NOAH organizing new task force on public education

Belmont UMC is a charter member of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), a coalition of 63 faith communities and labor unions. After a campaign of listening to its membership and a public convention with 400 attendees, NOAH targeted public education as a focus for the next few years. A new task force on public education is being organized and Belmonters are invited to join. If interested, contact Mike Engle and he will let you know when the first meeting is scheduled. NOAH will continue two task forces on affordable housing and economic equity and jobs, and Belmonters are invited to help with those also.

Belmont UMC is a charter member of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), a coalition of 61 faith communities, labor unions, and organizations advocating for social justice. All members of Belmont UMC are welcomed and encouraged to attend any NOAH event or meeting. For more information, visit their website.

The NOAH Advisory Board meets on every second Tuesday, 6:30pm, at Gordon Memorial UMC, 2334 Herman Street (off D.B. Todd Boulevard, near Meharry Medical School).

NOAH is launching another Listening Campaign, to hear the issues that are important to all of Nashville in 2019. Click here to learn more.

NOAH’s task forces meet as follows:

Affordable Housing & Gentrification

       Every 3rd Sunday, 3pm, Eastwood Christian Church, 1601 Eastland Avenue

Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration

       Every 4th Monday, 6pm, Greater Bethel AME Church, South Street at 12th Avenue South

Economic Equity and Jobs

       Every 4th Thursday, 6pm, Napier Recreation Center, 73 Fairfield Avenue.

In addition, NOAH often has special events, rallies, and issue-related forums, such as the March 27th  public forum questioning the 10 candidates for 3 judgeships with criminal jurisdiction. NOAH’s 2017 annual public meeting drew 1800 citizens and most elected public officials. Such events will be announced on this webpage and on NOAH’s website.

NOAH’s Task Forces claim the following on-going involvements and past accomplishments:

Affordable Housing and Gentrification

    *Engaged Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council on inclusionary zoning and affordable housing issues

    *Researched affordable housing in other cities and how this could be used in Nashville

    *Met with Metro Council about tax increment financing, the Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee, and the Mayor’s committee on Transit and Affordability

    *Organized 100 people to engage the Mayor on its 2017 Housing Report

    *Held a public meeting of 120 people and canvased neighborhoods about property tax reappraisals, their effect on low-income elderly homeowners, and tax assistance programs

    *Successfully supported new programs funding affordable housing in the Metro budget

    *Published 2 Op-Ed articles about affordable in The Tennessean

    *Sat on The Tennessean’s panel discussion about “Growth and Change in Nashville’

Economic Equity and Jobs

  * Successfully supported a charter amendment for local hire of workers on large Metro projects, although later preempted by the State General Assembly

  * Worked with Mayor’s Office and Nashville Career Advancement Center to develop construction training program

  *Researched, developed and held public information meetings about Community Benefits Agreements tying community benefits to public subsidies to developers

  *Successfully pushed Metro Council to adopt a transparency bill to accomplish the above

  *Met with the Airport Authority about their massive expansion and hiring from high-poverty areas, negotiated a hiring plan with one bidder on this project

Criminal Justice

 The School-To-Prison Pipeline

    *Collected, analyzed and publicized data showing significant racial disparities in school discipline

    *Conducted 4 area parent-community engagement meetings for 300 attendees

    *Pushed for alternative problem-solving methods of discipline

    *Lobbied the School Board to fund restorative justice practices of discipline

    *Successfully advocated for Restorative Practice Trainers to institute less punitive discipline models

    *Although in-school suspensions and expulsions have been reduced, the racial disparities continue

  Mass Incarceration   

    *As to the mentally-ill in Jail,

           **Obtained $428,000 in Metro Funds to coordinate collections of data not previously collected and planning of solutions

           **Obtained $2,625,000 in State funding currently being used to construct a 20-bed  Crisis Care Center to provide 24/7 medical services, thus reducing emergency room visits and allowing police

              officers to deliver the mentally-ill to a secured location and to return to regular duty within 10 minutes

           **Met monthly with the Sheriff about plans for the new jail to include a separate and distinct 65-bed unit for the mentally-ill and ways to divert the mentally-ill charged with misdemeanors from formal arrest

    *As to policing practices,

          **Successfully obtained the Mayor’s commitment to purchase body cameras for all police officers

          **Assisted with the collection, analysis and publication of data demonstrating significant racial disparities in police traffic stops

          **Studied and advocated for the creation of a Citizen Oversight Board to review police-citizen adverse incidents

   *As to the Courts

          **Endorsed measures to reduce reliance upon cash bail bonds, a system that frees those with money while detaining the poor

          **Conducted a March 27, 2018 forum for the 10 candidates for judgeships with criminal jurisdiction

          **Successfully supported a Resolution before the Metro Council reducing jail fees for persons charged with misdemeanors from $44/day to  Zero