Can Unequal Access to Economic Growth In Nashville Ever Be Solved?

This is the question of the day for economic and community leaders as Nashville, TN continues to experience a tremendous rise in residential and business growth. Though for some reason, an ever growing mumble is beginning to turn into loud screams from residents who are not feeling the love. Are these residents not applying themselves? That MAY be the case, but we also have financially well-off residents advocating for fair opportunities for all residents. Are the residents’ lack of knowledge in the areas of education and commerce holding them back? Or, is this growth trend simply a giant that cannot be conquered and has gone out of the control for residents? Let's find out in this article.

Rich and Poor

The reality of the situation is, there are the rich and there are the poor, and within the rich, there are the rich and there are the poor. So no one is excluded from the “rich and the poor” net. 

With that said, whose responsibility is it to lift the people up? Some may say the government because the government is receiving the taxes. I would agree, except as I pay my rent, the agreement the landlord and I share states that the landlord does not provide for me other than providing access to the property I am residing in and will maintain the quality of the property if, and when, the property needs to be fixed. Does that mean that my landlord is responsible for lifting me up if I approached them one day and said I couldn’t pay my rent? No, the most he will tell me is, “how sad,” and ,” when can you pay it?” I might get an extension, but after a while, my time will run out. I would be responsible to uplift my self. Maybe that is why one would turn their back on the homeless.

A “middle class” citizen may say, 'the homeless are not paying the ‘rent’ as I work hard to pay my share.' But does that mean one can look down on those who do not share the same income status? Now, let’s replace ‘rent’ with the term the ‘tax dollar’.” Tax dollars (the rent) are designed to allow one to live in a geographical location and the government (our landlord) maintains and provides public services when we need them. No more, no less. That includes everyone no matter the status of their income. Never let anyone tell you different. The sooner one can over-stand this principle, the foundation of truth, the sooner one can make decisions for their survival and prosperity.

One must always keep in mind no man is island unto him self. Every man is a piece of the continent; a part of the whole. This means you must dwell with like minded neighbors. Neighbors who are just as aware of this truth as you, so the collective can become a brother's keeper. How can one fight for progress and improvement, and one's neighbor or brother sit on the sidelines? You will never win. There is truly power in numbers. So should one judge their fellow neighbor based on their income status, or help change the ‘poor’ mindset? Have you heard of the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? (B.I.B.L.E)

Open it and read both Proverbs 5:23 and Hosea 4:6. How do these two messages resonates with you?

The bottom line- Access is up to you, period. 

Though there are plenty of examples of how the people were targeted, and keep excluded from assets such as home loans, employment opportunities, and business loans, the article today is centered on how one can be held blameless for not positioning themselves for access in today's market.

How to Improve Quality of Life for Self

So how does one gain access?

1. Become more technologically savvy- 

It’s the era of information and technology tools are essential if one is to compete for employment, and build their personal brand and business. Even the manufacturing industry is moving toward skilled technicians that can operate machine to get the production job done. 

2. Keep your neighborhood clean-

Think about it. If someone walks into your bathroom and accidentally urinates on your clean toilet, you would feel offended if they did not clean it up. You would be prone to clean it up if it were you... even if it were to spare your reputation. But if the seat were already dirty, you might not touch it. Your neighborhood is no different. If you keep it clean, others would be more likely to keep it clean.

3. Education is key-

Nashville is a complex business environment. If you can’t read, or do math, financial literacy is not even an option. Parents, make sure your children’s education is taking seriously, and while your at it, take advantage of the free tuition workforce training program that has been enacted for your benefit. 

3Follow the hiring trends-

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has targets five industries they are recruiting to Nashville. Are you preparing your work and skills and experience for these opportunities? Volunteering is always an asset. Volunteering not only helps you build your relationship building and networking skills, but gives you the work experience, and referrals you need for higher paying jobs.

4. Know thyself-

Have you taken a DISC assessment? What is a DISC assessment? An opportunity for you to capitalize on your personal strengths and work on, or avoid, your weaknesses. 

5. Become more involved in the political process-

Hold your elected officials accountable. What are your representatives producing for your community in the chamber office? Crate a community strategic plan with your elected official at the beginning of the term, and measure results to see if that official deserves to remain in office. Hold more town meetings and to stay connected and assist your elected officials where you can.

About the Author

Danavan Hylton is an economic developer looking to improve the social well-being for diverse community resident in the areas of politics, commerce, and culture. Danavan is also the founder, and CEO, of Hylton Elite Marketing Agency, a full-service sales and marketing firm delivering recruiting, retention, and community relations services to employers, workforce development organizations, business chambers, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

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