By Leslee White | Photo Courtesy Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office
Mayor Briley’s presence as the figure-head of Nashville is both exciting and important to the city of Nashville and to the advancement of minority groups within the city. He has always been responsive to under-represented interests and minorities and has never been afraid of supporting the LGBT+ community. Even when LGBT+ rights has been an unpopular and somewhat politically unsafe platform, Mayor Briley has remained true to his convictions. “I will do whatever it takes to protect LGBT+ rights,” he says.
Mayor Briley has made swift and vital changes to increase support of minority groups within the city. He recently appointed Ashford Hughes, Sr. to the position of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, a position that was vacant for more than one year prior. He also created a 16-member Minority Business Advisory Council to assist the administration in improving the interaction Metro-Nashville has with minority-owned businesses. One seat is held by LGBT Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Howe. The other members come from various minority groups throughout the city, with each identified minority group having at least one representative on the Council.
Mayor Briley stated, “One of the biggest concerns I’ve heard around the city is that many of our minority-owned businesses are not getting a chance to participate in the economic growth that we’re having in our community. At the same time, Metro’s workforce, while strong and vibrant and productive, doesn’t look enough like the city it serves.” “Today, I’m here to do something about these issues.”
Mayor Briley is promoting changes in codes that will make it easier for minority-owned businesses to obtain contracts and he hopes to increase diversification among Metro’s employees. He has further bolstered the city’s support of minority groups by committing $25,000 each to the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Greater Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latin American Chamber of Commerce in the proposed budget. With one year left in his seat before another election, Mayor Briley dreams of rectifying overlooked rights and bringing more equality to Nashville.