By Logan Langlois

NASHVILLE, TN – Meet Jama Mohamed, local Black Nashvillian activist, artist,
software developer, and citizen, and newest candidate running for Nashville Metro Council
District 29. Born to Somali parents, Mohamed moved to Nashville with his mother when he was just five years old and has spent his whole life since falling in love with the city’s rich and diverse cultures. Mohamed credits watching his mom work tirelessly to manage her own small Somali restaurant while raising himself and his sister after having just moved to a foreign country.

When asked why he decided to run for District 29 council, Mohamed said that he was
inspired by both the daily challenges he saw his community facing, having lived there for so
long, as well as the potential that he saw in his district to contribute to Nashville’s growth.
Currently, Mohamed said that the growth Nashville is experiencing is unequal in how it’s being distributed among the city’s residents. Said inequality has been accused of already manifesting in and around Nashville and can often be seen by examining the city’s fast-increasing housing costs, gentrification, and the inability of general wages to keep up with the increased living costs.

Mohamed said that his first-hand experience in being a first-gen American has shaped his
perspective to one more reflective of District 29’s diverse population. He also has first-hand
experience in tireless community advocacy from his time participating in the Peoples Plaza
protest group in the summer of 2020, even being arrested during a July 4th demonstration.

It was after this that Mohamed got to see the Peoples Plaza directly resulting in the removal of the Confederate general and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue removed from the Tennessee State capitol.

A big stance Mohamed is taking in his campaign is that the Tennessee General Assembly
is getting far too involved in local district matters and is effectively impeding the district’s ability to self-govern, one such example being seen in the diversion of taxpayer money towards private school vouchers rather than the money being used to improve an already underfunded public school program. Mohamed further detailed that not only does he believe State powers are diminishing the chance for local children to receive an adequate education, but he also believes that the State directly interferes with the efforts of district governments to maintain affordable housing through community benefits agreements.

In alignment with his platform built around the idea of community good, Mohamed also
firmly supports unionization, saying that he “will maintain an open-door policy for organized labor representatives to address their issues, ideas, and concerns promptly.” He further elaborated that he believes all workers, whether they be public, private, temporary, or independent contractors should have the right to unionize freely, and that “all workers have a fundamental right to collectively bargain and advocate for better working conditions, fair wages, and other essential workplace rights.”

An element of public outreach Mohamed believes is underutilized is outreach for
unhoused LGBTQ+ youth. He said he believes this problem can be remedied by either the
redirection of public funds or the use of federal or private grants. He also believes in leveraging business influence to lobby against anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed by state legislators. All who support Mohamed’s platform can vote for him for District 29 Council through early voting, which runs from July 14- 29 or on Election Day on August 3, 2023.

The last day to register to vote is July 5.