By Keith Moore on May 27, 2015
In the latest installment of our E|SPACES Learning Series, our Belle Meade location welcomed attorney, entrepreneur and mayoral candidate Charles Robert Bone. A seventh generation Tennessean, Charles Bone grew up in Hendersonville (interesting fact: as a child he carpooled with the children of “Oh Pretty Women” singer and neighbor Roy Orbison) and after graduating from Goodpasture High School he attended Rhodes College in Memphis and Vanderbilt Law School.
Over light breakfast and coffee, an audience comprised of E|SPACES members and local business leaders sat with Charles Bone as he explained how his experience serving as general counsel for the Music City Center, co-founding a healthcare compliance company and investing in local businesses such as The Southern and Acme Feed and Seed equipped him with the skills to continue Nashville’s unprecedented momentum and growth. Speaking on the tremendous amount of respect he has for the current administration, Charles Bone detailed his citywide economic development strategy and answered questions from the audience on everything from public education to traffic congestion.
Charles Bone began by admitting two things: his ads are scientifically proven impossible to get out of your head and that Nashville is a big place. As a result, he wanted his citywide economic development strategy to continue the momentum that Nashville is experiencing in a fiscally responsible way through smart and diversified investing. “We need to take advantage of the assets that Nashville already has and leverage those assets in a way that produces returns for all of us” he said.
With the heart of his strategy being a shared interest in the city’s growth, he said “the Downtown versus neighborhoods, East Nashville versus West Nashville, South Nashville versus North Nashville is a dangerous conversation. Everyone should have just as much at stake in what’s going on in Nashville.” His strategy would accomplish this by increasing neighborhood involvement and developing diverse economic centers across the city and county. Articulating how his stance of continued growth through reinvestment sets him self apart from his fellow candidates, he further explained that his strategy would call for a commitment to transparency so Nashvillians would know how and where revenue was being reinvested.
Fielding questions from the audience, Charles Bone was asked about his campaign’s viewpoint on education to which he provided facts about the number of Nashville families living below the poverty line and the importance of accountability between families as well as both public and charter schools. Questions about transportation, traffic and supporting AMP lead Charles Bone to applaud MTA’s new CEO Stephen Bland and quote Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s Chief Planner, saying that the issue “is about mobility and access as much as it is about congestion.” Overall, Charles Robert Bone’s plan for citywide economic development included a Nashville where every student, family and neighborhood mattered which everyone agreed was a good investment.
Check out some clips of the event here and be sure to leave a comment on what you think the key issues are. As spring passes into summer and we progress towards the August 6th election, it’s getting more important than ever to know the candidates so check out previous blog posts on past Learning Series Events and attend our next event featuring Lead Public Schools founder and mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane on Thursday, June 18th.
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