Group Asks Mayor Cooper to Use Coronavirus Relief Funds to Provide Free Busing to Polls


A progressive group has called on Nashville Mayor John Cooper to use funds from the city’s share of the federal CARES Act to provide “free bus fare” to the polls.

Nashville is expected to receive $121 million from the coronavirus relief bill and Mayor Cooper convened an advisory group last week to discuss how the money should be used.

Charlane Oliver, a member of that advisory group, also serves as the co-executive director of The Equity Alliance, which sent a list of recommendations to Cooper’s office on how to spend the money.

Several recommendations focus on efforts to “ensure Nashvillians can vote safely,” including a call for “free bus fare to Nashvillians without transportation to get a ride” to polling locations.

The group would also like to see a mailer sent out to “every registered voter on how to access an absentee ballot and understand new voting changes.”

Another recommendation asks Cooper to provide “monthly payments” to support working families who have experienced “unexpected expenses due to coronavirus and the stay-at-home order.” The list of recommendations asks for “rent and mortgage relief payments for unemployed and furloughed workers” as well as “resources to pay for funeral costs and healthcare costs of loved ones battling COVID-19.”

“Provide a stipend to get a COVID-19 test; purchase a temporary health care plan; or to visit an outpatient clinic,” states another proposal on the list.

Oliver said The Equity Alliance believes in “putting resources directly in people’s hands who have been most impacted.”

“Mayor Cooper has an opportunity to right some past wrongs of previous administrations by directing these funds to be spent to ensure that black residents are neither disenfranchised from their civic right to vote nor left behind in the economic recovery,” she said in a statement. “With black Nashvillians making up 28 percent of the city’s population, we expect the CARES Act funds to be equitably and proportionately distributed to us.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Metro Nashville Bus” by the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority.







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8 Thoughts to “Group Asks Mayor Cooper to Use Coronavirus Relief Funds to Provide Free Busing to Polls”

  1. joebltzft

    In a word “NO”.

  2. 83ragtop50

    What a waste this would be. The democrat vote harvesters can car pool if they want to save money. What does a vote go for these days – a beer, a bottle of wine, a bung?

  3. William Delzell

    That’s an excellent idea. People who do not have cars have just as much right to have equal access to voting as the rich one percent. The real reason for opposing equal access to voting is not to stop fraud as Trump himself uses mail-voting, but to unfairly discriminate against the rest of us from having equal voting rights. The so-called opponents of voting fraud are guilty of something far worse than voting fraud: voting suppression. These conservatives and rightists’ REAL reasons for opposing equal access to voting is motivated by racism, classism, ideological prejudice against college students, hatred of workers, and so forth. No, the conservatives don’t want to protect the integrity of the vote; they want to destroy this precious right and duty for everybody but themselves!

  4. Nancy

    It needs to be fair and not one sided

  5. Kevin

    This is ridiculous! How exactly do “free” bus fares provide for a safe or even safer bus ride?

    But, the great news is that young “woke” people are beginning to see all of the hypocrisy in the left’s agenda. They see that spending even one penny on “free” bus fares anytime, for any reason doesn’t help fix the problems in Nashville at all! Go ahead Mayor Cooper, keep dragging your feet on opening Nashville continue misappropriating tax dollars. You are setting your own fate.

    These young people are part of the Great Awakening – 2020. They are getting ready to participate in the greatest change to take place on this planet in 300over 250 years!

  6. rick

    I am sure Comrad Cooper will comply with his progressive friends.

  7. Megan Barry

    And free rides to hot-yoga!