Nashville Black clergy group could file lawsuit against the state if Metro Council cut

By: - March 3, 2023 3:26 pm
Downtown Nashville, as viewed from the east bank of the Cumberland River. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Downtown Nashville, as viewed from the east bank of the Cumberland River. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A prominent group representing Nashville’s black clergy delivered a letter Friday asking state Republican leaders to halt their efforts to shrink the size of the Metro Council and other proposals targeting the city.

Davie Tucker, the President of the Nashville Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, signed the letter. In it, he implied the group could file a lawsuit under the federal Voting Rights Act if the bill reducing the size of the Metro Council passes.

“We implore you to reconsider,” Tucker said. “If enacted, this legislation would undo sixty years of progress in a community that helped shape and gave leadership to the civil rights movement.”

State Republicans are quickly moving through bills to cut the size of the Metro Council from 40 members to 20 and take board appointments on Nashville’s airport and sports authorities away from the council and mayor and give them to lawmakers. The council size bill will be on Monday’s House floor agenda and faces its final hurdle in the Senate Tuesday.

Bills on the sports and airport authorities are scheduled for votes in House and Senate committees this week.

All the bills are likely in retaliation for the Metro Council blocking the 2024 Republican National Convention.

The IMF letter is the second one sent by a group of Nashville leaders asking House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, to stop the various bills.

Nearly three dozen business leaders sent a letter two weeks ago asking for a “reboot” in the relationship. One group still missing from the conversation is the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

IMF Letter

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Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.