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Intifada in the Council Chambers
Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash

Intifada in the Council Chambers

馃嚨馃嚫 "Inshallah," cries the public 路聽Baseball put on ice 路聽Memphis Hilton 路聽Waller in the Holler 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Got a taste of my own medicine yesterday. After blaming the lawless Nashville roads on the lack of policing, I got a ticket for talking on the phone while driving on Charlotte.

Had no idea this was a law (seriously). Told the officer that if I鈥檇 known, I鈥檇 have put the phone down when I passed him and tried to hide it. He let out a big belly laugh and stroked me a ticket anyway. Not really my place to complain. I asked for this.

Onward.

鈥淵ou may only speak about items that appear on the agenda鈥 said Vice Mayor Angie Henderson, facing a gallery full of pro-Palestinian protesters during last night鈥檚 Metro council meeting, 鈥渁nd you may only speak about the item for which you signed up.鈥 In July of last year, a state law took effect mandating municipalities to take comments from the public at every public meeting; since then, despite Metro Council鈥檚 rule limiting the conversations to agenda items, the 20-minute comment periods have been commandeered by activists.

鈥淪ettler colonialism is a system of racist violence that seeks to deprive indigenous people of their rights, their land, labor, and resources,鈥 said Tristan Warner from the podium. According to the sign-up sheet, Warner was there to oppose a resolution renewing Rite of Passage鈥檚 contract with the county鈥檚 only juvenile detention facility. Once he took the mic, he launched into a rant regarding settler colonialist regimes, claiming both the United States and Israel are based on the 鈥渓ogic of genocide鈥 before concluding with 鈥淔ree, free Palestine.鈥  

Next up was Diluvio Palazzolo, a 鈥渢rauma and decolonization psychologist鈥 who was there to weigh in on a resolution recognizing May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Palazzolo told the body that they are obligated to honor the 鈥渉eritage of resistance against colonization, occupation and imperialism鈥 by standing with 鈥淧alestinian Americans who cry out for the end of genocide and occupation,鈥 before attempting to passify the rule to stay on topic by tying his speech it back to the legislation: 鈥淧alestine is in Southwest Asia.鈥

Indeed, the majority of those who spoke during the public comment period were there to make a statement about Palestine, and the blatant takeover was the perfect segue into the council鈥檚 next order of business: an amendment to remove Rule 28鈥檚 limitations restricting the topics allowed for discussion. 鈥淲hat we鈥檝e seen is individuals coming out and being very creative in using the agenda to speak to the council,鈥 said sponsor Delishia Porterfield. 鈥淭hat has put our Vice Mayor in a precarious situation of having to determine if something is on the agenda.鈥

Though most members supported the change, a few had concerns: Councilmember Tom Cash observed that he sees the same people signing up to speak every month. Rules Committee Chair Sandra Sepulveda iterated that, regardless of the change, those who signed up to speak on actual agenda items would be prioritized. She took care to mention that she doesn鈥檛 anticipate anyone abusing or monopolizing the process.

On the other hand, Councilmember Rollin Horton wasn鈥檛 fully convinced; he expressed concerns that the change would create 鈥渁 forum for bizarre, obscene, or hateful comments,鈥 citing his observation of the recent neo-Nazi parade downtown. Councilmember Sheri Weiner then added a bit of pragmatism to the discussion, mentioning her concerns about those who use their time to discuss broad topics 鈥 topics the council has no authority to address. 

Ultimately, the council approved the rules change, as attendees holding 鈥淲E ARE NOT THE UNITED STATES OF ISRAEL鈥 and 鈥淔ROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA鈥 signs looked on from the gallery. One month from now, the public comment period will be open to any topic under the sun. After the vote, the majority of the pro-Palestine protesters exited the council chambers鈥攕mall victory in hand. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK


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Nashville

馃 Baseball on Ice MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred threw the idea that Nashville could land a professional baseball franchise any time soon on ice. At his annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors earlier this week, Manfred stated that he plans to have an expansion in place by 2029, when his term as commissioner ends.

