Members of Nashville Homeless Organizing Coalition will be bringing their lawn chairs and signs asking local government “Where have all our benches gone?” to the stretch of Church street by the Downtown Public Library on Thursday, December 12th from 11am -1pm. Homeless individuals, formerly homeless individuals, and advocates plan to motivate their community to demand their benches back from the Public Works Department of Davidson County.
Members of the Coalition successfully performed a similar action on World Homeless Day, October 10th, in which they sat in lawn chairs where public benches used to sit. Members handed out brochures educating residents of Nashville that work, live, and play in the downtown area of the disappearing benches. Since this action, the Coalition has launched a Communication Campaign to give residents the opportunity to have their voices heard by the Public Works Department of Davidson County. This campaign includes writing letters, emails, and phoning Rory Rowan at the Public Works Department of Davidson County with concerns about the benches.
The Coalition aims to restore every person’s right to rest. There is reason to believe that the 29 benches removed in a 3 block area near the Downtown Public Library have been removed to keep economically disadvantaged people from resting in these places. Additionally, it is evident that 13 benches are missing on Church Street from 5th to 7th Ave and 16 are missing on Capitol Blvd. from Church to Union.
Also, please join our letter writing campaign and make our voices heard. Print and send in the example letter or create your own! (Personal letters are the most effective, but if you are busy, the main thing is that they hear from us–all you need to do is to copy the linked letter and replace the dummy personal info with your own, and print it out and send it.) The information to call Public Works is also in the letter. Thank you for your help and support to restore every person’s right to rest. And check back for more coming soon!