By Lauren Plummer
This weekend, Open Table was proud to stand beside Homes for All Nashville at their Cookout and Rally Against Displacement. Homes for All is an alliance of renters, low-income homeowners, campers and organizers dedicated to ending displacement in our community, so on Saturday we gathered with Edgehill residents and others from across the city in the shadow of a massive new condo development at the corner of 12th Ave. S and Argyle. Units there will be starting at $400k in an neighborhood where the median income is around $25,000 per year. With wages stagnant and rent on the rise, and with every new high-end housing development that springs up, it has become increasingly clear to working class and fixed income residents that their homes and neighborhoods are under attack, and soon there will be no place for them in the new Nashville.
But residents are fighting back! People are taking a stand together to fight for their rights and call for just development that allows people to afford and remain in their neighborhoods. Instead of millions of dollars in public subsidies (TIF funds) bolstering luxury development, tax dollars should ensure that all Nashvillians have access to safe and dignified housing in their communities.
One resident and Nashville native, Shamita Granberry, shared her story at Saturday’s cookout with a powerful message to newcomers and developers about the neighborliness that makes Nashville special and a call to remember our responsibility to one another. She aptly diagnosed the problems we face as a community when she said, “This is an issue of us not treating each other like neighbors. . .We should never forget that neighbors are supposed to take care of each other. . .We should never allow our neighbors to be put out on the street. We should never allow our neighbors to be ignored.”
We couldn’t agree more. Because our life, health, and liberation is bound up together, we stand with tenants, low-income homeowners, camp residents—all our neighbors fighting for a place to call home—and we hope you will do the same! Here are some ways to take action and be in solidarity:
-Homes for All has begun a story-sharing project to lift up the voices of people in our community who have experienced displacement. We encourage you to check out I’ve Been Displaced in 615 on Facebook and listen to their stories.
-Nashville camp residents have been working all summer on sharing this petition that calls for and end to police harassment of people who are homeless, and end to unjust camp evictions, and access to affordable housing. Please click here to sign and share! Our deadline is September 30th. Other action details to follow.