Neighborhood activist Allen enters District 18 council race

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 2:44pm
Staff reports

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.

Allen’s entry into the race ensures a spirited campaign, as she will face David Glasgow for the seat of a district many consider one of the city's five most significant. District 18 includes the influential Belmont-Hillsboro and Hillsboro-West End neighborhoods, Belmont and Vanderbilt universities and popular mixed-used districts 12South, Belmont-Portland and Hillsboro Village.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of being a public servant in a vibrant, progressive city like Nashville,” Allen, who has lived in the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood for 29 years, said in a release. “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, 53, is an active member of the Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association (HWEN). Her 25-years serving on the HWEN board included two terms as president in 1995-96 and 2005-08. Allen has also spearheaded 23 annual neighborhood tree-planting events and served on the committee that gauged resident interest and then worked to institute a historic conservation zoning overlay.

Allen helped lead 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-sized single-family homes many consider the highlight of the area.

“District 18 faces ongoing challenges to direct growth in a smart way that preserves the character of the neighborhoods while allowing our businesses and institutions to thrive,” said Allen, who is a mechanical engineer said. “The council person’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.”

Glasgow is Allen’s opponent in the District 18 to replace Councilwoman Kristine LaLonde, who has decided not to run for re-election. 

This story has been updated to reflect a correction about Glasgow. Previously, the story read that Glasgow was an ally of former Metro Councilman Keith Durbin. That assertion was incorrect. 

12 Comments on this post:

By: 21standBlair on 5/9/11 at 3:54

"Glasgow, Allen’s opponent, is openly gay and considered an ally of former District 18 councilman Keith Durbin, who was the city’s first openly gay elected council member." Where did you get this from, City Paper? Durbin isn't Glasgow's ally, and Durbin's partner is an Allen supporter. Looks like you're just making things up.

By: rdbjr on 5/9/11 at 9:36

What the flip does that last sentence have to do with the council race anyway?? What about David's appointment by the mayor to serve on the Metro Tourism and Convention Commission... his being tapped in 2010 by current Council Member Kristine LaLonde as a Metro Environment and Beautification Commissioner for District 18... the fact that he already serves as Chair of the Metro Tree Advisory Committee? Give me a break.

By: GJL on 5/10/11 at 12:49

I don' t believe that homosexuals should be treated in rude and hateful way. We do have to keep in mind though that homosexuality is strictly prohibited in God's law and is not to be tolerated or accepted. Keeping that in mind I do not believe any homosexual should hold office. These men and women are flaunting their perverse lifestyle.

By: global_citizen on 5/10/11 at 6:28

GJL, you can kindly keep your religion in your home and your church, not in our city's political races. The rest of us have joined the 21st century. You're welcome to join us at any time.

By: govskeptic on 5/10/11 at 6:42

Burkley Allen has spent many yrs in no official or publicity seeking
way to sustain and improve this great district, therefore making a
perfectly great candidate in this race. The fact David was appointed
by the establishment to the Tree Advisory Committee shouldn't
make for a certain election victory!

By: C.George on 5/10/11 at 9:03

The City Paper should be ashamed at running this. Almost all taken form a press release the candidate put out and then the piece the CP added is stupid, has no tie to story, and is incorrect. Sad.
As for her, she just joined District 18. Her buddies in 18 that talked her in to running are trying to make it sound as if she has been involved in HWEN. I have and can tell you she has not, other then coming in and pissing people off by trying to take control. Wish she was still in the district she was in, sad she got moved in to 18.
Funny how that happened.... Sean McGuire, you have anything to say about that? There is a story CP if you had the energy and intelligence to actually investigate.

By: 21standBlair on 5/10/11 at 4:25

Sounds like someone is mad their candiidate can't simply win the seat by default...

By: OHSMAN74 on 5/11/11 at 8:15

I know firsthand that Burkley Allen has worked tirelessly on neighborhood issues for several years. She has the intelligence, character, energy and interest that we certainly need on the City Council. We are fortunate to have someone of her quality willing to run for the office.

By: Crazy Wahoo on 5/12/11 at 8:16

C. George, that is absurd, and you know it.

Burkley has been involved with HWEN for over 25 years, and help start the neighborhood recycling program at Harris Hillman, which in turn morphed into the city-wide curbisde recycling. She has planted over 2500 trees in our neighborhood, and has led the HWEN tree day and clean up efforts for decades.

Sometimes, you get to know a lot about candidates by what their supporters say about their oppponents. I don't know David Glasgow from Adam, but I have worked with Burkley in our neighborhood.

And C. George: look at the people who were instrumental in getting that part of HWEN put into the 18th district. Might surprise you-- it sure wasn't Burkley's supporters who were doing it.

By: C.George on 5/13/11 at 9:08

Well Crazy
I too have been involved in HWEN for a number of years. I have been involved when Burkley tried to run meetings. She was terrible at it. She has very little leadership skills, she ums and ahs and does not say what is needed to be said. If you have been in a meeting she is running you know what I am talking about. She would be terrible in council.
As for everything she and you are claiming she did and she is taking credit for, there were a LOT mor people involved then her and many that did more. She better watch herself claiming credit for so much, she will piss a lot of people off by doing that!
I would be saying the same thing about her if she was running against McGuire. She has said in a new article that she did not want to challenge an incumbent, sounds chicken to me. And McGuire was threatened and has a personal relationship with one of Burkley's supporters and it all just fell in to place. Interesting....
As for Glasgow, he is no better then she is in meetings. He needed a challenger and we needed another choice. I just am sad its her.

By: Elmira on 5/14/11 at 8:19

Crazy, indeed, you are, C. George! Your assertions are laughable. You are obviously not from the neighborhood. You may not be from the planet. You state that you have been involved in HWEN for a number of years. Really?! Prove it. I don’t recall seeing you at a board meeting. I don’t recall seeing you at any neighborhood meetings about the power line project or zoning or the Martin Development center. I and the neighborhood have known this impressive woman named Burkley Allen for more than 25 years. Try looking at her website ( Read the public record about her. Her name is practically a household word in the neighborhood. She has been involved with nearly everything in HWEN for 2 ½ decades. But she is so self-effacing and takes so little credit for all that she does. That may be one reason that she is so well thought of as well as, of course, for all the energy and effort she has poured into this neighborhood year after year after year. She is quick to point out the contributions of others as being more important than hers. She never takes excessive credit. In fact, many of us think that she doesn’t take enough! Oh, and about leadership. Let’s see. Two terms as president of HWEN board. She was also appointed by the vice mayor as vice-chair to the Metro council sub-committee on signs. She was appointed to the NES Citizen advisory council and helped mediate an effective solution for the Sharondale power lines. She was recently tapped to moderate her church’s Pastor Nominating Committee. That is a big job. You see, I and many others have watched her in action at church for more than 2 decades. She has been a Sunday school teacher, a youth group leader, choir member, and a willing energetic volunteer for so many things. She has organized youth ski and rafting trips again and again. For the past 5 or so years she has organized 30 churches for the Martha O’Brien Ice Cream Crankin’. She is vice-president of Sister Cities and has hosted 20 international students in her home over many years frequently asking me to help host some of these children in my home as well. Burkley is a nice leader, an energetic leader, an even-handed leader, a smart leader, a studious leader, an effective leader, a solution finding leader, and a quick-witted and insightful leader. She is a beloved person by all who know her and wonderful force for good in this community. In my estimation she does the community work of about 3 or 4 people! We are SO lucky to have her.….So C. George, your tripe just does not fly! Go take your medicine.

By: Nitzche on 5/16/11 at 8:35

what is Allen's sexual orientation?