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Much Ado About... Something
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Much Ado About... Something

⛺️ About last night's Metro Council meeting · Arrest them easy · Unlucky Rule 13 · No boots for you · Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

As I mentioned yesterday, we have a flurry of events occurring at the end of this month. Get on the list if you're interested in attending. The Erik Prince requires you to be a paid subscriber. More information below.

In other news, we'll be taking tomorrow off for Independence Day.


Though the mayor’s transit referendum passed its second reading with flying colors, Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda’s "Build It Right" bill silently passed on third reading, and Metro committees jilted Councilmember Joy Styles by deferring two of her bills, it was another order of business that stole the spotlight during last night’s council meeting. Unexpectedly, a seemingly benign bill to curate a list of homeless service providers inspired controversy and took up the most airtime during proceedings.

While making the case for his bill, sponsor Jordan Huffman explained that taking inventory of the county’s resources would help the Office of Homeless Services collect data to identify holes in the services available to the homeless community. He also made it clear that there would be no penalty if providers opt out of volunteering information to Metro.

“It's not mandatory,” said Councilmember Quin Evans Segall. “We are asking them to engage in a collaborative process so that we can better provide services.” Segall added an amendment to the bill clarifying that the list of providers would not be endorsed by Metro. “I’m also mindful that we are a government and we cannot discriminate against people based on their religious views or their speech,” she explained. “And we know that while we have an incredible network of service providers here in Davidson County, there have been times that providers—maybe from outside—have been accused of maybe not being great actors.” 

So, why is creating a voluntary registry of homeless service providers a sensitive subject? Councilmember Ginny Welsch stood up in opposition to the bill, calling it unnecessary and counterproductive. “I think it gives a false impression of how services need to be provided, as if they all need to go through Metro first,” she said. “And that is not how it works here in the city.” Welsch also explained that neither the Continuum of Care nor the Homelessness Planning Council have expressed their support for the initiative.

Councilmember Sean Parker then reiterated Welsch’s sentiments before bringing up his concerns that homeless providers may be held accountable for their services. “I'm uncomfortable with adding a layer of bureaucracy in that relationship that our service providers are doing,” he said.

You may recall that after the tragic death of Riley Strain, a spotlight was put on the homeless population occupying the banks of the Cumberland River downtown. A number of concerns arose when hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash, drug paraphernalia, and abandoned tents were reported along the riverfront. 

Though the bill ultimately passed during its second reading, the hesitation expressed by certain council members may have exposed an emerging rift on how to address Nashville’s homelessness problem. While the city continues to pour millions of Metro dollars into providing homeless shelters, services, mental health care, and rehabilitation, why draw the line when it comes to accountability? Perhaps that’s the question Nashvillians should be asking. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

At the end of July, we have a few events we're hosting. If you're interested in learning more or attending, click through to find out. (More Info)


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🚨 Don't Arrest Them Too Much The Tennessee Lookout published details from a report released by the Prison Policy Institute which showed that Tennessee, if treated as a country, has the ninth-highest incarceration rate in the world. To generate a sufficiently dramatic incarceration rate for US states, it includes “criminal legal system-involved people involuntarily committed to other kinds of confinement in each state (i.e. people convicted of sex-related offenses held under 'civil commitment' laws and people held in state psychiatric hospitals because of criminal charges or convictions.)” In other words, people who aren’t necessarily in jail or prison, but are subject to some kind of behavioral punishment for their conduct, are also considered “incarcerated.”

The report repeats the pablum that “high incarceration rates have little impact on violence and crime,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that the country at the top of its list, El Salvador, has a crime rate lower than the state of Tennessee as a direct result of its tough on crime turn. Additionally, Memphis consistently ranks towards the top of the world in terms of homicide rate.

The PPI paper coincides with a report by The Lever published in the Lookout last week on how private prison operator CoreCivic stands to benefit from stricter sentencing laws in Tennessee. Its CEO, Damon Hininger, has pondered running for governor. The Lookout has made a habit of criticizing CoreCivic, consistently placing them in the crosshairs and offering weak talking points against the idea that keeping criminals off the street results in lower crime rates. This isn’t hard. DAVIS HUNT

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♦️ Unlucky Rule 13 Originally introduced back in May, Sponsor Emily Benedict’s change to Rule 13 was once again deferred during last night’s Metro Council meeting. The changes would loosen the procedures around filing legislation by eliminating certain deadlines for late-filed legislation and the requirement that “administrative legislation be first filed with the Council Office prior to being filed with the Metro Clerk”—to name a few. Not only was the vote delayed, a special meeting will be held on July 10th to discuss the language.

As it turns out, the suggested changes could really shake things up: “While the Council Office does not normally provide analysis for amendments to the Rules of Procedure, this Rule Amendment contains several significant modifications that would have serious effects on the operation of the Council, the Council Office, and the Metro Clerk, to the extent that the Council Office deemed a deviation from standard practice advisable.”

Given the fact that the Council Office’s job is “to provide research and advisory services to the Council on legislative matters,” it seems that Benedict’s changes could cut them out of the equation. A curious proposal that deserves some clarity: something that will hopefully be provided next week. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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👢 No Boots For You For the time being, you won’t have to worry about your car getting booted as a law banning third-party booting companies went into effect on Monday. The state now only allows the parking lot owners to do the booting. The current law in Metro is the opposite, banning owners from booting and allowing third-party vendors to boot cars. So for the time being, booting in Nashville is in purgatory as Nashville Booting LLC files a complaint in Chancery Court arguing that the state law “violates the Contracts Clauses of the Tennessee and United States Constitutions.” Until all this gets settled in the courts, you don’t have to worry about getting booted. DAVIS HUNT


  • 4,405-Units Of Affordable And Attainable Housing In the Nashville Pipeline (Now Next)
  • Publix-anchored shopping strip sells for $34M (NBJ)
  • Smyrna warehouse sells for $26.4M (Post)
  • Restaurant slated for ex-McCabe Pub space (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


🪕 Eddie Sanders @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

🎸 Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters @ City Winnery, 7pm, $21.42+, Info
+ country roots

🎸 Leah Senior @ DRKMTTR, 8p, $12, Info
+ Australian folk singer-songwriter

🪕 Bluegrass Old Time etc. Jam @ The 5th Spot, 8:30, Free, Info

🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info