By Ms. June
NASHVILLE, TN —Jim Shulman may hail from the luxury and comfort of the Green Hills zip code but unlike other candidates vying for the Vice Mayor position, he is willing and ready to face the affordable housing crisis head on and hold the Metro Council accountable for future roles in solving the crisis. With an uncanny formula to demonstrate that education can lead to being able to afford housing in Nashville, Mr. Shulman is the first to admit that anyone who wants to live in Nashville, should be able to afford to live here and enjoy the comforts and offerings. On the forefront of education issues, Mr. Shulman is an advocate for preparation of high school students being ready to work or pursue higher education after high school graduation and he is willing to advance these initiatives through necessary funding.
He does not shy away from admitting that the Metro Council of over 40 members need to be able to “agree to disagree” and as Vice Mayor, he will ensure that the Metro Council focuses on working on specific issues, set specific objectives and then work toward accomplishing goals and work together as a team. When asked what does this mean and if there are things the community needs to know about in-house disputes within the Council, he simply stated, “There is a lack of civil discourse in this country as demonstrated by what is happening in Washington and the Council has to be able to get along to work out solutions.”
Mr. Shulman, who has been in the Davidson County area for over 40 years and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University was further pressed on the issue and was asked if he felt the $15,000 to $17,000 paid position of Vice Mayor was to oversee the Metro Council in which he responded, “No, but council members must be able to work together and understand that their mission is to find solutions to issues and that the people of Nashville and Davidson County community must and will come first.”
It is obvious that no citizen will be left behind under Mr. Shulman’s watchful eye as he is concerned about every citizen to include the elderly and the sick and the shut-in. As Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, a position he still holds, Mr. Shulman is concerned about hot meals, transportation, and the medical needs of this population often overlooked by politicians. He affirmed that as Vice Mayor, he would ensure this segment of the Nashville community would receive the necessary attention, care, support and budget allocations to support their needs and requirements for daily living in Nashville.
The budget is a recurring topic just like taxes but as a successful business owner of several Maggie Moo ice cream franchises, Mr. Shulman does not cringe, or back away from the topic. He adamantly insisted that he knows how to fund the obligations of the city without raising taxes while focusing on things that matter to families such as schools, roads and public safety. When the subject of roads came up, it was highly noted that it was a good thing that he experienced his fair share of pot holes, and the fear of broken axles on his vehicle as his car slammed into holes on the interstate like other citizens and maybe that would springboard him into action as Vice Mayor to address and fix these issues as well.
It was highly noted by the Tennessee Tribune there is a disparity in funding from the local government due to some areas that demonstrate great need such as the Clarksville Highway area and a few needy areas that do not receive a lot of funding but affluent areas like Green Hills and the Gulch continue to receive money hand over fist. Mr. Shulman stated, “I understand there are areas that need support and as Vice Mayor I will ensure fairness and will take a look into these things.”
Lastly, Mr. Shulman was asked in a direct manner, how he would support the initiatives and goals of the current leader, Mayor Briley, and he stated, “My goal is to support the Mayor and further his agenda although there may be some things, I may disagree on.” This was an interesting reply which led to the opportunity to seek clarification of Mayor Briley’s formation of the Minority Business Advisory Council which was formed to help the Mayor’s office obtain a snapshot of African American owned businesses in Davidson County. Similar to Mayor Briley, it was clear this continued to be a gray area as Mr. Shulman was gently reminded that African American businesses expand beyond Jefferson Street and infiltrate all of Davidson County and if Nashville is going to continue to boast the proclamation as “It” city, they need to do a better job of assisting existing and up and coming minority businesses through inclusion, expansion and diversification, to which he replied, “I agree and I plan to look into this matter.”
Jim Shulman is a leader that effectively represents the public and private sector of Nashville. He has the ability the engage the Metro Council and bring them together to work on the challenges of the City of Nashville together to find solutions. He is the candidate to stand strong in the face of adversity, and endure during the time of Nashville’s tremendous growth all while bringing everyone together for the common goal of success.