From Staff Reports
ANTIOCH, TN — As a field organizer for the Tennessee Education Association, Cane Ridge-area resident Antoinette Lee talks to state lawmakers about what teachers need. Early in her career, she was a teacher of special education students in a Virginia high school.
Antoinette’s TEA territory includes Williamson County Schools and the Franklin Special School District where she serves members of the Williamson County Education Association. She’s served education association members in Arizona, Mobile, Ala., and Memphis. She’s been with TEA here over 15 years.
She’s known Sam Coleman since he first ran for Metro Nashville City Council. Antoinette had Coleman yard signs on her corner lot. She introduced him to Olive Branch Church members, and talked to Sam about education issues. Coleman was re-elected, served another term, became term-limited, stayed-out four years and was elected again in August 2015.
Then Casey Mooreland fell off the bench and at noon May 29, Coleman left the council District 33 seat to become General Sessions Court Judge Sam Coleman. Antoinette isn’t complaining about At-Large Councilman Bob Mendez’s service until someone’s elected to succeed Sam, but she remembers the four years when Sam was term limited.
“I know what it’s like to have a council member who you can talk to,” Antoinette said.
So the question arose. Who’s going to represent District 33? Antoinette’s neighbors asked her. Why not you? Her reply paraphrased the Kennedy question: “If not me, who?”
Her answer: “Sometimes you’ve got to stand up.”
Antoinette is from Dillwyn, Va., (Pop. 445) nearly 40 miles south of Charlottesville. After college, she married her high school sweetheart, Stanley Lee who’s working at Wesco in Nashville. Her bachelor’s degree in education is from Norfolk State University. Her master’s in organizational management is from the University of Phoenix. She’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.
If elected to the District 33 seat on Metro Council, Antoinette Lee will work to improve education, invest in infrastructure and make neighborhoods safer. That’s what her campaign flier says. She says residents should “feel safe enough to sit on their front porch and walk in the neighborhood even when it’s dark … We need to look at how we do growth.” She wants more mass transit. Washington, D.C.’s subway “is great. You can feel safe.” Davidson County could have an elevated commuter rail that goes underground downtown Nashville.
“Cane Ridge and Antioch high schools are crowded,” she says, “We need to manage growth and know how it impacts schools.
“We want this area to be an area where people will want to move.”
Antoinette’s campaign team meets every Saturday at her home, 7000 Red Apple Road, at 9 a.m. for campaign calls and door to door campaigning. She faced her opponent Sept. 7 in a run-off forum at Cane Ridge High.
Early voting continues through Sept. 14 at 1417 Murfreesboro Pike. Election day is Sept. 19, a Tuesday. There are about 11,800 registered voters in the district.