The Nashville Voter
 Volume 75, No 4-- April 2022
Welcome to this issue of the LWVN Voter. You'll notice that the Emma page design allows you to access the LWVN Calendar by pressing a button at the top of the page! 
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April 13, 2022 through April 28, 2022: Early Voting for County Primary Elections. All Locations. Find election information here. For information about candidates, see
May 3, 2022: Voting for County Primary Elections. All Locations. Find election information here. For information about candidates, see
May 4, 2002 through May 5, 2022: The Big Payback. Donate between 6 p.m, May 4 and 6 p.m, May 5 at
May 6, 2022: First Friday - Hot Topics.They Lost The Right To Vote…Can It Ever Be Restored? First Friday, May 6th at Noon Via Zoom.
May 8, 2022, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. League of Women Voters TN Annual Spring Council.  Open to all League of Women Voters TN and Nashville.  Please click here to register.    
June 5, 2022 from 2:30 to 4:30pm: League of Women Voters Nashville Annual Meeting.  Members only.  Gathering at the Nashville Public Library, Main Branch at 615 Church Street.  See article below for details.  
Metro Nashville Council Meetings
Welcome to April! The flowers are blooming and the trees are green again! This edition of The Voter is chock full of information about upcoming events. Make sure to check out what the League of Women Voters Nashville has been doing to reach out to voters for the upcoming election. I hope that you have made a plan to vote. Make sure that you visit before heading to the polls! Susan Mattson has done a tremendous job reaching out to candidates and leading our efforts to create this resource for Davidson County Voters. League members in Williamson County also worked diligently to reach out to candidates and build this resource for voters in Williamson County. Thank you to all who helped with these efforts!

This month I spoke at the Middle Tennessee Moms Demand Action meeting as their community partner. One of the League’s goals is to build and strengthen partnerships with organizations that share our concerns. We know that there are many issues facing our community, and working with other groups helps us stay informed and accomplish more together.

Thank you for all your continued work with the LWVN. We hope to see you at the annual meeting in June! Read on for more information about this in person event.

Lara Webb
Vote411 Needs You!
By Susan Mattson
The Nashville League is developing local VOTE411 guides again for the three 2022 elections: the May 3rd Local Primary, the August 4th Local General election and State and Federal Primary, and the November 8th State and Federal elections. Information on candidates should be available by the start of early voting for each election.
How can you help the LWVN get the most from their VOTE411 guide?
  • Go to to learn the information that is available to the public on Tennessee election laws.  After April 7th, check out the candidate information for the various races.
  • Encourage candidates to respond to the LWVN’s VOTE411 questions. They will receive emails from the LWVN with a direct link to complete their responses. The success of the guide is to have as many candidates as possible to respond.
  • Encourage others to check out for election information and to review the candidates’ responses on their qualifications and goals.

Susan Mattson, LWVN VOTE411 Coordinator

LWVNashville Annual Meeting will be in-person this year!!!
On Sunday, June 5th, the League of Women Voters Nashville members will meet at the main branch of the Nashville Public Library. The meeting will begin at 2:30 a meeting room on the first floor where we will gather for punch and cookies and the annual business meeting in which we will approve next year’s budget and strategic focus and elect our 2022-2023 leadership team. At 3:30, the Votes for Women Room will be reserved for us, giving us time to browse, learn, discuss, and celebrate. Elevators can take us to the second floor.  Parking will be available in the Public Library Garage.  

Please look for an email invitation in the coming weeks. Documents pertaining to the business meeting will be attached as well as a way to RSVP that you will attend. We are so excited about gathering in person on June 5th. Please feel free to wear masks.
The Big Payback
The LWVN is participating in the Big Payback. This is a citywide coordinated effort to raise money and awareness for local nonprofits that runs from 6 p.m. on May 4, 2022, to 6 p.m. May 5, 2022. During this 24 hour period, consider making a donation to the Education Fund to support our voter outreach efforts.
In Memoriam
It is with sorrow to share that Margaret (Maggie) Howell passed away on March 14th surrounded by her family after a short illness. Margaret and her husband, Bill, have supported the League through their memberships for many years. A memorial service is being planned but not yet finalized.  Please keep the family in your thoughts and hearts.
Membership Committee
By Reba Holmes
With great delight, we announce and welcome our new and returning members that joined the Nashville League of Women Voters. It is our privilege to welcome these individuals to the organization:  Elisabeth Cory, Brenda Fogg, Jan Cox-Gedmark, Melissa Hanson, and Jean Jackson.

We are grateful to these members and all our members that support the League’s activities, programs, and underwriting.

We Continue to Grow
Monthly our League Administrator, Tracy Depp reconciles our membership roster. The official league count for April is 255.   

With your help we will continue increasing membership, we need more advocates to defend and protect our system of democracy and its cornerstones. 

