Economic Equity in Nashville
Despite unprecedented growth, the explosion of new construction, and new businesses coming into the city, not all Nashville residents have benefited from this expansion. New businesses have been lured here by tax and cash incentives that have reduced revenue to the city. This growth has increased costs for schools, infrastructure, and other city services.
These policy decisions have created two Nashvilles. New people and new high-wage jobs have resulted in more expensive housing, while many existing residents earning less and being priced out of housing and even out of the county. Often the promise of “new jobs” has meant transferring the already employed here, rather than Nashville residents getting higher paying jobs, or being training for more highly skilled positions.
Increase in Davidson County’s child poverty rates compared to the national average
Lost economic activity due to racial gaps in wages and employment
People of color in Nashville’s next-generation workforce
What should be done?
- New projects must include Community Benefits Agreements to aid low and middle-income residents through equitable economic development.
- New job opportunities must make high-quality training programs and apprenticeships a priority, so local residents can be hired, instead of merely importing highly skilled workers.
- City planning processes should include broad-based community engagement across all of Nashville, with a focus on those traditionally left out of decision-making, especially people of color.
- For-profit developers, nonprofit developers, and the government must create strategies for mixed-income development that include all income levels and demographic groups.
About the EEJT Task Force
NOAH’s Economic Equity, Jobs, & Transportation (EEJT) Task Force includes members of NOAH organizations, activists, and persons involved in expanding economic opportunities for people of color. NOAH aims to right economic disparity across Nashville.
NOAH advocates for investment in communities of color and seeks community benefit agreements to ensure equitable economic opportunity for all residents.
Black workers in Middle Tennessee are more likely to work low-paying jobs. NOAH aims for livable wages and increased job opportunities for people of color.
The EEJT works toward better funding for public transportation and transit development in black communities.