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.
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.
“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.
“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 Nashville.gov 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 Nashville.gov 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.
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.
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.
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:
“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.
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.