CARES Act Spending Recommendations

A proposal to Nashville Mayor Cooper on how to spend the $121 million in CARES Act federal funding

To ensure Nashvillians can vote safely

  • Increase the number of polling locations (beyond current early voting locations) to allow for more social distancing. Utilize more churches, schools and community centers within neighborhoods.
  • Provide resources to the Davidson Co. Election Commission to send out COVID-19 mailer (or public advertising) to every registered voter on how to access an absentee ballot and understand new voting changes
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to poll workers, who are typically elderly and more at-risk of contracting COVID-19
  • Provide money to purchase more ballot scanners and hire more poll workers to accommodate influx of absentee ballot requests.
  • Provide free bus fare to Nashvillians without transportation to get a ride to the new polling locations.

To stimulate the economy

  • Help black-owned small businesses who’ve been denied EIDL and PPP money (barbershops, salons, coworking spaces, etc), especially businesses owned by formerly incarcerated individuals or those with a criminal history 
  • Provide hazard pay to frontline workers and teachers
  • Help with reopening businesses – sanitation products and equipment to adhere to social distancing
  • Resources to handle added costs to offer curbside pickup, food delivery, and online ordering
  • Grants to nonprofits who are providing COVID-19 response relief services
  • Grants to nonprofits who are losing revenue because they can’t host planned large-scale fundraisers due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines
  • Grants to nonprofits to provide extended Census outreach and education due to the U.S. Census Bureau extending their operations until August 2020
  • Resources to mental health professionals to provide telehealth services (to handle people experiencing stress, anxiety and depression due to the pandemic)
  • Resources to offer pop-up shops for small businesses in large open outdoor spaces to allow for social distancing (food trucks, vendors, musicians and artists)
  • Resources to support workforce development and training for service, retail and hospitality industries

To support working families

  • Monthly payments to recoup unexpected expenses due to coronavirus and the stay-at-home order (Families are seeing an increase in their monthly household budget to pay for extra groceries, extra cleaning supplies and toiletries, educational materials to support distance learning, and activities to keep children entertained at home, and are thus paying more in sales taxes)
  • Rent and mortgage relief payments for unemployed and furloughed workers
  • Resources to pay for funeral costs and healthcare costs of loved ones battling COVID-19 (i.e. travel to the ER or hotel stays due to ER visits)
  • Grants to churches and afterschool programs to offer summer camp activities in smaller groups for working parents

To support vulnerable populations

  • Internet access improvement – work with internet providers to provide free broadband access in low-income communities to access distance learning resources, to access pertinent COVID19 information online and to apply for resources online
  • Provide a stipend to get a COVID-19 test; purchase a temporary health care plan; or to visit an outpatient clinic (Matthew Walker, Meharry Medical College, Nashville General Hospital, etc)
  • Provide free bus fare to COVID-19 testing sites
  • Provide 14-day quarantine housing for people being released from prisons and jails who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 to prevent further exposure by going into halfway houses and family members’ homes 
  • Grants to open more halfway houses to accommodate influx of people released from prisons and jails.

in the community


Educating residents about their rights to prevent gentrification, connecting them to trusted resources, and providing direct cash relief.

View our #DontSellOutNorf campaign


Voters shouldn’t have to choose between risking their health and forfeiting their constitutional right to vote during a global pandemic.

Sign our vote by mail petition

promoting economic and health equity

When our communities in crisis are hit hardest by the pandemic, we’re demanding our government work for the people.

Read our CARES Act funding proposal