NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Reverend Venita Lewis is as passionate of a singer, as a tireless community activist. After realizing the historic Jefferson Street had never hosted a straw poll for the Black community, she decided to change that.
"Our people need to be able to feel the vote, know who the people are, we fail the community in not having more meet and greets, we've been mostly having the meeting and greeting on the other side of town and not in our communities," Lewis said.
The poll comes at a time that’s bringing many lamentations for the people that grew up in the neighborhood.
"We're losing our house, we're losing our community every day, and they expect us I guess to continue to smile and continue to act like there is justice in the system, " she said.
Charlotte Miller, CEO and Chef-owner of Mama Blanche and Yay Yay's, said pricey development is transforming the community leaving many locals struggling to hang on.
"We have house going for $700,000 then we have people that need government assistance down the corner. One of those things don't match up," Miller said.
Fighting to preserve her community and fighting for fair representation is the work Reverend Lewis has spent her life working on.
"I think you're seeing more investment because you're seeing more African Americans are running for the seat because we realize that if we have a good judge in the black robe then maybe that sister or brother that have minor charges can go home rather than prison," Lewis said.
The poll closed at 7 p.m. and the results are below.
Nashville's Black Straw Poll on Jefferson Street Results
Nashville-Davidson Co. Circuit Court Clerk
Joseph Day - 60 votes
Howard Jones -17 votes
Pam Murray - 3 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Circuit Court Judge Div 1
David Briley - 41 votes
Wendy Longmire - 26 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Criminal Court Judge Div III
Cheryl Blackburn - 10 votes
Kyle Parks - 71 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Circuit Court Judge Div VII
Larry Hagar - 14 votes
Andra Hedrick - 12 votes
John Manson - 53 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Criminal Court Judge Div V
Khadija Babb - 53 votes
Monte D. Watkins - 19 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Circuit Court Judge Div V111
Lynne T. Ingram - 11 votes
Kelvin Jones - 61 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Criminal Court Judge Div VI
Cynthia Chappell - 6 votes
Seth Norman - 7 votes
Tillman Payne - 17 votes
Marcus Shute, Jr. - 46 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Gen Sessions Judge Div 2
Melissa Blackburn - 23 votes
Kenneth Redditt - 56 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Gen Sessions Judge Div 5
Robin Kimbrough-Hayes - 61 votes
Dianne Turner - 15 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. District Attorney General
Glenn Funk - 37 votes
Sara Beth Myers- 9 votes
P. Danielle Nellis - 26 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Gen Sessions Judge Div 6
Frank E. Mondelli, Jr. - 9 votes
Jim Todd - 15 votes
Paul Walwyn - 49 votes
Nashville-Davidson Co. Gen Sessions Judge Div 8
Rachel L Bell - 64 votes
Erin Coleman - 9 votes