Membership allows you to share a year’s worth of experiences promoting democracy, educating others in the community, participating in political discourse, registering new voters, to name a few. Plus, the annual membership includes membership to the national, state, and local LWV organizations. Details regarding the various support levels may be found on our secure website   

We Are Looking For Volunteers
We are thrilled to announce that we have established a Membership Committee to provide guidance during the annual membership drive and develop other vital programs related to membership. We invite you to join the new committee to serve as a communication lead, recruiting lead, social media lead, etc.

Membership Committee Job Description: 

  • The committee will provide a strategic vision to increase membership, focusing on effective, comprehensive growth, new member integration, and membership retention.  
  • Develop a program designed to mentor new members, specifically young adult members
  • Increase awareness regarding the League throughout our community by working with other portfolio managers to develop a communication and outreach program
  • Develop annual renewal implementation procedures, timeline, communication, and follow-up
  • Develop a strategy to recruit potential members across various demographics
    Work in partnership with other portfolio managers, e.g., Voter Services, Education, Metro Council, etc. 
Meeting Schedule: The initial meeting will be held in March or April 2022 via Zoom. We will meet monthly after the first meeting.  

If you are interested in serving on the committee please send an email expressing your interest to

Share Your Comments 
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin   

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” - Audre Lorde

We want to hear from you.  Share your comments regarding why join the League of Women Voters? Protecting Voting Rights, Fairness in Voting, etc.  Email your comments to

Hot Topics
By Committee Co-Chairs Karen Wieckert and Carole Kenner
Many of you may know that LWV has been working to help felons, who have served their time in prison, regain the right to vote.  Since the Restoration of Voting Rights (RVR) is at the heart of our democracy, recovering this right to vote is most important in order for Tennessee elections to truly represent the population of the state. 

As of 2016, more than 420,000 Tennesseans with past felony convictions were barred from voting.  This represents one in twelve adults in the state. Howard Gentry, Criminal Court Clerk,  and Jim Shulman, Vice-mayor, will be the speakers for our First Friday program on May 6th at noon.  They are involved and have been working through criminal court, to help felons regain this right, in Davidson County. 

Many who are disenfranchised do not know their voting rights can be restored—or the options for doing so, and most Tennesseans are unaware of these problems. Our laws for voter restoration are much more restrictive and complex than in the majority of states and this is reflected in the fact that less than 4% of eligible individuals have had their voting rights restored as of 2016.  Since each county seems to have its own methods for implementing this restoration process,  Howard and Jim will tell us what’s going on locally and how we might be of help restoring these rights to more. Click here to attend the Hot Topic: First Friday, May 6th at Noon Via Zoom.

April First Friday Synopsis
Grace Stranch, COO of the Harpeth Conservancy was our First Friday Speaker in April.  Using the acronym RIVERS, she focused on Restoring our rivers; the Issues that we face in maintaining clean rivers; the need for a unified Voice from environmental groups; Education throughout the state; our rivers as a source of Recreation; and the Science behind keeping our rivers clean and safe. 

Since 60% of our drinking water comes from rivers, it behooves us to work diligently to protect these waterways.  And, yet, there is constantly a barrage of damaging legislation presented in our state legislature every year to benefit specific industries.  Ms. Stranch’s message  was a reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down.  Just remember, we have one of the most bio-diverse rivers in the world, the Duck River.  Let’s work to keep it that way.
Health Care/Public Health Committee
By Committee Co-Chairs Constance Caldwell and Claire Sullivan
This past month members of the Public Health Portfolio Committee were active in support of health care legislation in the state's General Assembly.  We sent emails and made calls in support of bills to expand doula services, high risk pregnancy monitoring and continuous glucose monitoring to TennCare enrollees, to enable advanced practice nurses to attain practice authority on par with colleagues in most other states, and to expand Medicaid to low-income adults.  We opposed efforts to restrict reproductive rights, to deny young people gender affirming health care,  to promote use of ivermectin to treat COVID, and to require all recipients of SNAP benefits to meet work requirements. We expect the legislature to adjourn by end of April, and will provide a full update in our May VOTER.

Meanwhile we continue to monitor public health efforts around COVID and to educate ourselves on how our city is responding to the needs of unhoused individuals and families. Later this month we plan a site visit to a new support service for persons needing a place to recover safely from recent hospitalizations.

We meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 1:30 PM, still by zoom.  Please let us know if you are interested in joining us and one of us will be in touch.

Submitted by Constance Caldwell RN, MSN and Clare Sullivan RN, MSN (

Education Committee
By Committee Co-Chairs Jami Oakley and Mary Claire Dismukes
The Education Committee has been following HB2143/SB2396 (Johnson/Lamberth). This bill is the administration’s new funding formula for K-12 education, TISA. House Gov’t Operations Committee reviewed it on 4/11/22; Senate recommended passage with amendments & referred to Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee. It was rolled by the committee one week and is to be reviewed on 4/19/22. 

