The Economist covered Nashville this week. More specifically, they covered Mayor Barry’s first year in office and how the city’s and state’s left and right political cohorts clash:
Her experiences suggest a possible strategy for Democrats elsewhere, as well as the frictions they may experience. One has been with the Republican supermajorities in the Tennessee capitol, around the corner from her office—part of a widening stand-off between left-leaning southern mayors and conservative legislatures. In 2011 Nashville was involved in an early tussle over protections for gay and transgender people; this year a state bathroom bill like the one that ignited controversy in North Carolina failed, but a measure letting counsellors turn away patients on the grounds of “sincerely held principles” was passed. That cost Nashville at least three convention bookings, Mayor Barry laments, gently noting that the state relies on the city’s success, too. There have been disagreements over guns in parks (which the city was forced to allow last year), a putative rise in the minimum wage (nixed) and a plan to reserve 40% of work on big public projects for locals (ditto).