But the delay is of less concern than Manfred's next declaration regarding the potential site of a new team: "We need an Eastern time zone and [a city in] either a Mountain or Western time zone just in terms of making the format work in the best possible way." Currently, there are fourteen teams in the Eastern time zone, eight teams in the Central time zone, two in the Mountain, and six in the Western. Relatedly, here鈥檚 an interesting infographic showing when games start for each MLB team based on their hometown time zone. DAVIS HUNT

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馃尭 Memphis Hilton Earlier this week, Governor Lee signed a bill that bans judges from factoring 鈥渁bility to pay鈥 into its bail calculator. As if to underscore the need for such a bill, last week in Memphis, a man out on bond for a January shooting hunted down and threatened a witness who testified against him. In celebration of the signing, Senate sponsor Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) used the opportunity to stump for Memphis鈥 status as Tennessee鈥檚 msot renowned city. 鈥淭ogether, we will make sure Memphis can seize its fullest potential,鈥 wrote Taylor. 鈥淎fter all, Tennessee cannot be successful if its most famous city is not successful.鈥 Most famous city? Really? DAVIS HUNT

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馃彮 Waller in the Holler This afternoon, a bunch of bored activists will gather at Lipscomb University to protest the TVA鈥檚 use of fossil fuels while the power company holds a listening session on campus. Organized by the Sierra Club, the protest is purportedly a response to the agency鈥檚 plan to construct eight natural gas plants. 鈥淪ince 2020, TVA has planned eight gas plants across its region,鈥 writes WPLN reporter Caroline Eggers, 鈥渆quivalent to 20% of the utility鈥檚 operating capacity, and more than 160 miles of pipelines in Tennessee. TVA鈥檚 top six executives have collectively banked millions from the process.鈥 Cue villain music.

The protest will be followed by the Rally for the Valley at Centennial Park, which includes a performance by musician Jonathan Singleton, a lecture from environmental activist Bill McKibben, and a Yas Kween hype speech from Rep. Aftyn Behn. DAVIS HUNT

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The action status of other notable bills from last night's council meeting:

Rules of Procedure
  • Rule 28 (Passed) Expands the public comment period to any topic
  • Rule 43.1 Extends the automatic indefinite deferral of a bill from happening after four deferrals instead of three
  • Rule 43.4 (Deferred) Gives a one-meeting grace period after deferred legislation
Resolutions
  • RS2024-417 (Passed) Enhanced DUI and seatbelt enforcement
  • RS2024-424 (Passed) Approving an application for a Climate Pollution Reduction grant from the EPA
Bills on First Reading
  • BL2024-181 (Withdrawn) NEST; Building Code, firewalls, single staircase 
  • BL2024-187 (Deferred) NEST; allows construction of single-family, two-family, and multi-family in all commercial zones 
  • BL2024-343 (Passed) Adding a CM as board member of the Arts Commission 
  • BL2024-356 (Passed) Revised Flood Insurance Rate Map 
Bills on Second Reading (*also on public hearing)
  • BL2024-184 (Passed) NEST; DADUs, daycare centers, and mixed-use zones 
  • BL2024-303 (Withdrawn) Annual disclosures required for Metro boards and commission members 
  • BL2024-336 (Passed) Accelerating Resilience of the Community through Holistic Engagement and use of Renewables 
Bills on Third Reading
  • BL2024-179 (Passed) MNPD required to produce reports on use of excessive force
  • BL2024-182 (Passed) NEST; bathrooms, dryer hookups (amended), housekeeping
  • BL2024-301 (Passed) Fair Board rules 
  • BL2024-302 (Passed) Purpose of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission to include 鈥渆quity鈥
  • BL2024-305 (Passed) Sending back Pre-Columbian collection at Parthenon to Mexico

TODAY'S WEATHER

DEVELOPMENT

Site Work Begins On 600-acre, 68 Home Development In Franklin (More Info)
  • One of Nashville's largest office towers is on the market (NBJ)
  • Music Row property sells for $2.2M (Post)
Entertainment

THINGS TO DO

View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.

TONIGHT

馃幐 Slowdive @ The Caverns, 7p, $59.50+, Info

馃幐 Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Love Earth Tour @ FirstBank Amphitheater, 7:30p, $90+, Info

馃獣 Charles Butler & Friends @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

馃幐 The Marshall Tucker Band @ Ryman Auditorium, 7:30p, $49.50+, Info

馃獣 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info