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Nashville Poverty Reduction Initiative

Background Information

The Metropolitan Action Commission and the Nashville Chamber Public Benefit Foundation, working with many other organizations, began an initiative to reduce poverty in our community. Working with hundreds of Nashville’s city leaders, advocates, organizations and residents, seven Action Teams developed a Poverty Reduction Initiative Plan on the key issues Child Care, Economic Opportunity, Food, Health Care, Housing, Neighborhood Development and Workforce Development.

In 2010, Mayor Karl Dean asked Metropolitan Social Services to monitor and coordinate the initiative’s implementation, as well as to conduct community needs assessments, develop collaborations and enhance community coordination.  In 2010, Metropolitan Social Services created the public-private Nashville Poverty Council and implementation teams to address the recommendations. 

The Poverty Council was initially chaired by Howard Gentry, former Chairman of the Metropolitan Social Services Board of Commissioners, who is now the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk.  In October 2011, Mayor Karl Dean appointed Kristine LaLonde to Chair the Nashville Poverty Council and she is now the Co-DIrector of the Mayor's Office of Innovation.