A new political action committee, the Nashville Business Alliance Political Action Committee, designed to advocate on behalf of women and minority businesses, hosted its inaugural event on Thursday, November 1 at Swett’s Restaurant in Nashville.
The Nashville Business Alliance Political Action Committee advocates for public policies and supports political candidates who push for increased public and private contracting outcomes for minority and women-owned businesses seeking to perform work for governmental agencies. The PAC also advocates for increased partnership between corporations and minority and women-owned businesses in performing both public and private sector work.
Michael Carter, co-founder of Pinnacle Construction Partners, welcomed the guests with introductory remarks, noting that Nashville is the 4th fastest growing city in the nation, with about 1.9 million residents, a gross domestic product of $133 billion, 400,000 businesses, and a low 2.7% (overall, reported) unemployment rate.
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” said Carter, “but some of our folks are anchored at the bottom of the ocean.” He based that on a much higher unemployment level and lack of business involvement among blacks and other minorities.
Jerry Maynard described the goal of the PAC — “to be here for the long-term” as an organization dedicated to advocate on behalf of women and minority businesses.
“We want to be the #1 city in the nation for women and minorities,” Maynard said. He listed four major emphases: to be intentional about inclusion and equity, plans and policies to ensure real success, execution and accountability, and transparency in reporting.
Maynard noted that the NBA PAC does not yet have a Board, because it is now the ground level, and the group is forming and wants to invite YOU to consider coming aboard, financially and otherwise. Maynard then introduced Nashville Mayor David Briley, noting his support for diversity.
Mayor Briley began by noting “a few truths” which include the growth of the city, but that while overall the city has “better jobs, more wealth, more opportunities, but the butter has not been spread evenly across the bread” as evidenced by “flat wage growth for Black and Latinos” which he labeled an “enterprise threat.”
Briley went on to note that many folks are ready and able, but don’t get the work, stating that women and minorities should get an advantage, not just equal opportunity. He closed by noting that a major factor in how the $275 million will be spent on the new Soccer stadium project involves heavy representation by minorities.
Ashford Hughes reviewed the most recent of three diversity disparity studies in depth, discussing the study’s nine findings and ten recommendations, and then took questions from the audience. Hughes is the Senior Advisor in the Workforce, Diversity and Inclusion Department, of the Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development.
Following Hughes, Jerry Maynard asked those in attendance to participate by joining the Nashville Business Alliance Political Action Committee at the $250 (for businesses with revenues less than $1 million) or $500 (for businesses with revenues less than $5 million) or $1,000 (for businesses with revenues more than $5 million) levels, and even more if able, perhaps $5,000 or $10,000, as an investment in the growth potential for women and minority owned businesses.
Lee Molette reiterated the importance of the PAC and urged those in attendance to respond to Maynard’s call to join. Learn more about the Nashville Business Alliance Political Action Committee at their website: nashvillebusinessalliance.com.