Metro Minority Caucus urges Mayor’s Office to back up words with swift action

Councilwomen At-Large Sharon Hurt

The Metro Minority Caucus of Nashville, an 11 member caucus with members from the African American, Hispanic and Muslim communities, is calling on Mayor John Cooper to take action in five areas, engage and listen to the city’s elected Minority Caucus.

According to the caucus: “As Mayor Cooper himself said, ‘This is an especially critical time for all of us, as Metro’s leaders, to show up and listen to Black voices and people of color across Davidson County as they speak out against the senseless killing of George Floyd and the deep-seated issues of racial injustice in our country.’”

In a letter submitted to the mayor earlier in this term, the Caucus identified the following five actions that are critical in order to improve relations between the police and the African American community.

  1. Support of the Community Oversight Board and the accountability of MNPD
  2. Ensure that a fair share of the federal funds for COVID-19 go directly into the black community
  3. Designate funding for the purchase and full implementation of body cameras
  4. Ensure that the recommendations from the Equal Business Opportunity legislation are implemented and more economic equity is seen in Metro contracts for black businesses
  5. Hire a Chief Diversity Officer

Tanaka Vercher

“The Minority Caucus has expressed the importance of hiring a Chief Diversity Officer in the past. To date, this position has NOT been filled,” said Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher. “This position is essential to the work of our city, and these are tangible steps that can be taken to ensure you are listening to and addressing the needs of the Black community.”

“We are not ‘good to go.’ Respectfully, I ask that you focus more on building a relationship with the Minority Caucus and work with us to reduce disparities and increase equity for the Black community in Nashville,” said Councilwoman Sharon Hunt, Metro Minority Caucus Chair.

The Minority Caucus calls on the citizens of Nashville to support this effort by sending a letter to the Mayor asking him to support these five critical asks to improve relations between the African American community and the police.

The 11-member Metro Minority Caucus includes Councilwoman-At-Large Sharon Hurt (chair); Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher; Councilwoman-At-Large Zulfat Suara; Councilwoman Delishia Porterfield; Councilwoman Joy Styles; Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda; Councilwoman Jennifer Gamble; Councilman Jonathan Hall; Councilwoman Kyonzte Toombs; Ex-Officio Councilman Brandon Taylor; and Councilwoman Antoinette Lee.

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