Mayor Briley Announces Nashville’s Selection For Competitive City Accelerator Initiative

NASHVILLE (June 5, 2019) – Mayor David Briley today announced that Nashville has been selected to be part of the latest expansion of the Citi Foundation and Living Cities’ City Accelerator Initiative on Inclusive Procurement<>.

Nashville will receive $50,000 in grant funding in addition to a combination of coaching, technical assistance and implementation resources in the coming year. The other cities in the finalist cohort include: Boston, Cleveland, El Paso, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and South Bend.

“As we seek to become the most equitable city in America, all Nashvillians must have an opportunity to participate in our shared prosperity,” said Mayor Briley. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the racial disparities in employment, income, credit, and wealth creation through supporting the growth and development of minority and women-owned businesses. Joining the City Accelerator initiative will greatly help us make that a reality in Nashville.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity that inclusion in this cohort represents as we work to become a best-in-class procurement organization,” added Michelle Hernandez-Lane, chief procurement officer for the Metro Department of Finance.

The 10 cities will work together over the next year to pursue a range of projects to find innovative, effective, locally-tailored strategies to leverage public purchasing power to develop firms owned by people of color. Local initiatives range from implementing aggressive outreach strategies, developing procurement portals and creating an ecosystem of support services for firms owned by people of color to increase their opportunities to gain city contracts.

“There is a large opportunity and historical lessons in how equitable procurement can increase the income and wealth of people of color,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “Nashville is invested in finding solutions that will help their local business community and in providing learning models for other U.S. cities to adopt.”

Now in its sixth cohort – its largest to date – the City Accelerator has brought together 22 municipalities to test new approaches that improve the lives of residents, especially people of color.

Examples of this include:

*   Baltimore creating an online portal for residents returning from the criminal justice system to access services and job opportunities, which is now part of the Baltimore City Health Department’s TECHealth initiative.
*   Memphis purchasing 20 percent from diverse businesses (MWBEs) in the first two fiscal years of their mayor’s term.
*   Rochester developing cultural congruence across its entrepreneurial ecosystem through racial equity and inclusion trainings for service providers who work with local businesses.
*   Through performance-based contracting, Washington, D.C.’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships developing a pipeline of projects that will deliver better infrastructure where residents need it most while creating safeguards that protect the interests of people of color and low-income residents who have often been disadvantaged when projects go wrong.

Cities may consider local policy reform, supplier diversity engagement, improved contract compliance practices, utilization of tax incentives and economic development tools.

“Inclusive procurement is a strong element in closing racial income and wealth gaps,” said Living Cities President and CEO Ben Hecht. “When cities leverage their buying power to support the very residents that have been kept out of wealth-building activities, they are contributing to the betterment of the entire community.”

Technical assistance for the effort will be provided by Griffin & Strong, a public policy consulting firm specializing in disparity research and supplier diversity for government entities and private corporations.

About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit<>.

About Living Cities
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 18 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at<>.

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