“Toyos for Nashville”
I want to offer concrete answers to real issues. Everyone agrees that we want Nashville to continue to be a great place to raise a family, enjoy a game or concert, and live. As a city grows the problems exponentially increase. I have spent the last several days reaching out to voters in District 25 to listen to your immediate concerns. As a resident and business owner in the district I share your concerns. Everyone in the district named crime as the number one concern. As a resident and business owner in District 25 crime is also my primary concern.
I have been in Tennessee for 25 years and have made Nashville my home for the last 10 years. I never had any serious problems until the last couple of years. We had our car stolen and eventually the criminals were involved in a shoot-out with the police. The perpetrator was shot and was transported to the Emergency Room where I am a member of the Trauma Team. We have had repeated vandalism and homeless people who have camped out during the night at our Green Hills clinic. Just last month my car was broken into in front of my house. When talking to the police they let me know that there is an organized group that is breaking into cars. I was alarmed when the police officer informed me that many times the criminals are stealing guns out of these vehicles. I have talked to many people in the district that have similar stories. One issue is our police force is stretched thin and cannot handle the increase in crime. If elected, my number one priority is to talk with local law enforcement leaders to assess what I can do as Council Member to help bring more order to our district. As your representative I would like to use the resources already available to us by MNPD and organize neighborhood watch programs. If some of you have already organized a watch team, then I would like to build on what you have created.
Currently, we are combatting homelessness by closing encampments. The groups just find another spot and set up a new area. I would like to work to develop a more long-lasting strategy. I do not have a definitive solution to the problem but it is on my list to study strategies that have worked in other cities and see if they can be adopted here. I do believe homelessness contributes to crime. The homeless people that have slept on our walkways at our clinic, have repeatedly tried to enter the building and have caused destruction to the property.
Finally, we are seeing an uptick in overdoses and drug related medical problems. There was considerable coverage of the opioid crisis a few years ago but you don’t hear much today. The number of deaths is going up and not down and Nashville is not immune to it. Many common drugs are being illegally imitated and laced with the deadly narcotic fentanyl. Nashvillians including kids are dying because of the intake of these and other drugs. The DEA had a One Pill Can Kill campaign that received little press here in Nashville. I want our district and city to stay vigilant against drugs through education. We have several schools in District 25 and I can work with these schools to spread the word. I think with my experience as a physician and a former high school science teacher I could be helpful to our educational institutions in developing a strategy to save lives.
In that same vein the infiltration of drugs into our community has opened the door to organized crime and gangs. I have multiple professional sources that have educated me on the growing drug-related gang activity. These groups are recruiting new members from young people in our neighborhoods. We need to open our eyes to these activities and help our local and federal agencies.
We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and state that we do not have a crime problem. If we ignore crime it will snowball and become a bigger problem that will be harder to control. Nashville has seen some incredible growth and it is only natural that it attracts some people with bad intentions. We can keep all the qualities that make Nashville great if we expose the problems and fix them as a community. I believe as your Council Member I can tackle these problems and any others that you deem necessary.