The Nashville People’s Budget Coalition is currently in a period of rest and regrouping. It is exhausting for a small group of unpaid organizers to attempt to change a system that is actively committed to maintaining a violent status quo.
Over the last two years, we have educated thousands on the budget and the vast spending disparities that comprise it, and have mobilized thousands of residents to engage in what is an otherwise undemocratic budgeting process.
Despite the impacts we have made as a coalition, including some very small wins that we and other organizations helped secure in recent budget cycles, we know that the work is only just beginning.
Nashville is more inequitable, unaffordable, inaccessible, and anti-Black than it has ever been.
This year’s proposed FY23 budget largely offers more of the same: a few crumbs for the things we need most, and a steady, increasing, and outsized stream of funds for violent and ineffective responses (cops & cages) to problems created by decades of racial and economic inequality.
As we pause and regroup, it is more clear than ever that Nashville will never establish the safety and thriving that all its residents deserve until we give residents the power to determine how our public dollars are spent, and until we dramatically divest from what fails to keep us safe and invest in what does.
We dream of a Nashville that has learned that true public safety is built not on cops and cages, but on accessible, affordable, and community-controlled public goods and non-police means of community safety.
We dream of a Nashville for all, not just a few. And we will continue bringing more and more residents across the city together to make that dream a reality.
Stay tuned as we continue building in the months to come!
The Nashville People’s Budget Coalition