By Keith Moore on June 25, 2015
Mirroring the temperature outside, our mayoral race is beginning to heat up. With about three weeks before early voting begins, we welcomed Mayoral Candidate and Founder of LEAD Public Schools Jeremy Kane, to our Belle Meade location’s monthly Breakfast and Networking Event. Originally from Michigan, Jeremy’s father, a minister who often worked two jobs to support his family, relocated to Nashville knowing only three things about the city; he knew Nashville had affordable homes, he knew there were good public schools and he knew that Nashville was a place where he could help build a church that was inclusive to people of different communities. Decades later, these characteristics brought Jeremy and his wife Tracy, an attorney at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, back to Nashville after living and working in Washington D.C. They also serve as the foundation for Jeremy’s Mayoral campaign.
Growing up in South Nashville with dreams of being an Olympic swimmer, Jeremy earned swimming scholarships to Montgomery Bell Academy and then Stanford University. While contemplating law school, he began teaching at MBA and tutoring at-risk youth in North Nashville. It was during this time that he decided to start LEAD Academy. To date, LEAD Academy employs nearly 200 teachers and staff with an annual budget of $16 million and is the only public school in Nashville to graduate 100% of its seniors and have them all accepted to a four-year college.
Over coffee and a light breakfast, Jeremy discussed how the lessons he learned from helping establish LEAD Academy, running a Mayoral campaign and receiving feedback from “over 15 town halls and 50 meet and greets” served as the foundation for his vision for Nashville Together. Available on his website and built upon values of “Live, Work, Learn and Contribute,” Jeremy believes that these values are mutually shared by all Nashvillians regardless of their neighborhood, language or economic background. He emphasized how these values should be preserved and utilized by the city’s next mayor in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly diversifying Nashville. He then detailed how his fellow candidates narrow the education debate by failing to address public education’s connections to transportation, affordable housing, neighborhood development and the local economy. Saying, “Your education should not be determined by your zip code,” Jeremy made Nashville’s challenges in public education pivotal to Nashville’s future growth
During the question and answer portion of the event, Candidate Kane fielded questions on spending, infrastructure and employment. Commending his Millennial-filled campaign staff, he emphasized the importance of the next mayor being able to “tap into the millennial generation’s sense of mission” so that metro government could be “more entrepreneurial and make the city more attractive to companies through innovation.” Then, citing his wife’s international business and leadership experience (she once worked as the Asia-Pacific Director for Entertainment Relations at Gibson Guitar Corporation), he talked about making Nashville an international ‘it’ city; saying “international visitors stay twice as long and spend four times as much so we should make it easier for them with international flights and local transportation once they get here.”
Drawing the event to a close, Jeremy brought up Nashvillians’ eagerness to contribute to the city. “Nashville is a city of non-profits with one of the highest per capita giving rates in the country,” he said, “people in Nashville want to contribute, people want their voices heard and want to share their ideas. They want to be a part of the incredible prosperity and success that we’re experiencing.” It was a sentiment that everyone in attendance could agree with. Feel free to leave us a comment or tell us who you would like to see participate in future E|SPACES Breakfast and Networking Events and most importantly, join us for our next Breakfast and Networking Event featuring Candidate and Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry on July 9th at 7:30 AM.
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