NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New legislation is set to be introduced on Tuesday at the Metro Council meeting in hopes of bringing the Republican National Convention to Nashville.
In mid-July, the RNC Site Selection Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee for the convention, stating in part, "it is a testament to the forthright and professional behavior embraced by Milwaukee’s city leaders throughout the process."
Some council members, like Councilman Bob Mendes, indicated they didn't mind seeing the selection move out of Davidson County. Mendes stated in July that he was glad to see the committee recommend Milwaukee.
RNC convention legislation update: The "amendments package" is out in advance of tomorrow's Council meeting. There's a proposed amendment that would endorse trading the convention for the state allowing impact fees and inclusionary zoning. pic.twitter.com/uC74cufLXX— Bob Mendes (@mendesbob) August 1, 2022
This new legislation, re-introduced by Councilman Robert Swope, would also add a new twist: it would indicate a desire to talk with state lawmakers, to encourage them to pass a law allowing Nashville to assess impact fees — a fee assessed on home developers to account for the impact that new neighbors in the area who buy the homes would have on city services.
But Metro Councilmember at Large Burkley Allen has proposed an amendment to Swope's plan that takes things further: the council's acceptance of the RNC coming to Nashville in 2024 would be contingent on the state adopting enabling legislation allowing impact fees in Nashville, as well as a law allowing Nashville to incorporate inclusionary zoning — a practice that requires a certain percentage of new developments built to qualify as affordable housing.
Councilman at Large Bob Mendes says he thinks both proposals — the amendment and revised bill, will be shot down at Tuesday's council meeting.
"This country can't even agree on what happened on January 6th. People died in the capitol and we argue over what even happened there?" Swope said. "We just need to take a pass on political conventions in 2024."
But Swope, the sponsor of the RNC legislation still backed his proposal.
"It would be a tragic loss to Nashville and Tennessee for the council to vote against the RNC convention," Swope said. "If Metro says no to the RNC based on political ideologies, who will they say no to next?"