Metro Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover Weighs in on Mayor Cooper’s State of Metro Address

Metro Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover Weighs in on Mayor Cooper’s State of Metro Address

 

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 Metro Nashville’s City Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to discuss the State of the Metro Address and his dismay for the Mayor Cooper’s decision to raise salaries of teachers only.

Leahy: We are joined now on the line by our very good friend, Metro Council Member-at-Large, Steve Glover. Good morning, Steve.

Glover: Good morning, Sir. How are you?

Leahy: Well, I’m about to find out what you thought of Mayor John Cooper’s State of Metro address yesterday.

Glover: You’re about to. A lot of people are about to. (Chuckles) I think the fire department, I thought that was a great move. 40 new suppression. 20 new EMTs and OEM. And it was good. I think that 40 new police officers were about half what it should have been. Maybe only 40 percent of what it should have been. I want to be very clear about this, Michael.

If you’re going to give teachers that massive raise that you gave them and you don’t do it for everybody else in Metro, that’s wrong in a million different ways. Because if people think over the last year that Metro National Public Schools have done a good job of educating children, they’re wrong. Now that’s going to make a lot of people mad.

And if it does, I don’t care because it’s wrong. Our teachers work hard. I’m not upset about our teachers. I’m upset about the administration because they singled out the teachers and gave them a massive raise. Our police, fire, and all our other employees in Metro got a two percent cost of living adjustment.

Leahy: And how much was the raise for the teachers?

Glover: $6,900. and something on average is the way I read it. I haven’t seen the actual budget yet to be able to understand exactly where we landed with everything. I don’t have a beef with giving a raise to teachers or others. You can’t name one group and then literally annihilate the other group and pretend like you did a good job.

That’s one thing I get really sick of. I get really sick of the administrations in Nashville pretending like they’re doing this great thing. And I get really sick of when they say Nashville for everyone. No, it’s not obviously a Nashville for everyone.

Leahy: And now this particular thing, the plan to make Nashville teachers the state’s highest-paid is interesting because I’ve looked at the numbers in terms of the performance on standardized tests of kids in Nashville and there are like 142 school districts, they call them local education administration agencies I guess.

There are 142 or so of them. And Metro Nashville schools are either at the bottom or next to the bottom at 140 or 142 in virtually every rating in terms of math proficiency and reading proficiency. So why such a big raise for teachers?

Glover: That’s the point. Again, I want to emphasize this is not directed at teachers. They’ve done what they could do over the last year. The administration has kept them out of the classroom. I have a lot of friends that are teachers. They are just as upset about the fact they couldn’t be in the classroom because they know that our children have been let down over the last year. And we as Nashvillians, if we think it’s been okay to do what we’ve done to our children, we are sadly mistaken because it is not okay. I don’t know how we make this ground up, frankly.

Leahy: The other thing about this to me, Steve, this looks like a pure political play for the support of the teachers’ unions by Mayor Cooper.

Glover: Yep. MENP doesn’t like me and I don’t really care for them. I don’t really care if they like me. I’ll tell you what I do like. I like my grandchildren. In fact, I love my grandchildren and I don’t like the fact that my grandson wasn’t able to go to kindergarten this past year because somebody on Branford Avenue made bad decisions.

Leahy: Here’s the story from wsmv.com. It’s about three paragraphs. Let me read it and get your reaction. Under Mayor Cooper’s plan, the average Metro teacher salary will jump by $6,924 annually. Educators with eight to 15 years of experience will receive a $10,880 increase.

The proposed $81 million Mark Nashville’s largest operating ‘investment’ in education. And then the director of Schools, Dr. Adrian Battle said the following ‘throughout my career at Metro schools, I’ve never seen such a strong commitment and support from a Mayor for our public schools and the teaching profession.’ Now, to me, this doesn’t look like support for public schools. This looks like support for the Teachers Union.

Glover: That’s exactly what it is. And that’s one reason I’m saying, look, teachers, don’t be mad at me. I’m not upset with you. I think you’ve been placed in bad positions, just like our children have been placed in bad positions over the last year. Our police, our fire, and our first responders, you want to talk about stressing out the workforce over the last 12 months.

