NOAH public forum discusses social and economic improvements for Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Tornados, a pandemic, and budget shortfalls.

Those are just a few things that one group says has uncovered long-neglected problems in Nashville. Now, they’re advocating for change.

Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) is an anti-racist, faith-based coalition made up of church congregations, community groups, and labor unions all working to amplify the power of ordinary people.

On Sunday, more than 500 people tuned in to their public zoom meeting where NOAH leaders discussed topics they’re advocating for.

  • Reimagining community safety with mental health response teams as alternatives to officers with guns answering every call
  • Ensuring that developers and downtown corporations pay their fair share of taxes so Nashville can support services like schools, libraries, and community centers
  • Eliminating racial disparity in school suspensions/expulsions by funding social workers instead of “school resource officers”
  • Creating a real plan for dealing with Nashville’s ongoing affordable housing crisis
  • Restoring the use of millions of dollars in state real estate transfer tax to affordable housing

During the zoom meeting, NOAH leaders also asked Mayor John Cooper how he will work to improve Music City over the next few years.

Mayor Cooper agreed that there’s room for improvement when responding to mental health emergencies, but said there’s no money in the budget to launch a new response team.

“This is of course a priority for the next chief and the policing commission work is going to reinforce that as a priority for the chief. But any program response has to require funding for it. And right now we do not have the funding,” Mayor Cooper said.

Mayor Cooper, Metro Council Members, School Board Members, representatives of Metro Police, and two candidates for state legislature vowed to continue these important conversations over the next few months.

To watch the NOAH meeting, click here.

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