Nashville, get ready. State and local elections are coming up quick: Election Day is August 3rd, and early voting already begins on July 14th.
With so many different offices up for re-election, we figured we’d break down the four independent candidates running in various districts for Nashville’s Metropolitan Council, and why it’s important for us to support them as independent candidates not beholden to the two-party system.
Nashville City Council District 28: Travis London
Travis London is an independent candidate from District 28 running from the Metro Council – and he’s not a lifelong politician looking to advance a career in political office. He currently works as a Financial Analyst for a factory and is running for Metro Council because he knows how to effectively allocate resources for a greater return on investment for Nashville’s taxpayers.
Travis is running on an independent platform calling for increased education funding, attracting and retaining more local business in Nashville, and building a more efficient and comprehensive public transit system with updated pedestrian infrastructure. He’s running on improving the city’s transportation options while getting more cars off the road. He believes that more walkable neighborhoods will be both safer and more economically productive than ones dominated by private car travel.
A hobbyist film photographer, dog dad, record collector and avid hiker, Travis London is running but one example of the independent thinking, people-powered campaigns that voters have the opportunity to elect to public office this election season. He’s not a career politician, but a concerned citizen running to actually represent the everyday Nashville citizen.
Nashville City Council District 17: Terry Vo
A political independent and current council member, Terry Vo is running to secure her seat on the Metro Council to represent Nashville’s City Council District 17. With prior experience in working to make Nashville a better place to live – she founded API Middle Tennessee, an organization that works to promote racial justice for the Asian-Pacific Islander community in Tennessee, was instrumental in helping the Tennessee Pride Chamber go state-wide, and was a key member in the revitalization of the Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association – Terry brings a dedicated and focused independent agenda unbeholden to any one political party.
Terry is running on a platform of boosting neighborhood safety via public events and community participation, introducing more affordable housing (including rent control options), and promoting inclusive economic growth to ensure that gains are made by Nashville residents of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
As a hobbyist gardener and co-founder of a popular book club, the Beautiful Bookworms, Terry approaches public leadership from the standpoint of the average Nashville citizen. She’s not a party politician and is not looking to use the Metro Council as but a stepping stone to some power-hungry political career. Independent voices like hers are sorely needed on the Nashville Metro Council.
Nashville City Council District 21: Jamel Campbell-Gooch
Jamel Campbell-Gooch is a political independent and community organizer currently working as the Organizing Director for the Southern Movement Committee, a human rights organization. A former employee of FootLocker, Jamel experienced firsthand the daily struggles the working class is subjected to, which launched his passion for community organizing – to help make Nashville a better place to work and a better place to live for Black and working class families and individuals.
Campbell-Gooch is running on a platform of participatory budgeting – letting the Nashville public see and influence with total transparency how and where their tax dollars are going – as well as investing in community-driven public safety programs, and significantly expanding affordable housing access.
Like the other independent candidates running for a seat on the Metro Council, Campbell-Gooch is neither a political ladder-climber nor beholden to any one political party, instead forging a candidacy that’s based solely on the issues and working to improve conditions for Nashville’s Black and working class citizens. As a former college dropout and hourly retail worker, Campbell-Gooch brings the lived experience and direct connection to the daily work grind that is missing all-too-often from seats on city governments.
Nashville City Council District 23: Lisa Williams
A 14-year resident of Nashville, local activist and former stay-at-home mom Lisa Williams is mounting an independent campaign for the Metro Council in District 23 on a platform of participatory budgeting, increased funding for first responder services, and improvement of Nashville’s infrastructure and stormwater management.
Williams has prior experience in dealing with the daily hardships faced by Nashville residents, serving as a board member for the Friends of Fort Nashborough and HostelOn, in addition to founding the nonprofit BuyNothing Nashville, an organization dedicated to redistributing free resources and supplies to Nashville’s poorest and neediest residents.
Williams is brandishing her campaign on being proudly independent from either major political party and is basing her platform on transparency in budgeting, increasing funding for critical first responder services like Fire Departments and Police Precincts, and increasing funding to help overhaul Nashville’s stormwater management system, which has failed to help many Nashville citizens rebound from the devastating 2010 flood.