I’m not going to pick one against the other. Our police officers, our firefighters, our EMTs, OEM, and the Water Department. We can go down to public works. Because I defined first responders to everybody who needs to get out on the front line when we have something bad that happens in Nashville. They got slapped in the face yesterday when the Mayor had the audacity to do this with the school board that has done a lousy job, by the way, of pretending like they’re leading and then does it to our first responders with a two percent cost of living.

Added firefighters. Absolutely. We’ve needed that forever. It’s still not enough. Pretending like we added police officers. He said we’re going to put 40 new officers in order to staff the Southeast precinct. They need a minimum of 66 officers for a new precinct.

Leahy: Good point.

Glover: Here’s my thing. And I said it last night late on my Facebook page. If we don’t wake up and if we don’t start demanding and we don’t start getting upset about this stuff, then we deserve whatever’s going to happen to us in Nashville. At what point do we wake up and say we’ve had it! Enough is enough. We’ll pay our taxes but in return, if you’re going to do an investment, do a real investment.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. Not a payoff to the Teachers Union, which is what this looks like to me.

Listen to the full first 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IWF’s Sr. Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Biden Rubber Stamped Policies, Trump at CPAC, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

IWF’s Sr. Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Biden Rubber Stamped Policies, Trump at CPAC, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday 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 the Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst, Patrice Onwuka to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Onwuka reviewed the Biden administration’s COVID relief package that would essentially bail out blue cities and states and sweeping legislation not mentioned on the campaign trail. She also forewarned in the coming weeks of rubber-stamped legislation that would be detrimental to American workers and families and highlighted the hypocrisy of the left.

Leahy: We are joined once again by Patrice Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum a very important writer here. And she’s been tracking what’s been going on with the Biden administration. I think you’re perhaps less enthused about it than many in Washington D.C. are. Welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Onwuka: Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Michael Patrick.

Leahy: By Patrice that that is very common. People actually refer to me as Patrick sometimes because it’s in their mind that Senator Patrick Leahy my distant cousin whom I’ve never met. Distant cousin. Is perhaps the most famous Leahy of the world at the moment. And I have to say we’ve never met and although I did invite him to be on a Leahy Family Feud program back in 2009 when I was at the PJTV with a little Internet TV show.

He declined. We’re on opposites of the spectrum. But he does look a bit like my grandfather. (Chuckles) I’ll tell you that. You have been talking and writing a little bit about the Biden administration. What’s your current take on what they’re up to?

Onwuka: It’s distressful. Frankly all of the things that then-candidate Biden at the time hid. Everything from his energy policies to his labor policies that he didn’t cover on the campaign trail. But we’re now seeing between the sweeping executive orders that were passed within the first month to now this $1.9 trillion COVID relief package which has everything and the kitchen sink that Democrats have always wanted to pass through.

And that’s just the start. I think over the next few weeks we are going to see some major sweeping legislative proposals that he has been rubber-stamped. Everything from election changes to labor policies. It’s going to be scary for the American worker and the American family.

Leahy: Yes. I must agree with you about that. Many Republicans have said look this one point nine trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package as it’s called, only about nine percent of the one point nine trillion dollars actually goes for Coronavirus relief. About 350 billion goes to bailouts for fiscally irresponsible blue cities and blue states. There is a lot of other pork in that bill as well.

Onwuka: Oh absolutely. There’s money for union pension. Money for Planned Parenthood. For the universities for the arts. Even Nancy Pelosi, she’s going to be bringing home tens of billions of dollars to California for things like transit projects. So it’s not surprising that that that I think progressives or those on the left would try and use this massive sweeping spending bill to tuck their favorite pet projects in there and hope that because it has the name COVID relief that people will just pass it right off the bat.

We did see that the House passed the bill. Although there were there was enough pushback from Democrats. And the question is what’s going to happen when it comes up for a vote in the Senate either this week or next week? And not surprisingly it’s going to be a party-line vote. However, they’ve got to ensure that all 50 of their Democrats stay in line. If not, this bill could be sunk.

