save nashville now
NASHVILLE IS UNDER ATTACK
Radical extremists want to wreak havoc on Nashville
A secretly-funded group of radical extremists is backing a dangerous referendum that threatens our schools, neighborhoods, small businesses, and the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents.
Together, We Can Stop Them. VOTE NO on July 27th.
Why voting NO on July 27th is so important
There’s too much at stake.
If a group of Radical Extremists get their way, our firefighters and first responders, nurses, public health and other essential workers could lose their jobs, teachers could lose pay, and the services our neighborhoods, businesses, seniors and our most vulnerable residents rely on could face deep cuts. And without new investments, it will be harder for Nashville to fully recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.
Who We Are
Unlike the secretly-funded extremists who are behind the referendum, Save Nashville Now is a grassroots effort.
We are a diverse group of community organizations, advocates, neighborhood leaders, small business-owners, faith leaders, first-responders, teachers, workers, homeowners, renters and parents from every corner of Nashville who care about the future of Our City.
We stand together on behalf of our families, neighborhoods and our most vulnerable residents in opposing the dangerous referendum that a group of radical extremists are trying to push on Nashville voters.
We know first-hand the impact recent tornadoes and COVID-19 have had on Nashville families, Nashville government and Nashville’s economy. We also know this referendum will wreak havoc on Metro government’s budget which could result in deep cuts to critical services we all depend on, and stop progress on our priorities.
We support the teachers, health care workers, firefighters, first responders, police officers, and others who make our city what it is and who will be harmed by this devastating referendum.
What’s at Stake on July 27th
A secretly-funded group of Radical Extremists want to change Nashville’s charter. They’re pushing a dangerous referendum that’s designed to dismantle Metro government, decimate critical services and stop our progress. We can’t let that happen.
If radical extremists get their way, our firefighters and first responders, nurses, public health and other essential workers could lose their jobs, teachers could lose pay, and the services our neighborhoods, businesses and our most vulnerable residents rely on could face deep cuts. And without new investments, it will be harder for Nashville to fully recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.
We can stop them by voting NO on July 27th.
WHAT CHARTER AMENDMENT PROVISIONS WILL BE ON THE BALLOT ON JULY 27, 2021, AND WHAT DOES EACH ONE DO?
Amends the Metropolitan Nashville Government Charter with the following language and impact in the following sections of the Charter. Please note that as of May 15, 2021, the Davidson County Election Commission has not issued a sample ballot. This language is taken from the second of two petitions circulated by the proponents in 2021.
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS to Article 6, Section 6.07, Paragraph 5: “Property Tax Rates shall not increase more than 3% per fiscal year upon enactment without a voter referendum, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 2-3-204. For Fiscal Years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 the property tax rate(s) shall revert to Fiscal Year 2019-2020’s tax rate(s) or lower if required by laws. This amendment’s provisions are severable.”
- What does this REALLY mean?
- While proponents hail this as a “roll back” of property taxes to 2019 levels, it really cuts education, teachers, teacher pay, schools, firefighters, public services and public employees, trash pick-up and makes for slower first responders response time.
- A property tax increase of even 3% would go to a public referendum. An election could possible happen multiple times a year making the funding of essential services and education unreliable. It puts Nashville into a perpetual fight for basic funding and caps this funding source.
- It limits revenue to fund public schools, public services and public safety funding which are funded by revenue from the property taxes collected. It will in effect have an immediate impact on the current state of funding for teacher pay increase (those will end), affordable housing funding (that goes away), police precinct in Southeast Nashville (goes away), additional public employees (jobs go away) this year and next year. That is just the beginning.
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS to Article 15, Section 15.07: Petitions to Recall elected officials filed after January 1, 2021, under this section shall contain the signatures and addresses of registered qualified voters in Davidson County equal to ten (10 percent of the citizens voting in the preceding Metro general election in the district or areas from which the recalled office was elected. Such Petitions shall be filed with the metro clerk within seventy-five (75) days of the date the notice is filed. This amendment’s provisions are severable” REWRITES Article 15, Section 15.08, Paragraph 2 with: “A recalled official’s name shall not appear on the recall ballot, but such official may qualify as a write-in candidate. This amendment’s provisions are severable.”
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS to Article 18, Section 18.05, Paragraph 1: “No elected official shall receive any benefits at taxpayer expense as a result of holding such elected office without a voter referendum.”
- What does this REALLY mean?
- Potentially the most devastating in a “causing havoc” standpoint is the clarification to recall an elected official. The recall would only need 10% of the voters in the last election to get it on the ballot. Plus, that elected official could not stand for an election in a recall election. Let’s assume it was a council person, mayor, trustee elected with 60% of the vote. All it would take is 10% of the signatures from that election to recall you from office. Not only to put forward a recall election but to not allow you to even run for re-election. This would not allow that person to run for election. For example, if a council member was elected with 5,000 votes it would take 500 signatures to recall that elected official and that person would be disqualified for running for the seat in the recall election.
- Metro Council members are citizen-residents from all walks of life with families with full time jobs away from the metro council such as educators, music or business industry, small business owners, retired police officers, realtors, state employees, full time parents or guardians of loved ones, faith leaders, farmers, retail and hospitality workers and some with impacts of COVID-19 on their homes, families and livelihoods may be seeking additional employment opportunities like other members of our community.
- The point is that the Metro Council is composed of real-people with full-time lives in the Metro Nashville area and give up a part of their time for additional community service.
- There is a small set of benefits set aside for Metro Nashville elected officials. The purpose of these benefits is to ensure regular citizens without independent wealth to serve in public office and not just the independently wealthy.
- Limiting publicly elected officials in this way will limit the opportunity for “REAL PEOPLE” to be able to serve in public office due to the burden of time and income loss due to the weekly council and committee meetings in addition to continue community meetings. This DE incentivizes good people from running for office.
