Live from Music Row, Friday 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 Nashville mayoral candidate Natisha Brooks in studio to discuss her stance on the Titans Stadium deal, reduction of Metro Council members, police support, education, and fixing the budget.
Leahy: We are in studio with the sartorially splendid Natisha Brooks. She’s running for mayor. Natishafornashville.org. That website will be up in a couple of days over the weekend. Natisha, are you ready for the big question?
Brooks: Yes, I’m ready.
Leahy: All of the experts tell us that to mount a successful campaign for mayor. The election is going to be in August. August 3rd.
Leahy: You need about $2 million.
Brooks: That is correct.
Leahy: Now, I looked at your financial reports from the time you were in for Congress. There were fewer zeros on that report.
Leahy: And so the question is, do you agree that will take $2 million to win?
Brooks: Oh, yes.
Leahy: You do?
Brooks: I already predict the outcome. Myself against Sharon Hurt. And if you don’t know who Sharon Hunt is, she’s going to play the color card. We’re going to do the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We’re going to play the character card. Bring character back to Nashville.
Not your color. We’re not vying to try to be the first black mayor. We’re trying to bring character, not color. Character back to Nashville. Folks. Natishafornashville.org, we will raise the money.
We have to raise at least $2 million to help take this city back. Natishafornashville.org. Hit that donate button. Donors, PACs, I’m coming for you. We love your prayers, but, Michael, we need your cash.
Leahy: (Chuckles) Love your prayers but need your cash.
Brooks: Need your cash.
Leahy: This is why people love Natisha. Just right to the point.
Brooks: We need your cash.
Leahy: And you think you can raise $2 million? It’s a long order. Color me a little skeptical on the ability to raise $2 million from scratch.
Brooks: Catholics, Methodists, we believe. We’ve got faith. We’re going to raise it. I need you to hit Natishafornashville.org. I need your cash. We need your cash. We got to get out there, get ahead. By the way, some of you will wake up Monday morning and see signs all over Nashville. Ms. Brooks is already ready to put at least $100,000 of my own money into the race.
Leahy: Now, let me ask the next question. You know, there’s this little deal out there where I’ve talked about it, and I think it’s a terrible deal. It’s where the Tennessee Titans have basically stuck their hand out and said, Tennessee state taxpayers give us some money.
And the state of Tennessee inexplicably is giving them half a billion dollars. And then Metro Nashville is doing all sorts of things to leverage their special taxes and privileges that have been given to them by the state legislature to use that for bonding to raise another $750 million.
And then the NFL supposedly is going to give $800 million. But it doesn’t look like there’s really a lot of it actually coming out of the pockets of the family that owns the Titans. It’s a $2.2 billion deal. As mayor, do you oppose or favor this stadium deal?
Brooks: Currently, right now, Michael, we oppose it, and I’m going to tell you why. One, if someone would put a concrete plan in front of Natisha of how we’re going to pay for the stadium, and that’s why you need to vote Natisha for Nashville for mayor, we’re the only ones that are going to be able to work with the Tennessee State Legislature.
I’m going to be up there, and we’re going to have to have a talk because, Michael, if you looked at the plan so far, where we are parking, Michael, with all this money? Where the stadium is going to be, where are we going to park and why do we have to pay for it?
And I tell people all this all the time. You all know I transplanted from Texas. I say, you can Texas my Tennessee and Tennessee my Texas. But, hey, I would love to sit down and talk with the owner a little bit. I know she’s got a new general manager over there, but right now the answer is no. I am not in favor of the new Titan Stadium currently, right now.
Leahy: What I would suggest is when you say, why don’t you finance it entirely Amy Adams-Strunk? We think it’s a great idea if you pay for it.
Leahy: Not the city citizens and the voters of Nashville, Davidson County.
Brooks: And the 40-member Metro Council. Just 30 seconds on that. I am in favor of squeezing that down.
Leahy: To 20.
Brooks: You got it!
Leahy: It’s interesting to me; it’s been framed as a sort of punishment, supposedly.
Leahy: Retaliation for not hosting the Republican National Committee convention here in 2024. To me, I mean, I’ve lived in this area for 31 years. When I first moved here, and I heard they had a 40-member Metro council, I said, how do they ever get anything done?
Brooks: Exactly. Let’s just say, Michael, we win. Can you imagine us with 40 members? I don’t want to use the word against because Natisha is going to work, but how can we work with a 40-member council? And how many conservatives do we have down there? We got Swope.
Leahy: Three or four.
Brooks: Three or four. What are we going to do, Michael?
Leahy: Okay. Speaking of what are we going to do? So you’re on the record. Your goal is to raise $2 million.
Brooks: That is correct.
Leahy: You are opposed to the stadium deal.
Leahy: You favor reducing the council size from 40 to 20.
Leahy: What are your other agenda items?
Brooks: One, the number one is we have to talk about, everyone knows this. I’m the three C’s. Christian, conservative, constitutionalist. That’s very important to me.
I need you to understand that constituents. But the very first thing I want everyone to know is I am pro-blue. We’re going to take 30 seconds to talk about Memphis. I know Chief Drake myself, personally. He’s a great guy.
Leahy: John Drake here. The police chief in Nashville.
Brooks: Yes. And he’s been here a long time.
Leahy: Long time.
Brooks: Hey, I was in a car accident the other day, Michael.
Leahy: Are you okay?
Brooks: I’m okay a little bit, but I’m not okay that it took 45 minutes for an officer to come to the scene. And just so that you know, is an off-duty officer that got out of his car to help me. We need to talk and sit down about our police. They’re not going anywhere. If we’re going to do a Titan Stadium, let’s increase our police force.
I’m strongly pro-blue. Very pro blue. So that’s one thing. The other thing I want to get something done about this homelessness. Somebody said, well, Miss Brooks, don’t go left on us. I’m not going left, folks. I’m not going left. But one thing I do have to do is have some empathy about folks being on the streets.
Because of our 34 percent tax increase, we got folks that are not one check away from the streets, they’re almost under, just under away from the streets. And just because you’re rich and you live in a $2 million home or $3 million home, I don’t believe in punishing the rich.
Hey, I support the rich. I congratulate the rich. But just because we’re rich or you’ve got money doesn’t mean you need to be taxed more. So, as always, let’s get this budget going. I’m in education.
Let’s talk about the school board. My main focus on the budget with the school board is talking about that curriculum. As you know, Governor DeSantis in Florida did away with the AP Black American History, and I know a lot of African Americans are fired up about it.
Leahy: And the reason is that the last quarter of it was basically left-wing ideology.
Brooks: That is correct.
Leahy: They’ve resubmitted it, by the way.
Brooks: That’s right.
Leahy: And apparently he’s going to prove the resubmission without the left-wing junk.
Brooks: I saw that. But we’ve got to work with education.
Leahy: The problem with education is all the mayor does is say, oh, we approve your budget.
Leahy: And then they can spend whatever they want. Are you going to change that?
Brooks: We’re going to change that.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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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.
Photo “Natisha Brooks” by Natisha Brooks. Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.