NASHVILLE, TN — The cold bites on a Saturday morning. But Brandon Taylor is still ready to greet his neighbors with trash bags, grabbers and gloves. The group gathers at 9AM sharp, and Taylor begins passing out supplies. A couple folks make fun of his Dallas Cowboys hat and matching coat. But he just smiles, adjusts his thin-framed glasses and gets to work. Council District 21’s monthly clean-up day is organized by Taylor’s wife, Damita Beck-Taylor. She serves as the District’s Beautification Commissioner.
Taylor explains that listening to his neighbors helped him realize that small challenges can turn into bigger obstacles. “We not only have to pay attention to the big things, we have to address the little things,” he says. “That’s why I work to slow the traffic, have crosswalks, add lighting and push for clean streets and alleys.” Hearing the need for senior citizens to understand the changing tax laws, Taylor has hosted community meetings, over the past two years, to register seniors for metro and state property tax relief. He is currently coordinating the next three-week workshop to ensure that seniors collect paperwork, talk to city officials and qualify for property tax freezes.
His firm handshake and ready smile are a staple his neighbors have come to trust and value [insert photo: BT Smiling]. And trust isn’t easy to come by in Taylor’s North Nashville neighborhood—Elizabeth Park. But he’s earned it by being accessible and ready to serve. During his lunch break, you can often find Taylor reading to students at Robert Churchwell Elementary or playing cards with seniors at Elizabeth Park Senior Center.
Witnessing the work of his uncles has shaped the neighbor, husband, and father Taylor hopes to be. His uncle William “Boots” Hassel was a Metro Parks facility coordinator at the South Inglewood Community Center. He worked for many years to serve the youth and families of the neighborhood. His great uncle, Rev. Thomas E. Sweeney, served as the pastor of First Baptist South Inglewood for more than 30 years.
Since moving back to Nashville, the Taylors have made it their business to serve their community.
“Damita and I have done our best as neighbors. We love this community and the people that are a part of it,” says Taylor. “But Nashville is growing at an unprecedented pace. As a council member, I want to make sure that my neighbors and I are prepared for the growth that is coming our way.”
Taylor says that he is made to serve Council District 21. Through his leadership roles in community fundraising development, he knows the importance of bringing resources and fresh ideas to a high-needs area.
He is the Director of Major Gifts for Nashville Rescue Mission and the President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nashville Chapter. Taylor is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and serves on the board of directors for two institutions: Nashville Emerging Leaders and Friends of Hubbard House—an organization restoring the home of the first president of Meharry Medical College, Dr. George W. Hubbard.
If you’d like to meet Taylor and talk about his plans for District 21, you can find him at next month’s clean-up day: Saturday, April 6th at 9AM. He’ll be there sporting his Cowboys hat and ready to work. For more information contact Taylor directly at: 615.669.4802, [email protected]