‘It City’ for some — voting a must

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Never in the time of Nashville’s history, has this city catapulted to the status of being what many nationally taken pools label as the ‘It City.’ Nashville is a city booming with economic growth in the housing industry as well as job market. The rest of the country has discovered what we, as Nashvillians, have always known.

Nashville has the potential to be one of the greatest cities in the country. It is becoming a mecca for the relocation of new businesses and corporations with its central location and access to major Interstates for interstate transportation of goods and tax breaks for big businesses. Nashville can boast a commendable moderate climate when compared to other cities in the north, and the down home hospitality displayed by its residents is legendary. Nashville offers a myriad of diverse cultural venues (parks, libraries, zoo, restaurants, and concert facilities) complimentary for raising a family. For a sports enthusiast it is the home of the Titans, Predators and Nashville Sounds. Saying all this, ironically there are those indigenous residents who feel left out and marginalized. They feel they have been ignored and left out of the big picture negating the premise that Nashville’s progress trickles down to everyone.

There are those struggling with minimal wage jobs unable to adequately support their families—especially finding access to affordable housing. There are many Nashvillians questioning how those arriving in Nashville can afford the high costing homes being built when these new homes are far out of the ballpark for many native Nashvillians, especially African Americans.

There are some people watching all the beautification going on in Nashville and wondering why their neighborhoods are virtually being ignored. It is apparent to some people that it is about gentrification and zip codes when it comes to deciding where money goes to fix up and promote an area. Gentrification and bringing high cost homes as well as high rising property taxes are pushing many people out of some of these desired areas. Many of those vacating literally have no place to go that they can afford, although their first option was to stay in their original community. We all know desirable locations have top priorities when it comes to providing successful higher education, assess to shopping and eating facilities.

For those who feel left out and marginalized, you have a chance to be counted and make a difference. Your vote is your voice; therefore, if there was ever a time to become involved in voting it is now. Your vote can help Nashville during its metamorphosis, making it accountable, beneficial and representative for all its citizens, regardless of where you live or your social status.

In fact, Charter Amendment #3 is on the ballot that will guarantee laborers from our local neighborhoods a percentage (40%) of the big project jobs that are contracted with taxpayer’s monies. People like us, will have the first consideration for these jobs contracted in our city. The amendment mandates that an effort will be made to recruit 10% of work hours from low-income residents. We have an opportunity to economically uplift our own neighborhoods and avoid or reduce taxpayer’s dollars going to out of state communities. This amendment is a monumental plus but can only become a reality if we show up and vote ‘yes.’

Choosing not to vote leaves you in little or no position to alter your circumstances, thus, leaving you no room to complain. Nashville will continue in its role as the It City with or without you, but you can be instrumental in effectuating changes that will benefit you and your communities by voting for representatives advocating for your best interest. “Vote, vote, vote” should be the battle cry, eliciting your fellow friends and neighbors to do their part. Knock on doors, telephone and orchestrate riding pools to take people to the polls. Let our votes resonate our concern to truly make Nashville the It City for everyone. Early voting is from July 17 to August 1. Voting day is Thursday, August 6. You cannot afford not to vote. A Nashville representing all its citizens depends on you. Don’t cheat your community. Make sure you vote.