Former Mayor Bill Purcell and Davidson County Clerk Brenda Wynn will co-chair a task force convened by Mayor Megan Barry to “help Nashville’s decision-makers ensure that planned high-capacity transit corridors are safe, affordable and inclusive for everyone,” according to a release from Barry’s office.

After Barry announced her $5.2 billion transit proposal last month, a coalition of community activists raised concerns about the potential for new transit options, including light rail, to lead to cost-of-living hikes and displacement along transit corridors.

“We need to see written and enforceable community benefits provisions that ensure that our tax dollars are actually used to benefit all of us,” the group wrote.

Purcell and Wynn’s task force are tasked with developing policy proposals to address those and other issues. The group’s first meeting is Wednesday at the Lentz Public Health Center, with further meetings to be held throughout the year and recommendations submitted to the Metro Council early next year. Barry’s administration is targeting a May vote on the proposal, which would include a number of tax increases.

“Nashville desperately needs better public transportation options if we are going to continue to grow and succeed,” Purcell said in the release. “But we also need better housing options for working families, seniors and younger workers, and I’m looking forward to working with our community members to help identify and shape the policies that will make that happen.”

In addition to Purcell and Wynn, the task force members include:

·         Ashley Northington, Agency Director & Chief Brand Officer of Denor Brands & Public Relations
·         Bill Phillips, Partner with Windrow Phillips Group
·         Councilmember Bob Mendes, Chair of the Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee
·         Brent Elrod, Director of Planning and Development with Urban Housing Solutions
·         Hal Cato, CEO of Thistle Farms
·         Hank Helton, Senior Vice President of Pathway Lending
·         State Representative Harold M. Love Jr.
·         Heather Powell, CEO of the Tennessee Kidney Foundation
·         Dr. James Fraser, Vanderbilt Professor and Independent Housing Consultant
·         Lilian Yepez, Co-owner of La Hacienda
·         Mark Deutschmann with Village Real Estate Services and the Urban Land Institute
·         Marshall Crawford, President and CEO of The Housing Fund
·         Michael King, Owner of Monell’s Dining and Catering
·         Nawzad Hawrami, Director of the Salahadeen Center
·         Patrick Green, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1235 and member of the PATHE Coalition
·         Paulette Coleman, Chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH)
·         Pearl Sims, member of the Edgehill Coalition and the Metro Planning Commission
·         Pete Wooten, Financial Advisor with Pinnacle Financial Partners
·         Phil Ryan, Vice President of Cherry & Associates