The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
It is already time to turn our attention to the November elections. The ballot will include some critical decisions for voters that have a significant impact on the future of Tennessee. Using LWVUS and LWVTN policy statements for guidance, LWVTN through its Action Committee has taken positions on three of four proposed constitutional amendments that will appear on the November 4, 2014 Tennessee election ballot.
▪ LWVTN and LWVN oppose Amendment 1, which would give the Tennessee Legislature complete control over state laws governing abortion. ▪ LWVTN and LWVN support Amendment 2, which would provide constitutional clarity on our selection process for appellate judges. ▪ LWVTN and LWVN oppose Amendment 3, which would create a permanent ban on income and payroll taxes by state and local governments.
We have joined in coalition with other likeminded groups to communicate our positions to citizens throughout the state on these three issues. Further information about the amendments and the League's position statements can be found at http://www.lwvtn.org/ and will soon be available on the LWVN website as well at http://www.lwvnashville.org.
These constitutional amendments have also been a focal point for our First Friday programs. In September, Hedy Weinberg, executive director for ACLU of Tennessee provided a compelling case about the reasons to oppose the intrusion of government into families' private decisions by voting no on Amendment 1. On Friday, October 3, our First Friday program at Second Harvest Food Bank will include speakers explaining why it is important to vote yes for Amendment 2 and to vote no on Amendment 3.
Equally important, we need to educate voters about the idiosyncrasies of this upcoming election. It is necessary for voters to cast a vote for BOTH a certified candidate of their choice for governor AND each of the amendments. The Tennessee constitution requires that at least 50 percent plus one vote of the TOTAL votes cast in the governor's race are needed to approve or reject a constitutional amendment.
We will be communicating with voters through a variety of methods during this election cycle including Facebook, YouTube, public radio, and our traditional voter registration booths. Please let Jo Singer know at email@example.com if you can help with voter registration activities.
We also strongly encourage you to volunteer at the phone bank for http://www.voteno1tn.org.
Melissa Holden, Judy Saks, and I had the wonderful opportunity to help eligible immigrants with the arduous task of applying for U.S. citizenship at Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition's (TIRRC) "Become a Citizen Now Workshop." It is a long and complicated process that involves a large amount of detailed paperwork and the applicants were grateful to have the help of caring volunteers. Information about future workshops will be posted on the LWVN calendar.
We are already anticipating a marvelous post-election celebration when we commemorate the historymaking role of Tennessee women in the suffrage movement. One hundred years ago in November 1914, Nashville's extraordinary Anne Dallas Dudley brought the National Women's Suffrage Convention to Nashville. And what could be a better place to celebrate than the hub of the suffrage battle--the Hermitage Hotel! Mark your calendar now for a Cocktail Celebration of this important milestone on Tuesday, November 18. You will be hearing more about this event soon. This is a celebration you won't want to miss!
Our congratulations go to State Representative Brenda Gilmore, our LWVN Nominating Committee chair. She will serve as president-elect of the Women's Legislative Network, which addresses issues unique to women. Representative Gilmore was also elected board member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. Gilmore consistently has been rated highly by Tennessee Conservation Voters (TCV) for her advocacy to protect our state's environment and natural resources.
League of Women Voters of Nashville
Consistent Voter Services
League members can impact the election process by volunteering to help educate the citizens of the community and provide opportunities for voter registration. Voter education and voter registration opportunities are continuous but peak during election years. Get involved by:
League members can impact public policy by educating the public about issues important to good government and community well-being, and advocating for League positions on key issues. Because we live in the state capital, Nashville League members work on both local and state issues. We also answer calls to action from the LWVUS when issues are pending in Congress. Whatever your interests, you can get involved!
Specifically, the League advocates for access to health care; education to prepare students for responsible citizenry and the economy of the future; good stewardship of our natural resources; election processes that are fair and secure; and ethics and transparency in government. League members interested in issue advocacy can participate by: