Supporters, critics of transit plan hold joint meeting to educate voters


Supporters of the former and current mayor's multi-billion-dollar transit plan are eager to move it along.

Critics say it comes at too high of a cost -- and they're not talking about taxpayer money.

“The city needs to pull this referendum and go back to the drawing board,” said Jeff Carr with No Tax For Tracks, one of the panelist at tonight's meeting aimed at educating voters on both sides of the transit issue put on by Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH).

Carr says rail lines are being drawn in areas that are already gentrified and feels the plan would raise property values even more in those areas, pushing low-income families out.

“We can't depend on developers having a kind heart," Carr said. "We as a city have to put ourselves in a position where we look out for the least of these."

Councilman-At-Large Bob Mendes says it will be up to city leaders like him to make sure low-income families can continue to work and thrive in these neighborhoods.

“Change presents [an] opportunity," Mendes said. "We have affordable housing challenges now, and if we pass the transit referendum, we will have different affordable housing challenges."

Thursday night’s meeting was the first in Nashville to bring all different perspectives on transit and affordable housing into one room and hopefully achieve some common ground.

“There are different stories and different outcomes in different communities about what transit has meant,” NOAH spokesperson Paulette Coleman said.

Coleman said these sorts of discussions are vital to the community so they know exactly what they are voting for or against on May 1.

The transit plan has been former mayor Megan Barry’s big push. New Mayor David Briley has said multiple times he fully supports the plan.

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Liz Lohuis joined the News4 team as a general assignment reporter in January 2016.

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