By Clare Bratten
“If you don’t have a plan for you, somebody else will,” says Jonathan Hall about the possible future of Metro Council District 1.
“The days of dumping on Bordeaux are long gone, we’re not going to be the place where the city can dump what it doesn’t want,” says Hall who serves on the Beautification Commission for the area.
Hall is now a candidate for the Metro Council District 1 position when Council Member Nick Leonardo left to fill a General Session judge position. Hall grew up in District 1. He has worked for years as a proponent for the welfare of his District which includes parts of Bordeaux, Whites Creek, Bells Bend, Royal Hills, Joelton, and Haynes Park
“Right now, we need a real commitment to District 1. I’m in meetings in all the schools, in every community meeting, council meeting, committee meeting,” says Hall who is rearing his family here.
“District 1 has had two special appointments, three councilmen and two at-larges — we need stability, we need direction.”
“I grew up in the community. A lot of Nashville grew up with my dad doing the news for decades – I was always out and about; I covered every inch of that district.” Jonathan Hall’s father was the well-known WSMV television weather man, Bill Hall.
Hall says District 1 is geographically the largest, with a high voter turnout and passionate community involvement in areas of concern.
“When they try to do a Maytown in Scottsboro, it explains why we are passionate. We understand what areas are open for smart development and which need protection. I’ve been involved with the mayor’s office with housing with MDHA at every level to form a plan for our district. We push[ed] for and got the Jackson law [which now requires local approval] on land fills.”
District 1 also is “the land forgotten by time” according to Hall – in other words, not as much money for development such as has been poured into areas like The Gulch.
“By definition we are affordable housing – mostly single family brick homes and nothing but home owners, or rental houses. District 1 does not have a single apartment complex.”
“We know the lack of development creates a situation for us, that makes it opportune for outsiders to want to gentrify our district. We understand development. We know what we want, we know what we need. We’re asking for the same level of attention the rest of the city has gotten,” says Hall.
“District 1 has such a magnificent history that goes unnoticed. It’s considered to be a racially, and ethnically diverse district of poverty by HUD – there’s a well-documented list of needs and desires that we want and there’s no excuse for those not to be addressed,” says Hall.
Hall has pointed questions on Mayor Megan Barry’s transportation plan.
“We’ve been having those conversations going back two years on transit. When it comes to mass transport, I would ask the question, ‘How does it benefit us? ‘ The needs of District 1 far exceed the needs of others. Do you want us to pay more in taxes to support a mass transit system that doesn’t benefit us? But, we are open to the conversation.”
“You’ve seen the ‘Invest Bordeaux’ campaign — our goal is to raise our median income, raise property values. We know business has a place. District 1 is in a unique position with what we have to offer in addition to our vote — we are together as a community and we are focused. Our district impacts elections at every level. It’s not too much to ask as a district for the same level of response and attention to our needs and wants.”
“I love my neighbors, my community and my city – I reserve the right to criticize her. The content of your character is judged by what you are willing to do for someone that can do nothing for you in return. I’m doing the job now because I love my community.”