Top Three Issues in District 34

The top three issues in my district are: 

1) Support for the public school system

2) Traffic, and the need for better transportation 

3) Preservation of the integrity of the community via a connection between community members and the Metro Council.

I am highlighting a need for thoughtful development, that will respect the voices of neighborhood leaders, encourage transit solutions and increase the budget for public schools.  I am also voicing a change to a positive campaign style and collaborative government. My constituents are tired of mean dealing and in-fighting and they want someone who will listen to their needs and find a way to make compromises so that we can work toward the goals we all want:  a clean environment, good schools, and a friendly city.

Progressive + Pro-Business = Progress

I am fundamentally Progressive and I am also Pro-Business, and I think that those stances are not mutually exclusive. I want to encourage thoughtful development in Nashville that is mindful of the needs of neighborhoods, minorities, the impoverished, and the disabled. The incumbent has voted against city spending for development projects, without offering any solutions to transportation, job-creation or affordable housing. I want to help us solve these problems as a community and provide a progressive, rational voice on the Council.

Women’s Rights

I started out adulthood as a champion for women’s health and women’s rights. I worked for several years at Columbia University School of Public Health on a family planning project in African countries, to empower village midwives and market women to distribute contraceptives. I also made documentary films about maternal mortality and women’s health in the developing world, and about HIV prevention. 

I then became a public health nurse midwife, specifically because I wanted to help women take control over their own bodily processes, from menstruation to conception to parturition.  I “caught babies” and delivered women’s care in Boston, San Diego and Mexico. I worked in hospitals, birth centers, rural homes, and prisons, always with a goal of respecting and valuing the individual woman and her self-direction and well-being.  For many years, I served as an instructor and scientific advisor in a midwifery school in Mexico that was bringing back the profession of midwifery, which had been outlawed in the entire country by the male-dominated medical field. 

I have always been vocally pro-choice in every way, about women’s right to information and power over all decisions about their bodies and their lives. 

In 2006, I stopped working as a clinical midwife, in order to pursue neuroscience, but concern for women’s health, and women’s rights, have served as a philosophical foundation underpinning all the work I have ever done.

Health Care

In addition to working in women’s health and reproductive rights for many years, I have recently been serving as the Rare Disease Ambassador for the state of TN for the National Organization of Rare Diseases. As such, I have joined with other leaders of organizations serving vulnerable populations to work towards expansion of health care coverage, rejection of health care block grants, and rejection of work requirements for disability benefits. I have participated in discussions with state legislators and with the governor’s office, have written op ed pieces, lobbied our senators, and have participated in press conferences to encourage these goals.