $16,000+ under her leadership.
>Board President of Tennessee Pride Chamber. This organization went statewide under her leadership.
>Board member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN
>Board member, Dismas House
>Board member, Knoxville Area Urban League
>Board member, Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition
>Founding Young Leaders Board Member, Make A Wish Middle TN
>Advisory Board member, Nashville Predators GUIDER
>Member of Class 9, Leadership Tennessee
>Class of 2018 Leadership Middle TN
>Mentor, Tennessee Achieves”
What will be your top three priorities on the Council?
“1) Safety: The safest neighborhoods are ones where neighbors know each other. Have neighborhood/community events that have deeper impact and provide resources that will make stronger neighbor associations/groups, etc. 2) Housing: Review how we look at property tax to be more equitable (e.g. looking at value and income, who gets legacy rates, etc.). For non-owners, how to make sure we have a range of home prices to help different people to become owners. Have parameters around rent control that encourage mobility, access and growth. What does the future of housing look like? What types of housing is what is needed to meet demands of the future while also catching up to the current missing housing. 3) Inclusive development: Clear communication channels between residents and developers that focuses on ensuring that growth is benefitting the neighborhood and city overall.”
What is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you approach it?
“The biggest issue facing District 17 is affordability in light of all the growth we are experiencing. This comes out in whether D17 residents have a voice in how growth and development are happening. It is essential to foster clear communication channels between residents and developers, and one of the first things I would do as D17 CM would be to build a running list of D17 issues prioritized by residents that we can bring to developers to take part in. In addition, I will prioritize fostering relationships between developers and neighbors, helping developers to meet with local neighbors/associations and the Metro planning department early on in their development process, as well as encouraging developers and all stakeholders to learn and honor the history of the district.”
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 vision for downtown is to be a place where everyone is welcome, both Nashvillians and visitors. Let’s make Broadway pedestrian-friendly, create a downtown perimeter where car drop-offs are safe, and ensure smoother traffic flow and pedestrian flow. And very importantly, let’s support and grow more minority-owned businesses to honor the rich history and culture of Nashville!”
Did you or would you have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing legislation?
“I would not have voted to approve the new Titans stadium financing the way it was done. Specifically, we must consider the future welfare of all Nashvillians and create an intentionally inclusive process with due process and proactive outreach to local communities to incorporate their voices equally. As a city, we should never make decisions before we have all the information needed, have thorough input from communities affected the most, and are ready.”
Does Metro need more police officers beyond the unfilled positions?
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?
“An ALPR data aggregator estimates that cameras misread 1/10 license plates. This is problematic as cameras scan about 2,000 plates per minute. Imagine if you were pulled over by mistake? “
“Then, LPRs are used for high risk traffic stops where officers are responding with “guns at the ready”. Imagine if you were pulled over by mistake for a high risk traffic stop??”
“We also have to acknowledge that LPRs disproportionately target people of color and create fear and increase the number of unsafe situations.”
Do you think a property tax rate adjustment will be needed in the next 4 years? Why or why not?
“Depending on future real estate growth rates, the tax rate may be something that comes before council. We need to think of solutions that will look at property tax rates in a way that is more equitable. For example looking at home values as well as household income, who receives legacy rates, and making any changes in rates incrementally rather than sudden large jumps.”
Do you view your role in the Council as leading your district on issues or simply reflecting the views of the district’s residents?
“It is a combination of the two. This is why my Listening Tour (https://www.terryvofornashville.com/listening-tour) is so important to me, in addition to the issues discussed here.”
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 city and the council are stronger together as one voice. We need to acknowledge and leverage the cultural and financial value that Nashville brings to the state and we need to stand together when interacting with the state.”
The city is experiencing an affordability crisis. What is the council’s role in creating more housing for buyers and renters in Nashville?
“The council plays a huge role, in particular with zoning. It is important for the council to have an overall vision. For example, is it our vision to increase density? How do we enhance equity? How do we acknowledge areas in the community that have been neglected for decades and provide resources to those neighborhoods to allow them to flourish.”
What improvements do you think WeGo should make during the next four years? Would you back creation of a dedicated funding source?
“We should focus on enabling multi-model transportation and creating positive publicity around using WeGo. I have not yet dug into the details of WeGo’s specific budget, however I do believe that it would be valuable to allocate funding to making WeGo a premier source of public transportation. We also need to help residents think about different ways of getting around besides cars and taking advantage of all the benefits of using WeGo – convenience, speed, sustainability, health, local business familiarity and support.”
Second-quarter campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $30,800
Link to full disclosure here
Pre-General campaign finance disclosure
Cash on hand: $32,073
Link to full disclosure here