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All the issues that impact a community are connected in some way.  President John F. Kennedy used the slogan, “A rising tide lifts all boats”.  It takes strong leadership and vision to find the connectivity in the issues that keeps a community strong and healthy.  These are some of the core issues in Donelson.  I will continue to lead by example and do so with passion and strong dedication.

Strong Neighborhoods are the Backbone of a Great Community

Donelson Hills Block Party – Photo by Jerry Hall

One of Donelson’s greatest strengths is our neighborhoods.  A great neighborhood isn’t determined by the type of homes that are built there, but by the people who live in them.  Nashville is known for being a friendly city and the people that call Donelson home confirm that reputation.  As a part of town that developed during the post-WWII boom, Donelson was settled by young families who worked hard and are the generation that built Donelson to be the great community it is today.  As Middle Tennessee experiences another strong period of growth, Donelson is now starting to trend toward younger residents again who are moving here for many of the same reasons.  Donelson is recognized for its prime location and warm-hearted neighborhoods.  When I moved to Donelson Hills, I recognized the transition occurring and that is why I have been at the forefront, leading my neighborhood through this period of change and growth by helping to create a very effective neighborhood watch along with beautification efforts, which have been both a way of proactively attracting strong new neighbors as well as a preservation effort in maintaining the character of our neighborhood.  It is already making a positive difference in creating a highly desirable place to live with increasing home values.  I’ve had many opportunities to engage with neighborhood leaders throughout Donelson and all of Davidson County.  I am a strong supporter of grassroots efforts to bring people together to ensure we maintain high property values and a high quality of life.  No two neighborhoods are exactly alike.  Each has its own unique character and charm.  I will continue to work with Donelson’s neighborhoods and their leadership to help keep our community safe, inviting, and a desired place to raise a family.

Community Support of our Schools Is Critical

SchoolsDonelson is attracting many families to move here and the success of our schools is a key component of ensuring we support strong neighborhoods and opportunities for our children.  I have had the pleasure of being part of the McGavock Cluster Coalition, an initiative to connect our business community in support of our schools.  I’ve seen how those connections enrich the lives of our kids, parents, teachers, and staff, and how that strengthens our community as a whole.  The success of McGavock High School’s turnaround has been recognized across the nation as a model for how a community can engage and make a difference.  There are always many opportunities for our community to support all our schools.  I’ll continue to encourage neighborhoods, churches, non-profits and the business community to maintain strong partnerships and active engagement with all our schools.

Non-Profit Organizations Serve Our Community In Many Ways

Non-ProfitsThere are over 25 non-profit organizations in the Donelson, Hermitage and Old Hickory area that do incredible work in supporting our community.  I have had the privilege of serving in a leadership role in a number of these organizations, including The Donelson Gateway Project, The Friends of Two Rivers Mansion, Hip Donelson and Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, among others.  I will continue to encourage everyone who calls Donelson home to engage with our local non-profit organizations as a way of giving back, working with old friends, meeting new ones and nurturing our community with the many talents that our residents possess.

The Economic Development of a Community in Transition

Economic Development in Donelson, TNDonelson is experiencing renewed vitality and reinvestment associated with changing development trends and Nashville’s incredible growth.  Originally developed as an automobile-oriented, suburban community, we now have the challenges of addressing our infrastructure needs to become more pedestrian-friendly.  Donelson has a great opportunity to accommodate the growth in our region and meet these challenges throughout our community, especially at the heart of The Donelson Plaza area by creating a more civic-oriented urban core where residents can live, work and enjoy leisure activities.  As the first stop on the Music City Star outside downtown, Donelson is perfectly situated for investment in transit-oriented developments to further enhance a thriving and revitalized “downtown Donelson” community.

Serving a Diverse Community

The 15th District is the most diverse district in the county from agriculture to national corporate headquarters and industrial to unique small businesses and the most warmhearted neighborhoods found anywhere in Middle Tennessee.  Our area is also blessed with important historic sites and beautiful historic neighborhoods to preserve, as well as opportunities to grow and become a more sustainable and revitalized community.  As a Past-President of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the NashvilleNext Community Engagement Committee, I’ve had the opportunity of engaging with neighborhood, business and community leaders all across Middle Tennessee to share this vision for Donelson’s future as part of the overall planning process for our region’s future growth.  The transition to bring this vision to fruition won’t happen overnight, but as a community that is attracting attention, praise and investment, Donelson has a very bright future.