Andrews Institute marks 50th anniversary of Metro Nashville with focus on neighborhoods

Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership is marking the 50th anniversary of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County by hosting a discussion of Nashville’s neighborhood associations on March 6. The event is free and open to the public.

Mayor Karl Dean, the sixth mayor of the Metro Nashville, will offer remarks at the event that will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by a program at 5:30 p.m. in Lipscomb University’s Ezell Center, Room 301.

“We are honored to highlight the history of neighborhood associations and how they helped shape a thriving Metro Davidson County, and to look ahead to the role these associations will play in keeping Nashville a great place to live,” said Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. “These leaders show that great neighborhoods are intentional, not accidental.”

The evening’s program will feature two panel discussions moderated by John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center and chairman emeritus of The Tennessean.

The first discussion will focus on the history of neighborhood associations. The panelists include the Rev. Bill Barnes, longtime neighborhood advocate; Billy Fields, veteran Metro government official; Betty Nixon, former Metro councilman and public servant; Bill Purcell, Nashville mayor from 1999-2007 who created the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods; and Brenda Wynn, Davidson County Clerk and the first director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods.

The second discussion will focus on “What’s Happening Now & What’s Next.” The panelists include District 31 Metro Councilman Fabian Bedne; Ben Freeland, automobile dealer and member of Crossings Nashville Action Partnership; Dan Heller, real estate developer and founder of the soon-to-open sustainable community center Urban Green Lab; Sharon Hurt, executive director of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership; Colby Sledge, public relations specialist and member of South Nashville Action People; and Yolanda Vaughn, interim executive director for the Neighborhoods Resource Center.

About Metro@50

Fifty years ago, the citizens of Davidson County and the City of Nashville voted to create the first fully unified government in the United States with the passage of the Metro Charter on June 28, 1962. The decision was a revolutionary one, and it continues to serve as a model throughout the nation. On November 6, 1962, Mayor Beverly Briley and the first Metro Council were elected to their respective offices. The creation of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County culminated with the implementation of the government on April 1, 1963, and it continues to serve our community today. The nine-month celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of Metro Nashville is bringing the community together for a host of events and educational opportunities.

Seigenthaler joins George Cate, Metro’s first vice mayor and State Senator Thelma Harper as committee co-chairs for the Metro@50 Anniversary Celebration.