- This amendment would strip Metro Council members of salary and all benefits.
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS a new Article, Article 19, Section 19.04: “Voter-sponsored Charter Amendments approved after January 1, 2021, shall be amended only by voter-sponsored Petition, notwithstanding any law to the contrary.”
- What does this REALLY mean?
- The purpose of this is to eliminate the Metro Council’s ability to recommend Charter revisions. It removes rights of those council members to act within the council, and one interpretation is that it may remove their right as members of the voting public to do the same.
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS a new Article and Section, Article 18 Section 18.18: “No portion of a publicly-owned park, greenway, or other real property shall be transferred or conveyed without 31 votes of Metro Council. All transfers of interest in real property shall be at fair market value based on a n independent appraisal. Public referendum shall be required for transfers of interest in publicly-owned property valued over $5,000,000, and for leases exceeding twenty (20) years, unless prohibited by state law.”
- What does this REALLY mean?
- The last two amendments, are one for any piece of Metro property that valued at or more than $5 million for it to be leased or sold would require 31 votes of the Metro Council and a referendum. So almost any transaction of the Metro Nashville government that is going to get done would go to a referendum. This would create an incredibly unstable economic environment for the Nashville area.
- AMENDMENT LANGUAGE: ADDS new Article and Section Article 18 Section 18.19: If a professional sports team leaves Nashville, or ceases playing professional games for more than twenty-four (24) consecutive months during the term of a team’s ground lease, all sports facilities and related ancillary development related to the defaulting team shall revert to public property; and all related contracts shall terminate, including land leased from the Nashville Fairgrounds, and just payment shall be paid, if required by law.”
- What does this REALLY mean?
- (repasted from number 5) The last two amendments, are one for any piece of Metro property that valued at or more than $5 million for it to be leased or sold would require 31 votes of the Metro Council and a referendum. So almost any transaction of the Metro Nashville government that is going to get done would go to a referendum. This would create an incredibly unstable economic environment for the Nashville area.
- Finally, all professional sports teams (NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, NASCAR, et al.) not play in their facility for 25 months, the lease for that facility would be terminated and all adjacent developments would be returned to Metro Council for disposal. This would violate Metro’s bond documents, leases, and all kinds of agreements that are currently already in place that potentially put Metro on the hook for millions and millions of dollars. This impacts all of our current and future opportunities for professional sports.
- In the open letter, you will read multiple business points on why discriminatory legislation is bad for business. Each paragraph hits on an important point.
- You can listen to the WPLN podcast of the Tri-Star State where we talk about these issues and the open letter.
- You can read an in-depth article the Tennessean published, on where these bills are coming from and pointing out there is not a case these bills are addressing, among many other issues.
What does their dangerous referendum do?
The referendum would require Metro to find a full year of budget cuts amounting to $322 million over the course of six months. As reported in a column in The
Tennessean, referendum supporters as well as Metro officials have said that draconian cuts will have to be made if the referendum passes and will lead to layoffs
and reductions in city services. What has been made clear: It’s likely no Metro department will go untouched.
Who is behind it?
A group of Radical Extremists, funded by secret, dark money interests is behind this referendum. They’re trying to fool us into believing that the referendum is good for
everyday citizens, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Who does the tax referendum hurt?
This referendum disproportionately threatens Nashville’s essential workers and economically disadvantaged citizens, including youth and the elderly. If passed,
teachers will lose pay. It could take longer for emergency services like firefighters and police to get to you when you need them. Essential workers could be laid off. There
could be less access to health care and public health services. Across the city, access to public libraries, parks, recreation centers, public transportation and other
community services and programs could face reductions. New investments in affordable housing, teacher pay, emergency services, police stations and schools could
be delayed, or disappear altogether.
What’s at stake for our first responders and emergency personnel?
Funding for fire fighters, 911 operators, police, and emergency and first responders could face deep cuts. And additional fire fighters and emergency personnel won’t be
hired. Plans for new police or fire stations would be delayed or shelved.
So, what about public safety and emergency services for neighborhoods?
This referendum would make Nashville less safe. Police, fire and emergency service reductions could hurt the most in neighborhoods where safety and long emergency response times are already a big concern, in places like Antioch and Bellevue. New police precincts like the ones promised for Southeast Nashville wouldn’t be
funded. Fewer public safety officers and other staff reductions could mean crime and fatality rates are likely to increase.
What’s at stake for Nashville public schools, teachers and students?
Metro Nashville Public Schools, which have already faced huge challenges and increased operational costs because of COVID-19, could face funding cuts. Teachers
would be left underpaid. Class size would increase and students would suffer. New schools may not get built, including the one in Bellevue. Other programs that serve
students and their families could face the chopping block. This includes counseling and social work services, sports and extracurriculars, and professional development
What’s at stake for public health and access to health services?
If this referendum passes, Metro could have no other choice than to make cuts to health care services that helped us fight COVID-19. Our city’s only safety net
hospital, Nashville General, could face deep funding reductions.
What’s at stake for our neighborhoods?
Neighborhoods that already lack critical access to city services and health care could be further hurt. Weekly garbage collection could be disrupted. Recycling pick-ups
won’t expand or could cease. Funding to maintain and invest in parks, community centers and green spaces could face deep. Access to public transportation will
decrease. Investment in new affordable housing would no longer happen. Neighborhoods that have been promised new police precincts and schools will not get
What’s at stake for our economic recovery?
As the city has grown, Metro tax collections have fallen short of the fast-growing demand for city services. This referendum will hamper our economic recovery from
the pandemic and will cripple Metro’s ability to serve its citizens for decades to come.
Who benefits if the referendum passes?
In short, Radical Extremists who aim to disrupt Nashville and stop our progress