Monday, August 15, 2016

To stop Nashville from becoming "the San Francisco of the South," conservatives must engage and get organized.

The following is a report from an organization supporting inclusionary zoning urging their supporters to be ready to spring into action to advance the inclusionary zoning bill that is on tomorrow night's council agenda, should the bill appear to be in trouble.  I think it is worthwhile that those on the right, know what their adversaries on the left or up to, so that is why I am posting the below communications.  A VOICE is a progressive activist group and one of the leading agents responsible for Nashville's leftward tilt in the last few years.  

While the Chamber of Commerce and some others will work to oppose inclusionary zoning and while ad hoc groups spring up from time to time to do things like save the fairgrounds or stop the AMP, there is no consistent conservative activist group working day in and day out to stop the progressive agenda and advance a conservative agenda. 

When a mayor proposes a tax hike, conservatives will rally for one council meeting.  That is only about once every four or eight years. Conservatives contributed and worked for the election of David Fox, during the last mayoral election and some conservatives ran for council and worked in council campaigns, but liberals work day in and day out without ceasing, always campaigning for more government interference and more government spending. Every year at budget time, numerous advocates for greater government spending take to the podium and not a single conservative speaks for lower taxes and cutting government waste.

Notice that the communication below says "hundreds" of emails and phone calls were made to support inclusionary zoning.  That has an impact.  I doubt there were not half a dozen calls in opposition.  By our inactivity, we kind of get the type of government we deserve. 

Luckily conservatives hold the seats of power at the state legislature and some of what Metro Nashville might like to do can be thwarted at the state level.  Even if inclusionary zoning is passed locally, there is a chance it will be ruled to violate a state law.  The State can only protect Nashville from its leftward tilt so far, however.  If we really want to stop Nashville from becoming "the San Francisco of the South," conservatives must engage and get organized.

A VOICE Steering Committee …
 Sent this out tonight … hope you can do the same to your own professional/social lists … if not tonight early AM.
 A VOICE For the Reduction of Poverty
Affordable Housing Campaign Update

With so much happening on the Affordable Housing front, thought we would send this summary out just to circle the wagons a bit.  While there are several pieces of legislation A VOICE has called for and helped influence … what we are immediately concerned with is Inclusionary Zoning Bill 133 (which addresses where affordable and workforce housing will be placed) and Incentives Bill 342 (which legislates incentives to builders to create housing for working people in need).   Both bills address workforce housing, are now tracking simultaneously for adoption, and if adopted represent a significant first step to addressing our housing dilemma.  Soooo … here are some bits and pieces just to keep you up-to-date:

1.    First of all … applause/applause and much appreciation goes out to you, our membership, for responding so robustly to last week’s Call to Action.  Last week we asked you to contact members of City Council in support of Inclusionary Zoning Bill 133, as well as join us at its Second Reading and Public Hearing.  You response was significant and overwhelming … a good part of the reason the bill moved forward with unanimous affirmation from the Council floor.  Council members reported that they received literally hundreds of emails and phone calls in support of this measure and were impressed that 100+ were in attendance at the Hearing in support of this bill and 40 among us spoke in favor.  Registering your voice with ours most certainly sent a strong message.  Thank you!!!

2.    Inclusionary Zoning Bill 133 now heads to Council for a third and final reading on Tuesday, September 6th.  The A VOICE Steering Committee will monitor any significant changes recommended between now and this final vote.  We remain concerned that forces opposed to this bill (primarily developers and the Nashville Regional Chamber of Commerce) will continue to petition Council to water it down, something we will continue to oppose.  Should we need you to share your voice again on this bill later this month we will let you know. 

3.    Inclusionary Zoning Bill 133 is now tracking on the same schedule as the Incentives Bill 342 – the incentives based bill Council asked the Mayor’s office to take a lead on.  The City Council Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee will be meeting tomorrow (Monday) to review and perhaps modify this bill before sending it to Council for a full vote on Tuesday.  If we find there are substantive changes we do not favor … we may be reaching out to you late on Monday evening to raise your voice regarding Bill 342 as you did for Bill 133.  We are hoping that doing so will be unnecessary but wanted to put you on hold “just in case” we need you again.  If we do … expect another email from us tomorrow night to immediately act on.

4.    There are a few other pieces of legislation you should be aware of that will hopefully move forward, as part of an Affordable and Workforce Housing package.  First of all, earlier this month Council passed a resolution calling for the Ad Hoc Task Force and the Mayor’s Office to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for Affordable and Workforce Housing.  A VOICE will continue to participate in this process as it unfolds.  Other legislation being considered by Council will allow for the creation of PILOT grants to encourage the development of affordable and workforce housing and modification of the rules that govern the Barnes Housing Trust Fund.

While the steps Council is considering are definitely movement in the right direction, much work lies ahead for us.  We need to continue to lobby for aggressive funding of the Barnes Trust Fund and assure that dedicated monies for affordable housing are devoted to that purpose.  We must continually keep the demand for housing for those with the least among us at the top of our city’s agenda.  We will keep you informed of these issues as well as other issues related to the reduction of poverty.  In the meantime … please be on the alert for other Calls for Action.  Please know how much we appreciate partnering with you. 

Thank you …

The A VOICE Steering Committee

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