Friday, January 10, 2014

If you don't follow the Amp Twitter feed, you may not know that the Transit Authority changed the West Nashville meeting location a week before the meeting

Once public meetings to seek input on the Mayor's east-west bus rapid transit proposal were organized and announced in early December, the powers-that-be did a remarkable job of saturating every line of communication possible with news about the meetings. We even received a card by snail mail to go along with all of the news we were getting about the meetings on and off line, inside and outside the news media. The card delivered by the U.S. Postal Service:

West Nashville meeting info is now wrong on this post card!

But last Wednesday, 8 days away from the West Nashville meeting, the pro-AMP coalition announced that the location of the meeting was changing to West End Middle School via Twitter and Facebook. I tweeted questions on what plans were being made for people who did not follow or friend the AMP's social media presence and whether there would be new hard copy post cards sent to Nashvillians to keep people from showing up to MBA instead of to West End Middle. As of this moment, I cannot get a straight answer from the transit tribe.

Still eating their static.

That link they tweeted goes not to a new update but to their December 12, 2013 press release on the meetings. Whoever edited the release made no effort to change the date or flag the statement as "UPDATED" as is the usual practice for these things when people actually care that vital information about changes not slip through the cracks. All they seemed to do was drop down to the West Nashville meeting bullet and change the location.

Shoddy webpage update!

At best, this is a meager attempt to communicate significant changes to an exclusively and largely sympathetic online audience of people on Twitter and Facebook while calling no attention from the largest number of people to the change on the original release. At worst, it reeks of an attempt to depress turn out in West Nashville neighborhoods where opposition to the Amp is relatively strong. Whether this is simply inept communication or more of a confidence game by pro-Amp forces, they should exercise the kind of thorough communication now that they did in December.


  1. Mike, as I'm sure you know by now, the meeting was changed because the Stop-Amp people pressured MBA to rescind their offer to host the meeting. This is the same MBA that offered to host Lee Be-a-man's "debate". So take this issue up with your all-anti all-the-time brethren in West Nashville. Then ask MBA why they support cheap political parlor tricks like the "empty chair debate," yet will not support open dialogue in community meetings.

  2. So, what are you saying from the safety of your anonymous status, commenter?

    That not properly communicating changes in meetings is a good way to exact revenge on misbehaving west Nashvillians? Or are you making excuses for a municipal government that should be obligated to effectively communicate meeting changes with all stakeholders, even the ones who don't have computers and online access?

    If the groups in western neighborhoods are "all-anti, all-the-time" as you say, then it is even more incumbent that the powers-that-be have back-up plans and effective communication with constituents in the event of changes. This is a problem that Metro could have overcome based on your own logic and interpretation of who Amp opponents are.

  3. Anonymous is incorrect. The meeting at MBA was originally scheduled as a debate between the pro-AMP forces (who include an army of paid flacks) and those opposed to the AMP. After MBA headmaster Brad Goia left town, MTA pressured MBA to change the meeting to one of the four "open-house" charrettes, where (as Mike correctly characterizes it) you can provide your input, but people aren't going to pay attention to it.

    The protest from those against the AMP had nothing to do with MBA hosting the meeting--it had to do with MTA trying to use the charrette to put the quietus on a debate of the AMP's merits in a part of town where the AMP isn't popular.

    Finally, everyone in West Nashville isn't anti-AMP, but we all are tired as hell of the pro-AMP marketing campaign's position that there's only one legitmate position for the AMP, and that's to join the Mayor's cheerleading squad for this project. There are always at least two sides to an issue, and there are many positions one can take on the AMP. Mike is correct that, at least in West Nashville, it will serve a group of people who not don't want it, but don't need it and won't use it. How is forcing the system on the neighborhoods west of 440 a good investment of money, time and energy for anyone?