Leahy: So the two Democratic senators whose names come up most often as possible opponents to the bill are Manchin of West Virginia and Kristen Sinema of Arizona. Do you have any indications reading the tea leaves of where they stand?

Onwuka: Because the $15 minimum wage increases if not likely to be part of the final package. They’re more likely to vote Yes. Now that’s not guaranteed but that $15 federal minimum wage hike was going to be the death knell for this whole bill. Now thankfully we saw the parliamentarian the person who decides, what can and cannot be in a sweeping spending bill like this.

She said hey, no this can’t be in there. Unfortunately, Senator Bernie Sanders was very sad. I  insert the meme of him sitting with his legs folded and a sad face because this was really his pet that $15 minimum wage. So because it’s not likely to pass with that in there I think you’ll see Sinema and Manchin come on board. Now, that’s not to say that that something someone else may not hop out. I mean, it’s like a basket of kittens you put one in another one can come out if they don’t get some guarantees or something in that bill that they really want for their folks.

Leahy: I’d be curious as to your reaction to President Trump’s speech at CPAC over the weekend. Did you like it? Do you think he was on top of his game? And who reported on that? I didn’t see much of it in the mainstream media.

Onwuka: No, I think Fox News maybe and Newsmax and some of those more right leading Outlets or are actually independent leading outlets. They covered it. I watched a speech I thought I would have loved to have seen more of this President Trump on the campaign trail because he really number one touted a lot of the great accomplishments that his administration passed on everything from Immigration policies shoring up our borders to the robust economies we had going into the coronavirus pandemic.

And thank goodness the economy was as strong as it was because I think that has softened the blow for workers and I know we’ve got millions of people who are still unemployed. But I think it could have been worse. So he did a great job of laying out what he did when he was in office and then contrasting with what Joe Biden is doing.

His far swing to the left and the fact that a lot of these policies that he kept on the campaign trail and that the media did not ask him about we’re now seeing. And so I think it’s in its opening the eyes of many people. I wish you’d stayed away from the electoral stuff and kind of the campaign was stolen language.

But he absolutely did redefine that the Republican Party is a party based on ideas and policies of low taxes, leadership, America first policies that prioritize American workers and American businesses, and of secure safe borders and safe neighborhoods and communities. Those are really strong conservative topics and issues and I think he’s saying this is who we are.

Leahy: Patrice and woke us senior policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. One word comes to mind when I look at what Joe Biden is doing with the Biden administration is doing what all the Democrats in Congress are doing. That word is hypocrisy. (Laughter) and you know, there’s a case in point. Did you see the story about what the leader of the California teachers union has been doing?

Onwuka: Oh, yes. Oh yes. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Tell our audience about this because it just I mean I saw this and my eyes glazed over.

Onwuka: Oh this guy, he’s priceless. He’s a young man with a little girl and I think she was in Pre-K or a Kindergartner. He was walking her to Pre-K in the morning. Both of them wearing their masks crossing the street. And that should be fine right? Except he is the president of the teachers’ unions in one of the biggest I think cities or maybe the across the state of California and he is taking his daughter to a private institution where she’s able to learn and play.

Leahy: In person!

Onwuka: In person. But all of the kids in California in a lot of districts in public schools do not have that blessing or that benefit. And I think it highlights the hypocrisy of a lot of these leftist leaders and particularly teachers’ union folks who rail against school choice. Who rail against the idea that poor kids should be able to take the federal funds that go to public school and take those two private options, to parochial schools, to charter schools, or even homeschooling and giving them that choice these folks they have a choice they can afford to pay for private school.

They can afford to pay for private tutors, but they do not want to give that to you know, the poor black and brown kids. And hey, by the way, listeners, I’m a Black kid. I grew up in a poor neighborhood with an immigrant family and I made it. And thank goodness. I wish my story could be replicated because of school choice but the teachers’ unions will not allow it.

Leahy: Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. Thanks so much for joining us again. And please come back and come visit us in Nashville.

Onwuka: Alright. Thank you, Mike.

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.
Photo “Patrice Onwuka” by Independent Women’s Forum.