Council Lady Gilmore and others give CBA presentation

Nashville is not the easiest town to move around in, especially, if one does not have an automobile. That appears to be a real problem, when it comes to job availability. That is why, more times than not, jobs are available, but those who need them cannot get to them. This delemma is not only a problem for the employees, but also for the employers. Thus, the need for mass transit in Nashville.

Over the years there has been ongoing conversation relative to this issue; and now the first phases of the solution, seems to be on the horizon, but some in the community feel that it is not being placed where it is most needed.

On Saturday, June 1, 2013, a city wide meeting will be held at Manna From Heaven Dinner Theater, 3510 West Hamilton Road. Citizens of Nashville are being invited to come and join others for a Citywide Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) Presentation.

In a recent editorial in the Nashville PRIDE by Brenda Gilmore, Nashville citizen and TN State Representative, she shared that “Mayor Karl Dean and officials with the Metro Transit Authority are pushing a new rapid transit system, called the AMP, that will connect people with jobs in a way that will help improve wages and livability for residents while simultaneously increasing economic growth in our city.

“The new project is a great opportunity for Nashville, but under current proposals a broad swath of the public will be left out. Residents in north Nashville have been largely shut out of the planning process, which seeks to connect east Nashville to West End,” Gilmore says. Rep. Gilmore says that a Community Benefit Agreement would be in order.

A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) is a contract between a coalition of community stakeholders, developers, government and training partners. They are designed to integrate a viable benefit plan into tax payer based development/investments/projects. CBA’s are primarily used to leverage and maximize economic, development and employment opportunities for disadvantaged populations, underserved communities and vital public service entities.

Ricky Williams, a Nashville businessman,  said, “Personally, I don’t believe that West needs an AMP Far better usage will be gained on a through street like Charlotte Avenue. The West End area is already heavily developed. Charlotte Avenue needs more development and the people, living just off of Charlotte need more access.” Williams said he does not speak for members of BRT (Bus Rapid Transportation) Concerns, Inc., but he is a member.

“Come and hear how we can have a voice in the changes coming to Nashville. How can a BRT best serve the community – the West End Sector or The Charlotte Sector,” said Lola Brown. “I’m urging everybody to come to this presentation.”

On Saturday, three presentors will share with those present the Community Benefit Agreement, they are:

Tonya Sherrell, Community Advocate; Council Lady Erica Gilmore, District 19; and Dr. Sekou Franklin, a professor at MTSU.   This is a citywide invitation, everyone is invited to attend, elected official, leaders in the community, those who want to be a part of Nashville’s change. “If we want things to change, then we have to be change agents,” said Sherrell.