A Community Covenant
with the City of Nashville

Nashville’s meteoric rise is exciting and contagious. Our booming tourism industry, an influx of new corporate headquarters, a skyline filled with cranes, the seemingly endless announcement of new development projects, and the many people moving here from all over the country are all a testament to our city’s vitality. But Nashville’s growth is leaving many of its residents behind, and far too many low-income families are unable to continue to afford living in our city. To address this growing economic disparity, A Voice for the Reduction of Poverty - a broad and diverse non-partisan coalition of Nashville community members, clergy, civic and business leaders, and advocates – believes that Nashville should devote at least as much time, effort, and resources to helping the lower economic segment of our populace succeed as we do for the upper segment.

There was strong agreement among the nearly 300 Nashvillians – including many running for public office – who attended our recent community forum (Nashville Rising: Work, Wages, and the Future of Nashville), and those that participated in facilitated follow-up conversations, that our city is lacking a clear vision of its core values, especially when it comes to addressing the needs of all Nashvillians. What surfaced was the need for a mission statement – a “Community Covenant” (see inset box) – that can serve as a blueprint for our actions as a city and would clearly express what Nashville expects of those who want to live in and do business in our city. This covenant is aspirational and is still a work in progress, but we believe it is an important first step towards making our city more equitable. It seeks to strike a balance between Nashville’s growth and the quality of life of all its residents.