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.
Despite the weather playing havoc with our schedules, we had a busy month advocating League positions at the Tennessee Legislature. The Education Day on the Hill with partner United Ways of Tennessee gave us a chance to voice our support for pre-K programs and distribute LWVTN Legislative Priorities to Tennessee lawmakers. LWVN members have been especially active this year participating in bi-monthly state Action meetings, which have concentrated on best opportunities to encourage thoughtful legislation. Please look for emailed action alerts about how and when contacting your legislators about specific bills will be most effective.
Although snow delayed our March First Friday program about education legislation, we are back on track with this topic for a special April 10 First Friday session (delayed a week for those celebrating Good Friday, April 3). Tennessee Education Report Blogger Andy Spears will join LWVN Education Chair Anne-Marie Farmer and me in a look at the education bills being considered in the state legislature and their potential impact on public education across the state.
It is hardly surprising that our members are leaders in other organizations with interests that overlap with LWVN. Kudos to Anne-Marie Farmer, also spokesperson for TREE (Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence), for her public statements about state legislation providing public funding of private school vouchers. Linda McFadyen-Ketchum of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has had an active month opposing a wide range of legislation that would deregulate who can own a gun and where they might carry and use it.
In addition, Hazel Thornton will be honored on Thursday, March 26, as LWVN's nominee at the 25th ATHENA Award Celebration at the Parthenon. As the Nashville ATHENA Award Program celebrates this milestone anniversary, Athena's spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for others. Women from across Nashville and Middle Tennessee have been nominated this year for special recognition as the embodiment of Athena's spirit--exemplify leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish 3 LWVN Voter--March 2015 assistance to women and women's issues. If you haven't already, be sure to register at: http://www.nashvillecable.org/Athena. The event begins at 6:00 pm, followed by a reception at 7:00.
On May 5, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will hold its second annual "The Big Payback," a day of philanthropy for individuals to support more than 600 nonprofit organizations that help make our community great. Please encourage your friends and family to support LWVN's Education Fund and other deserving organizations with donations, both large and small. Contact me at email@example.com if you can help our team spread the word through your favorite social media.
The front page of the Nashville Banner of May 1, 1915 described in lavish detail an event in Centennial Park to promote "The Cause"--Women's suffrage. On Sunday, May 17 the LWVN will recreate the spirit and energy of that event with an informal "Sunday Afternoon Social"--again to be held in Centennial Park. We are inviting other women's groups as well as candidates for the August election to meet and mingle. Please mark your calendars for this fun afternoon celebrating an exciting event in Nashville's history.
Debby Gould, President League of Women Voters of Nashville
LWVN is gratified that Governor Bill Haslam announced on December 15 his administration's support for "Insure Tennessee"--a uniquely Tennessee plan "to provide health care coverage to more than 200,000 uninsured Tennesseans who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) without creating new taxes for Tennesseans." In addition, he said that he has received verbal approval from the federal government for his Insure Tennessee Plan. See both a one-page description of the plan HERE and the slides used during the governor's announcement HERE.
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: