Grassroots Opposition to Nashville Sanctuary City Ordinance Grows

Tennessee Star

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–An overflow crowd of about 200 met at John A’s restaurant on Music Valley Drive in Nashville on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and heard from opponents of the proposed Metro Nashville Council sanctuary city ordinance, who outlined the actions they can join to defeat the proposal at its third reading on July 6.

Tennessee Star

The Hobbs family, which owns  John A’s restaurant on Music Valley Drive near Opryland Hotel, provides free breakfast one Saturday every month to all who attend the community meeting held there. (click to enlarge)

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, “[t]wo ordinances filed by Metro Councilmen Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge, drafted with the assistance of the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and cheered on by Mayor Megan Barry, will make Davidson County and Metro Nashville the most liberal sanctuary city in the U.S.; in fact, even more liberal in its policies than New York City or San Francisco.”

TIRRC, an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza and a recipient of funding from a George Soros front group, has been agitating for Nashville to formalize its informal sanctuary city practices since the election of President Trump. The two bills co-sponsored by Mendes and Sledge which will have their second reading tonight, will accomplish that goal.

Trying to pass off the ordinances as “in line with state and federal law” the other Mendes/Sledge bill if passed will, by prohibiting Metro Nashville employees from inquiring into anyone’s immigration status, effectively enable illegal aliens to access public benefits they would otherwise be barred from using.

Tennessee Star

Vote by councilman on second reading of sanctuary city ordinance June 20 with color coding by actual vote on second reading June 20, 2017. (click to enlarge)

“Twenty-five out of thirty-nine members present at Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting voted to pass the Mendes/Sledge ordinance forward to a third reading and final vote at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting,” as The Star reported:

The ordinance will, in effect, turn Nashville into a “sanctuary city,” and set up an inevitable confrontation with both the state and federal government. It is also in line with the left-wing, open borders, pro-illegal immigrant political philosophy of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, a Democrat.


Tennessee Star

Map of Metro Nashville City Council Districts, color coded by second reading  vote June 20 on sanctuary city ordinance, targeting potential changes for  third reading scheduled for July 6. (click to enlarge)

“The Metropolitan Council is the legislative authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, a city-county consolidated government created on April 1, 1963. The Council is a 40-member body of elected representatives of which 35 are elected by district and 5 are elected at-large, or county-wide,” according to the website.

“Ordinances, also referred to as “bills”, require passage on three separate readings — at Council meetings held on three different dates — and require a majority vote of all Council members (21 votes) for passage on third and final reading,” according to description of the Metro Council legislative process at the website.

The 9 a.m. meeting was part of the regularly monthly community meetings held at John A’s where the Hobbs family, which owns the restaurant, provides free breakfast to anyone who wants to attend to discuss particular local issues. The meetings are held one Saturday a month for ten consecutive months from January to October. November and December are skipped, and the meetings resume in January.

Tennessee Star

Local activist and business leader Rick Williams. (click to enlarge)

After the regular monthly community meeting, a large group of grassroots activists met at a 10 a.m. meeting organized by local activist and business leader Rick Williams, Davidson County Republican Party chairman Melissa Smithson, and long-time Nashville conservative activist and leader Bobbie Patray. The second meeting was held  in the covered porch area of the restaurant and focused on specific grassroots action plans to secure the additional votes from Council members needed to defeat the sanctuary city ordinance on the third reading scheduled for July 6.

Tennessee Star

Long time conservative activist Bobbie Patray(click to enlarge)
Tennessee Star

Republican Party Chairman Melissa Smithson is helping lead the opposition to the Metro Nashville Council sanctuary city ordinance (click to enlarge)

Three key elements of the plan include: (1) contacting council members directly prior to the July 6 vote, (2) holding a rally opposing the ordinance on July 6 prior to the vote, and (3) showing up in force in the Metro Nashville Council chambers for the July 6 meeting when the vote on the third reading will be held.

The first element calls for grassroots opponents to contact Metro Council members who either abstained from voting or were not present at the second reading vote, and persuade them to vote no on the third reading July 6. In addition, several of the 25 council members who voted “yes” on the second reading will be contacted in an attempt to change their votes at the third reading.

Organizers of the event provided attendees with a color coded map of the Metro Nashville Council districts which shows how the councilmen from those districts voted at the second reading on June 20. “No” votes were in green, “Abstain” votes were in blue, and “Not Voting” were in pink.

The organizers also shared the Roll Call Vote from the second reading showed, by name, the 25 Council members who voted “Yes” on the second reading, the 8 who voted “No,” the 4 who “Abstained,” and the 2 “Not Voting.”

Councilman Larry Hagar, who represents District 11 and was one of the four members of the Metro Council who abstained on the second reading that passed on a 25 to 8 vote past week, was one of the speakers who addressed the crowd at the 9 a.m. meeting.

Tennessee Star

Metro Councilman Hagar addressed the crowd. (click to enlarge)

In addition to local grassroots activists, many elected Republican leaders and gubernatorial candidates, with the notable exception of Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, have been vocal in their opposition to Metro Nashville Council’s proposed sanctuary city ordinance.

On Friday, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) called on the Attorney General to issue an advisory opinion on the sanctuary city ordinance.

Gubernatorial candidates Diane Black, Bill Lee, and Mae Beavers all stated their strong opposition to the sanctuary city ordinance, as The Star reported:

Tennessee Star

Bill Lee (left) Mae Beavers (center) Diane Black (right). (click to enlarge)



“First and foremost, as a mother and a grandmother, I implore the Council members to start holding illegal immigrants accountable for crime and acts of violence,” Black stated.

“Sanctuary city policies to help and support criminal illegal immigrants pose a direct threat to our citizens and undermine the rule of law.”

“In Congress, I’m working with my colleagues to pass the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act to cut off funding for any municipality that helps illegal immigrants hide from the law. It’s time for Mayor Barry to stop borrowing liberal policies from California and New York and start putting the safety and security of Tennessee families first,” said Congressman Diane Black. . .

“I will use the powers of the Governor’s office to defund any city in Tennessee that chooses to violate state and federal laws by embracing and encouraging illegal aliens to locate to our state,” Beavers said.

“It is unfortunate that the laws we have regarding sanctuary cities do not impose detailed, severe penalties on those who break the law. But as Governor I will strongly encourage the Legislature to add specific punitive provisions into the law that will discourage cities from putting our families at risk by shielding those who have no respect for our laws,” she added. . .

“I am 100% opposed to ‘sanctuary cities.’ When politicians embrace lawlessness, they put our entire state at risk,” Williamson County businessman Bill Lee tells The Tennessee Star.


Friday night, State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) vowed “to orchestrate a massive response to Davidson County’s attempt at embracing sanctuary city status,” at the Cannon County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner in Woodbury.

Tennessee Star

State Rep. Judd Matheny spoke at the Cannon County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner on Friday.(click to enlarge)

Late Saturday, Matheny confirmed to The Star that he will be one of the speakers at the July 6 rally in opposition to the sanctuary city ordinance.

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20 Thoughts to “Grassroots Opposition to Nashville Sanctuary City Ordinance Grows”

  1. Teresa

    My a hop skip and a jump away from Davidson county. If this happens MT Juliet and Wilson county will be saturated with these also. All Tennessee needs to be on board BUT Wilson county be VERY diligent.

  2. Mike H.

    As a Nashvillian, I am absolutely opposed to this! Megan Berry does not deserve a 2nd term as Mayor . Have you seen the eyesore known as Nolensville Road?Stop.this , please!

  3. Sandra

    Recall this liberal Californian who does not know or have the values of Nashville, Tennesse where I grew up. Pathetic!!

    1. Jamse Sheffield

      I was born raised lived in Nashville for years was a great city but over the years liberals have been running the city and now it is going to get worse with the liberal mayor from California can’t understand why she wants to bring in illegals going to harder for law enforcement and the citizens . What are the liberals thinking ?

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  5. Lisa Phillips

    This will do nothing but invite serious crime , I.e murder, rape, child endangerment, etc. the very fact that this would even be considered is very disturbing. I was born in Nashville and have lived in Davidson county all of my life, and this is really, really sad.

    1. Jill LaVilla

      Do not accept this! Don’t dare let this happen to your city!

  6. […] light of the recent controversy over two Metro Nashville/Davidson County ordinances that would make Nashville the most liberal […]

    1. Lusa

      Who do I contact to add my vote for petition so that my name is counted in the roles against the sanctuary city?

  7. Rebecca Tidwell-Adams

    This has to be stopped. Who do we contact to help keep this from happening?

  8. Jay

    Stop stalling and remove the enabler mayor and stop the abuse of or tax dollars, I will not support a sanctuary city in any state

  9. Nedra Hardy

    This makes me angry and sad too. We live “down the street” in Memphis actually. Small fires travel fast if not tended to soon enough. I love Nashville. We lived there for a few years back in the ’60’s. I have strong feelings about this. I will not be visiting Nashville until I’m assured it will NOT be a sanctuary city. My friends and all Memphis so love to visit your city. Please do not let this happen to Nashville.

  10. Scotty Thompson

    Bravo Mae Beavers

  11. Paula

    This Mayor needs to be ousted, she is not For Americans, she is like the rest of the Dems. Wanting to destroy America. Need the list that voted Yes, need to vote them out.

  12. Danny Ferrell

    So what does it take to get this person out of office? She is so out of touch with the people who have lived here all of our lives!

  13. Doug Brown

    We live just over the Wilson County line. We frequently shop in Davidson County at present. That will end if this ludicrous legislation is passed. I will take every single disposable dollar at my fingertips OUT of Davidson County, and will drive through it without spending a dime. I will also work hard to convince my fellow Wilson County residents, and ALL residents of surrounding counties, to do the same.

  14. Cherry Walker

    Pro Sanctuary City Nashville officials are concerned with being politically correct. They haven’t considered the impact that this policy will have on their tourist dollars.
    I live in GA and love country music. I am also a Conservative voter. I oppose all illegal immigration and I am only one of millions that feel this way.
    I will not spend one cent to support the economy of a Sanctuary City. Consider that I am not the only potential tourist that feels that way.
    Pass this law and you will destroy your tourist industry. You have been warned.

    1. Gary Lamb


    2. I totally agree, Cherry. No way will I spend a cent in Nashville in the event I have an occasion to pass through that city if they approve a sanctuary city for criminal illegal aliens.