Encourage Mayor Cooper to Invest in Community Violence Intervention With Federal ARP Funds

Encourage Mayor Cooper to Invest in Community Violence Intervention With Federal ARP Funds

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Petition to
Mayor John Cooper and

Why this petition matters

Started by Clemmie Greenlee

Through 2024, Nashville will be receiving $260 million in American Rescue Plan federal stimulus funds. Below is a letter we have drafted to Nashville's Financial Oversight Committee, who is responsible for providing  recommendations for the allocation of stimulus funds. 


Dear Financial Oversight Committee,

Community violence is an ongoing public health crisis throughout the state of Tennessee, and additional public investments are urgently needed in Nashville to address the severe increase in homicides and shootings associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am writing on behalf of my organization, Nashville Peacemakers, a pillar of the Nashville community for over 15 years and a staunch advocate for the safety of our community members. Over the last 15 years, Nashville Peacemakers has worked within communities of color most impacted by gun violence to mediate conflicts, provide supports to those who've lost loved ones and prevent future acts of gun violence. We stand in coalition with numerous local, state, and national community violence prevention and intervention organizations, CEOs, faith leaders, and activists serving Tennessee communities most impacted by violence. We are writing to urge you to leverage federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to address community violence. Specifically, as you determine how you will spend the $260 million of recovery funds from the ARP, we urge you to dedicate at least five percent, $13 million, to support community-based violence intervention and prevention programs through the end of 2024, when the funds expire. This investment will save lives and taxpayer dollars, and is just a fraction of the more than $9 billion in economic direct costs that gun violence imposes on Tennessee each year due to healthcare, law enforcement, and other public expenses, and lost quality of life.

In Tennessee, the pandemic has had a profoundly destabilizing impact on community violence, contributing to a dramatic rise of homicides in a number of Tennessee cities over the past year. Our state has the 7th highest rate of gun homicides in the nation, with Nashville alone seeing a 50% increase in homicides from January to June of 2021 compared to the same time period last year.

The Treasury Department released guidance specifically stating that ARP funds can be used to support “evidence-based community violence intervention programs to prevent violence and mitigate the increase in violence during the pandemic.” The community-based violence intervention and prevention strategies that we implement and support have demonstrated success at interrupting entrenched cycles of violence, victimization, and retaliation, using a public health approach. Additionally, we have seen significant investments of ARP funds toward violence intervention within diverse political landscapes across the nation, including places like St. Louis, Atlanta, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Now is the time to support effective, community-based approaches to reducing violence. That’s why we are urging you to make targeted investments with ARP fiscal relief funds to address community violence in a city that has suffered from increases in homicides associated with the pandemic by allocating at least 5% of the city’s ARP fiscal relief toward community-based violence intervention and prevention programs. By equitably investing in proven solutions that provide targeted prevention, trauma-informed healing and recovery to communities, Nashville can reduce violence and promote the safety and well-being of all its residents.

Clemmie Greenlee, Founder and CEO of Nashville Peacemakers


129 have signed. Let’s get to 200!