Nashville, Tenn., (TN Tribune) – Dickerson Road United in Struggle (D.R.U.S.) is a tenant union of long-term residents of the W.C. Mobile Home Community on East Nashville’s Dickerson Road organizing in response to a surprise eviction notice. The owner, Tony Clouse, is planning to sell their community to developers who will replace them with a luxury development of 700 condominium units and 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Clouse originally wanted the residents out by September 1, 2021, but on August 3, 2021, DRUS won their demand to extend their move-out date to December 31. After a five-month battle, the 21 families comprising the DRUS tenant union are winning $200,000 in compensation for having to move out of their community.
Key Real Estate, the New Orleans-based developer slated to build the new units that will displace the DRUS residents from their homes, is pledging to pay $200,000 to the DRUS tenant union without any restriction on how the money is distributed among its members, provided that the bill permitting the rezoning of W.C. Mobile Home Community for their proposed development passes a vote of Metro Council.
With legal support from Jamie Paulen and Kaity Krupp at Paulen Solidarity Law and strategic support from Workers’ Dignity, the 21 families that make up DRUS conducted a democratic vote and decided to accept the compensation offered by the developer, and agreed to move out of 1509-15011 Dickerson Rd before the end of the year.
Workers’ Dignity is a worker-led center organizing for economic justice and dignity for all Nashvillians. Workers’ Dignity works to develop solutions to wage theft and the systemic abuse of workers by building power through relationships with fellow low-wage workers and our allies. In furthering its mission, Workers’ Dignity facilitates participatory democracy projects to bring justice to workers and their families, building organizing power among people who have traditionally been pushed to the margins of democratic decision making and governance.