I have been closely monitoring the mayoral campaign since April, and through it all, I have become a David Fox supporter.
These are the reasons Fox stood out to me as the best candidate, and they are the same reasons I will humbly ask you to vote for him as well:
1) Fox has an honesty unseen in most political candidates. While his opponents often made grand (and false) promises to do everything for everyone, Fox gave practical, realistic answers when asked about issues facing our city.
2) Fox interacts with Nashvillians who are unlike him. He publicly gave out his cell phone number. He personally knocked on my door. And when I emailed him with questions, he responded with a genuine and thoughtful reply. Also, although he is not from my community, he was well aware of the concerns of local residents during our neighborhood forum. His opponent, on the other hand, never did any of those things and, in the local forum, appeared seriously unaware of my neighborhood’s needs.
3) David Fox respects everyone’s voice, not just those of the like-minded. He is a unifier, and he has a track record to prove it. On the flipside, his opponent takes hard-line political stances and, on multiple occasions, has expressed no regard for those who have opposing views. She has proven through her actions on the Metro Council that she does not care about getting consensus and would rather act swiftly and forcefully to push her views on those who disagree with her.
4) Fox has a local view, believing the best way to maintain a healthy city is by letting residents set the community standards. He is not a proponent of begging the federal government for grants, and rightly so, in my opinion. Almost every time we accept money from the federal government, a long list of requirements is attached, and this takes the power away from locals and gives it to people who know nothing about us. I see this firsthand in my husband’s job as a Metro police officer. Instead of maintaining true community policing, we accept grants from the Feds which have the net effect of forcing officers to work mandatory overtime for the mere purpose of making traffic stops. I don’t know what the federal reasoning for the yearly grant was, but from a local perspective, it doesn’t make sense. We don’t need officers working mandatory 18-hour shifts so they can hand out traffic tickets. While likely well-intentioned, this is the negative side effect of imposing federal solutions on local problems, and that’s why I can’t support the candidate who has said numerous times she would search for every possible federal grant in order to accomplish her future goals.
5) Fox’s focus is on preserving the unique nature of Nashville. Our city has a natural beauty and true Southern Charm no other large city can claim, and these are things we will have to intentionally preserve or they will be quickly paved over by outside developers. Fox is aware of this and has a true commitment to supporting the local communities, focusing on the desires of the individual neighborhoods instead of the potential city tax revenue. Many politicians, including Mr. Fox’s opponent, claim to care about preserving our beautiful city, but then turn around and strike huge deals with developers. They say they support neighborhoods, but are actively working to plow them down. On the other hand, David Fox is a long-time supporter of local businesses and communities and has centered his entire campaign on preserving “the Nashville Way.”
6) Fox is a moderate, which is what I consider myself to be. I am not far-right or far-left. I am somewhere in the middle, and the reason I stand in such a place along the political spectrum is because, through a variety of life experiences, I have learned to respect the different viewpoints of those around me. On any particular political topic, I could argue for either the left or the right, and I feel David Fox represents a similar mentality. He seems to have balance in his political views, which is something I highly respect.
7) Fox hasn’t run a campaign based on illogical political talking points. Many issues I heard regurgitated throughout this campaign season were merely political ploys attempting to gain the votes of niche groups. These talking points played no real role in benefiting the future of Nashville, but were merely deceptive tactics pandering to easily swayed emotions. Fox didn’t engage in this sort of campaigning. Instead, he focused on issues that actually affect us all, such as how to improve schools and infrastructure and how to maintain the positive qualities of Nashville in the midst of tremendous growth. Instead of promising a $15/hour minimum wage, he told the truth (that all of the other candidates are well aware of but too afraid to say) that drastically raising the minimum wage would merely take more people out of the workforce and cause those who need job experience the most to not be able to find it. Although it may not be pleasing to many ears, he chose honesty. He didn’t choose the easy way out, which is to lie and pander for votes.
8) He looks for wise, long-term solutions, not hastily planned appeasements. He foresaw problems with Amendment 3, the legislation his opponent supported, which has now been criticized by countless bipartisan sources.
9) In this week’s debate, Fox’s opponent was completely unaware of police salaries despite the fact she has privately pandered to officers about how she will increase their wages. When informed their starting salary was higher than she had estimated, she said (paraphrasing), “Oh, well, it looks like we already took care of raising their pay then.” That statement clearly doesn’t line up with the fact that our officers are paid 25-50% less than officers in comparable cities. (Just to add a little perspective, MNPD’s starting salary is a mere $1 per hour more than the starting salary for a police officer in my hometown with a population of 5,000.) And this is the untruthfulness I keep seeing from her. To one group, she promises, “Yes, we’ll raise your salary,” and to another, she proves she hasn’t even looked into the issue. David Fox on the other hand is honest. He reviewed the recent board recommendations for police pension funds and made practical predictions, not shallow promises. Overall, I don’t particularly care if huge raises are in the future for the MNPD, because my family does just fine living within our means; however, I do care about electing an honest mayor, and I am only seeing honesty from Mr. Fox.
Ultimately, no candidate is perfect, but David Fox appears to have the integrity, balance, and wisdom necessary to do a respectable job, so he will receive my vote, and I hope he will receive yours too.