LWVTN position: seeking clarity! Push to summer study. Four Action Alerts sent!

As we near the end of the legislative session, the work still continues. The article below is a great reminder of the importance of advocacy and educating the next generation of voters. 

Thank you for your continued engagement in The League!

Environment Committee
By Education Co-Chairs Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Barbara Gay
TN Interfaith Power and Light(TIPL) that has been featured in The Voter in the past is hosting Faith Action Climate Week April 22-May 1.

The theme is ‘Sacred Trust: Our Children’s Right to a Livable Future’ and it has many different aspects including film, a webinar, Earth Care celebrations, services (a spiritual response to climate change) and more.  If interested, explore further at

Russanne is hosting the HWEN Plant Swap on April 23rd @ 3005 Blakemore Ave. 1-4:30 p.m. Come give away what you have to share, or just come take some!.

Metro Council Meeting
By Committee Co-Chairs Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan
Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan viewed the Metro Council Meeting via livestream.

Here’s an overview of what happened:

An historic overlay for the Exit Inn location on Elliston Place was passed on second reading.  The Manager of Exit Inn spoke to the council thanking them for the historic overlay.  He will still loose lease at the end of year and Exit Inn will close. He also spoke about other music venues under threat from development.   Cannery is closing.  He mentioned that Bluebird is getting a 22 story tower next door (Hillsboro Town Centre). 

Resolution passed condemning the Chamber of Commerce for efforts to have the mayor appoint school board members instead of being elected.  It was stated that the Chamber is being influenced by an out of state group.  

Lights Out Nights resolution passed on second reading.  This means turning off non-essential lights during bird migration, especially lights that shine up into the sky.  This confuses migrating birds.  Lights are for safety and should point down toward ground, not up. 

License Plate Reader bills about how information will be shared has been deferred to July.  

Did pass on a second reading definition of personally identifiable info.  6 things image of plate Date, time, make, model, etc.

These would be the only info stored from LPR for a number of days to be determined.  State is passing something that is a little different than Nashville. 

Inclusionary housing bills were deferred indefinitely, to allow other bills to come forward that will incentivize affordable housing.

American Rescue funds were approved for child care programs. $7.5 million.

Williamson County Update
By Committee Chair Linda Sherman
Come join us for the first ever non-pixelated LWVWC program! Since our Chapter’s 2020 inception, this will be our first in-person meeting. Wednesday, May 18th, from 1-2 p.m., we will meet at the Brentwood Library west wing. Our program guests will be Rep. Glen Casada, TN House District 63; Rep. Brandon Ogles, TN House District 61 and Rep. Sam Whitson, TN House District 65. At the close of the 2022 Legislative Session we will hear about redistricting, bills regarding voting and bills of particular interest to Williamson County and Tennessee residents. Representatives will each also review outcomes for some of their stated aims at the opening of the 2022 Session last January.

Please join us by registering on the Brentwood Library May calendar webpage. Caution: wearing shoes may be preferable to wearing slippers!
Please let us know if there is a death in your family so that the membership may be aware of your loss.
Thank you!
Stay Informed about Upcoming Calendar Events!
If you get the electronic version of the Voter, we want you to know that the upcoming calendar events are available on our wonderful, new website –  On The calendar scrolls on the events of the current and upcoming events thanks to Tracy Depp, who keeps the calendar current.  If you haven’t taken a look, do so to make sure you mark your calendar so you won’t miss a thing!
ATTENTION: The Nashville Voter is a digital publication. If you have received this copy of the Voter in the mail, it means the League of Women Voters of Nashville does not have an e-mail address for you. Please help us by sending your e-mail address to Being on the LWVN e-mail database ensures your receipt of all LWVN newsletters, event invitations, meeting announcements, and Call to Action alerts. 
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2021-2022 LWVN Board of Directors
Co-Presidents: Madeline Garr and Lara Webb
1st Vice Presidents: Carole Kenner and Karen Weikert
Secretary: Elise Lamar
Treasurer Susan Mattson

Portfolio Chairs
Communications: Ophelia Doe and Jack McFadden
Community Connections: Sabina Mohyuddin and Kate Benhoff
Education: Jami Oakley and Mary Claire Dismukes
Environment: Barbara Gay and Russanne Buchi-Fotre
Fundraising: Anne Marie Farmer
Health Care/Public Health:  Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan 
Membership: Reba Holmes 
Metro Government:  Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan
Voter Services: Beth Gordan, Alison Haymer, and Emily Grohs
Williamson County Representative:  June Bond
Nominating Committee Chair: Senator Brenda Gilmore

Nominating Committee Members: Betsy Walkup, Constance Caldwell, Hasina Mohyuddin, June Bond, and Brenda Wynn

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