This week’s Dose of news: The billion-dollar cost of child care and how election history was made

Seniors are stripped of their SilverSneakers. Insufficient child care causes a “black hole of despair.” And two Titans greats are remembered for their football glory. I’m Jessica Bliss, and this is your weekly Dose.

This week’s dose of news

Nashville’s election for mayor and city council proved historic. Here’s how.

The votes are in: John Cooper is Nashville’s new mayor. He defeated incumbent Mayor David Briley in a landslide last Thursday (here are the numbers to show it) in a runoff that signaled the strong desire among voters for a new direction for Music City. Meanwhile, the new Metro Council will have a notable makeup. Half of the council will be women, and voters elected the city’s first Muslim, first Hispanic woman and a record number of LGBTQ members to office. Here are six key takeaways from the vote. Turns out, the mayoral hand-off is a bit of an unprecedented transition of power. Now, you are probably wondering when Cooper will take office as mayor? Well, you’re not alone. We have all the deets on the official swearing in and more on Cooper’s first priorities as mayor.

Tennessee YMCAs to cut ties with SilverSneakers, forcing seniors to look elsewhere for fitness

At least 10,000 seniors in Tennessee will no longer be able to access a free fitness program at their local YMCA facilities beginning next year. Here’s why.

Uh, oh: Domio. This fast-growing startup is renting out homes all over Nashville. Metro officials say it’s breaking the law.

Let me introduce you to New York-based company Domio. It buys and leases homes around the country and then rents them to groups of vacationers as “apartment hotels.” In Nashville, the company sometimes claims permanent residency to get short-term rental permits, and officials say it’s illegal.

Updates, quick hits and tidbits

  • Bouncing between shame and fame: Baseball star Barry Zito — the former Cy Young award-winning pitcher, who has lived in Nashville since ending his career with the Sounds minor league baseball team in 2015 — shares deep insecurities and a traumatic past in his new book “Curveball.”
  • A good trade?: It’s true! Nashville is getting a second Trader Joe’s location. But (much to the chagrin of the city’s East siders) it’s less than 4 miles from the one that already exists.
  • Strong stuff: A former Hunters Lane and Middle Tennessee State football player earned the title of Mr. Olympia. It’s enough to pump (*clap*) you up.
  • Cashing in on culture. That’s right, it’s museum month, and that means free admission. Ms. Cheap has all the places to enrich your heart and mind without spending a dime.

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Numbers worth knowing

‘A black hole of despair’: The high cost of insufficient child care for Tennessee and its families

When families can’t secure child care, their work opportunities are undermined, household incomes are lower, workplace productivity falls and economic activity is reduced. As a result, businesses suffer and tax revenues are lower. A report released Monday by the Tennesseans for Quality Early Education policy coalition examines the economic consequences of having insufficient and inadequate child care in Tennessee. It also provides a detailed look at the dollar figures — both the cost to working families and to the state’s bottom line.

Here are the numbers:

181,400: Working parents in Tennessee with children under age 5, many of whom struggle to find suitable child care to support their employment and career advancement.

$1.34 billion: Lost annually in earnings and revenue due to insufficient child care availability in Tennessee.

$15,814 a year: Average cost of child care for a 4-year-old and an infant. That expense is 20.9% of the median income for a married family and 60.4% if that family of four lives in poverty, according to TQEE’s report.

98%: Of Tennessee parents of children age 4 or younger said that inadequate child care services hurt their work productivity or limited career opportunities.


  • 39% turned down a new job offer or promotion.
  • 35% had their pay or work hours reduced or changed employment status to part time.
  • 33% turned down education or training.
  • 32% had to quit a job, or were fired or demoted.

SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM: Every story in this newsletter is brought to you by a hard-working journalist who cares about keeping you informed and creating positive change in this community. If you don’t already subscribe to The Tennessean, please do.

All the good feels

Halftime ceremonies to retire the jersey numbers of former Tennessee Titans stars Eddie George and Steve McNair at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Henry Taylor /

With a No. 9 cloud serendipitously floating over Nissan Stadium Sunday, the Titans retired the jerseys of beloved quarterback Steve McNair and his dynamic teammate Eddie George. McNair was killed in 1999. His brother, Fred, wore a blue No. 9 Titans jersey and spoke on Steve McNair’s behalf, and a special plaque was presented to McNair’s widow, Mechelle. George, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who rushed for more than 10,000 yards with the franchise, shared what the honor means to him.