Participatory budgeting (PB) was brought up as a way to fund the experimentation of new ideas. Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Empowerment could develop a program that offers $50k-$100k to each council district. Citizens then would be able to vote upon the initiative or improvement they wanted to fund with the money. Participatory budgeting was seen as a means of connecting citizens to the political decision making process. A hackathon could be hosted that would help develop a digital voting system.
Spreading of ideas: The inspiration for implementing PB to Nashville came from the exposure of NYC council member’s presentation during an event attended by one local council member. When the idea of was tweeted by them, it peaked the interest of another local councilperson. This led to a meeting and began the handwork of figuring out how to implement the idea.
Immigrants are some of the most innovative people in Nashville. They come to Nashville with nothing many times and often have to figure out how to develop businesses outside of conventional financing.
Within the immigrant population there are professionals that can’t practice their previous occupation (i.e. doctor, engineer, architect) because the local regulatory agencies do not accept their education and experience. These professionals have to look for other outlets to use their education and skills. Tapping into the energy and ingenuity of this population is important to future economic growth.
These immigrants are inherently risk takers. They have for various reasons given up their professional lives to come to Nashville.
High school academies are teaching technology and innovation. Engaging with youth early in business/innovation practices and inspiring them to create new ideas can help retain them in the future.
Nashville economic development infrastructure/strategy is focused primarily on large companies. There is less focus on smaller entrepreneurs. Pairing new companies with business services like accounting and marketing can help them grow. (How do you identify those ideas that can scale into larger companies?)
Is there a way to share resources within a district that can support businesses?
Finding retail and/or office space at an affordable rate that doesn’t encumber business to the point of failure is a pressing issue. (How can you give a good idea enough breathing room to prosper?)
Can public space incorporate commercial activities? Could small office/retail spaces be added on publicly owned property that would offer more competitive rents and foster new businesses? Current park policies make this difficult to implement. These activities would not only provide the affordable space and promote new companies, but also activate the public space which would attract more residents. This is increased use of the space would increase the potential of engagement and developing new relationships and ideas. The Hatchery in East Nashville was brought up as an example of what the small spaces could look like.
The fact funds generated in parks goes back to the general fund and may not make it back to the Parks Department that can then be use to maintain the park is a disincentive for the Parks Department to generate revenue within the parks. Friends groups have provided a means of generating/collecting revenue without it going back to the general fund.
Could the city discount banner cost on light poles downtown and other districts for non-profits or neighborhood events?
How can city utilize the equity gap between what a property is zoned for and the potential of the property for the public good (i.e. affordable space, outdoor public space)