Friday, May 6, 2011

Burkley Allen Enters District 18 Race

Here's this week's presser from Burkley Allen as she throws her hat in the ring for Metro Council:

Longtime neighborhood advocate Burkley Allen has filed with the Davidson County Election Commission as a candidate for the 18th District Metro Council seat in the Aug. 4 election.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of being a public servant in a vibrant progressive city like Nashville,” said Allen, 53, who has lived in the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood for 29 years. “District 18, with Nashville’s two oldest neighborhood organizations, two universities, and several thriving commercial districts, has benefited from the city’s growth and effective leadership.”

Allen has been considering running for council for several years. “I wanted to wait until my three children were grown and time could be devoted to the job,” she said. “With the recent redistricting, the residence where my husband Newton and I live was reassigned from the 25th district to the 18th district. With the seat open following Councilmember Kristine Lalonde’s decision not to seek re-election, I decided I wanted to run for this office now.”

Allen is an active member of the Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association (HWEN) whose 25-year involvement with that group includes two terms as president in 1995-96 and 2005-08. She has also spearheaded more than 20 neighborhood annual tree planting events, and served as co-chair of the city-wide Vice Mayor’s task force that examined Metro’s sign ordinance in light of new LED technology.

Community committee work has included service on the Nashville Electric Service Citizen Advisory Committee for a high power wire project along I-440. Allen was also on the committee that gauged resident interest and then worked to institute a historic conservation zoning overlay.

She led the effort to downzone much of the area to RS to preserve the existing balance between single family homes and duplexes at a time when the housing bubble was encouraging the demolition of moderate size single family homes that are the backbone of this mid-town area. A winner of HWEN’s Betty Nixon Good Neighbor Award, Allen has worked closely with past and present council members in the 18th and adjacent districts on sidewalk installation, street-widening and many zoning issues.

“District 18 faces on-going challenges to direct growth in a smart way that preserves the character of the neighborhoods while allowing our businesses and institutions to thrive,” the mechanical engineer said. “The councilperson’s job is to create an environment of open communication so that stakeholders can hear all sides of the issue and work toward an acceptable compromise.

“I look forward to that challenge.”

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