Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Director of American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry to the studio to further describe the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, what it does, and the beginning’s of successful door knocking.
Leahy: In studio our good friend Grant Henry with Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee. As I’m driving in this morning, there was a different phenomenon in the sky. That phenomenon was light. It was light.
Almost every day when I drive in because I leave Thompson Station at about 4:25 or 4:30 in the morning depending on the day, it’s always pitch black. Except for today, it started out kind of pitch black.
But then I get on 65 and what’s that? It’s light! And suddenly I realize, oh, yeah, we are approaching the summer solstice. And there’s something about getting up as dawn and the light comes in.
It kind of sets your body rhythm right. So it’s a good day. It’s a good day with the sun coming up. Speaking of good days, Grant Henry, tell us about what’s going on with the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, which I guess now is scheduled for a vote, a referendum on July 27.
There’s litigation going on, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop it. Tell us what the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act does in Davidson County, and tell us what Americans for Prosperity is doing to support it.
Henry: The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act does about six different things. The one that we would like to focus on the most at Americans for Prosperity is the first amendment. The one that will take the property tax rate that was increased by 34 percent over the last year.
We could roll that back to 2019 rates and set a cap at no more than a three percent increase per year without a voter referendum. Obviously, it makes it a little bit easier.
Leahy: Subsequently. Subsequently, in other words. So what it does is if you vote yes on that referendum, and I think you’re right. Just to focus on that one key thing, which is the rollback of property taxes.
What that means is to roll back the property taxes in the next session. And if the City Council wants to increase property taxes by more than three percent, they can’t do it without a referendum and approval of the people. Wow! That’s pretty good.
Henry: And it obviously does a couple of other things there that are important. But we are starting our grassroots campaign right now.
Leahy: Now, tell me about that. Tell me when does early voting begins because I’m looking at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock goes to clock in the calendar. Today is June 17.
Henry: That’s right.
Leahy: And when does early voting begin?
Henry: Early voting starts on July seventh and will go to July 22. And the vote itself election days on July 27.
Leahy: So early voting begins seven days plus 13. 20 days from today.
Henry: Yeah, that’s right. It’s right around the corner. And Grassrootsnashville.com is the place that we’re directing everyone to go to find more information. Not just about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, but also about ways to get involved.
Grassrootsnashville.com has some information on the background of what happened in the last couple of years. The three-point six billion dollars worth of debt that the city of Nashville is in. The terrible spending problems and the inherent nature of Nashville alone that got us here.
It also has a site, a clickable link there on the calendar section to go and sign up for door knocking or phone banking and help get this word out. We just started doorknocking last night.
Leahy: You did? So set the stage for us. Were you there door-knocking?
Henry: Oh, yeah. Myself and six other folks.
Leahy: You’re kidding me?
Henry: A great family called the Smith family, and Daniel Adams was with Phil Smith, Jonah Smith, Tiffany, some great folks up there.
Leahy: Okay, so just are you, like, wearing a T-shirt? What are you wearing?
Henry: I’ll post pictures about this today.
Leahy: Why didn’t you bring your t-shirt in?
Henry: I have some in the car.
Leahy: During the break, you got to go down and get them. What does the T-shirt say?
Henry: The T-shirt is lime green and yellow, just like the door hangers that we’re putting on there. It’s got a big liberty banner on the back, the little AFP logo in the top left-hand corner. So you’ll see us marching around.
Leahy: Does it say vote yes or on the referendum to turn back. Does it say anything?
Henry: The shirts do not. the shirts just say liberty.
Leahy: Just liberty.
Henry: That’s right.
Leahy: If you see somebody in a lime green and yellow T-shirt, open up the door because they have an important message for you. What time did you start? Because, you know, I’m a big fan of door-to-door canvassing because we did the Beat Lamar program back in 2013-2014.
Didn’t beat him, but got pretty close. Real close. So tell us, when did you start? What neighborhood did you go to? How did people react?
Henry: We had just a quick doorknocking session last night just to get it rolling off the ground just to get some people acclimated to door knocking that hadn’t done it before. We started right around 6:30 p.m. and went to about eight or 8:30 p.m. or so.
We had a fantastic reaction in the Hermitage area. And that’s what we’ll be knocking this weekend as well on Friday.
Henry: That’s right. All-day Friday and all day Saturday. If you go to grassrootsnashville.com, you can sign up to come to meet us out there.
Leahy: Now, when you approach a door, is it, one person or two people?
Henry: We need to go in pairs.
Leahy: Smart. This is somebody who knows what he’s doing. You always go in pairs.
Henry: Just for safety reasons and double-checking.
Leahy: So here you go. Knock, knock, knock. Who did you knock? Who’s part of your team? You are a two-person team.
Henry: Last night, we were pairing off male-female, if we could. It just tends to work better at the doors and especially in that area. But obviously, go up to door, let them know you’re with Americans for Prosperity.
Leahy: So knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock. Describe one of your memorable door knock interactions.
Henry: Last time we knocked in, this guy’s door came to the door. I gave him a quick spiel and that I’m Grant Henry from Americans for Prosperity here to talk to you about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
And are you supportive of Mayor Cooper’s exorbitant 34 percent property tax increase over the last year? And he said, no! Absolutely not! He signed that petition. He’s like, honey, come here! (Laughter)
We talked for 10-15 minutes at this guy’s door. He’s supportive. He’s signing on. He knows about the vote. We mark him down in our little I-360. And we say hey, he’s voting for it.
Leahy: Grassroots activism at its best.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.