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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June 5, 2022 from 2:30 to 4:30p.m.: League of Women Voters Nashville Annual Meeting.  Members only.  Gathering at the Nashville Public Library, Main Branch at 615 Church Street.  Click here to register and click here to download the Annual Membership Packet.  
June 9, 2022 from 7:00 p.m. Gubernatorial and Congressional Candidates from Districts 5, 6, and 7 Forums. Sponsored by USA Network TN with University of Tennessee and Lipscomb University. At George Shinn Event Center, David Lipscomb University, 2906 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37204.  Register here.  

June 18, 2022 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. Voter information Forum with Davidson County Election Commission and League of Women Voters Nashville.  Sponsored by Gloria Hauser, Council Member District 22.  Bellevue Regional Community Center. Voter Registration and Education will be available. All are invited.

Metro Nashville Council Meetings
As June 5th draws closer, I have to say that I am excited to see each of you.  Our last in-person Annual meeting seems very far away, yet it was only 3 years ago. Since then, we have celebrated so much virtually:  the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, two annual meetings, and two Molly Todd awards.  We also have been able to do a lot given the fact that our activities have been curtailed by the pandemic restrictions.  So, I want to take the time to thank each of you for all that you have done to “keep us going”. Your support through your membership, your outreach activities in so many ways, your attendance at board meetings and Hot Topics on Zoom, your willingness to overcome the challenges of Zoom, and as always your steady belief in the possibilities of our democracy and your committed work to educate others to help form a “more perfect union”.  

All of these actions are what has made the League of Women Voters a strong non-partisan, and respected voice that has allowed us to exist for 102 years. Our strength is each other and we will celebrate that strength June 5th.  See you then!!!

Madeline Garr
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. Click here to register and click here to download the Annual Membership Packet.    
Membership Committee
By Reba Holmes
Welcome New and Returning Members
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: Anna Lundy and Debra Smith.

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

Annual Membership Drive 
It's that time again....Our annual membership drive began on May 1, 2022.

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 August 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 
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

Health Care/Public Health Committee
By Committee Co-Chairs Constance Caldwell and Claire Sullivan
The issue of homelessness is not only an issue in our state, but is one being talked about across the country. Some areas have passed laws making it more difficult for individuals to bounce back and become productive citizens. Many of these are families with children who suffer in our educational system as well. Affordable housing is needed but keeping up with the need is heartbreaking.

Despite this dismal projection, the Health Care/ Public Health Committee of the LWVN has found a success story. Several members of the committee were able to visit the Village At Glencliff which is a medical respite for homeless persons discharged  from the hospital who continue in need of medical follow-up. The Village is located on the property of Glencliff United Methodist Church but functions independently of the church.

Currently, the Village is composed of twelve (12) micro houses forming a community for those it is serving. Ten of the homes are 200 square feet and two of them are 400 square feet built to accommodate residents who come with a child or partner. This is the only program of its kind in the United States. Residents find safety as they heal as well as resources for permanent housing and other supportive community services.

The Village partners with other community agencies to provide three meals a day, transportation to appointments, daily health checkups with the assurance of better health and supervision of medications. The site is pet-friendly with a dog park and walkways, a garden that residents can manage, and an atmosphere that encourages community and fellowship. Plans are being made to erect ten more micro homes in the near future. The public is invited to visit  as well as volunteer and contribute to the cause. The Village is located at 2901 Glencliff Road-Nashville, TN 37211. Contact can be made at (615) 235-3213 or
Hot Topics
By Committee Co-Chairs Karen Wieckert and Carole Kenner
The May Hot Topic addressed restoration of voting rights in Tennessee. Tennessee ranks near the bottom in voter turnout and registration. Nearly 10% of Tennessee's eligible voting population are disenfranchised due to a past criminal conviction, and many of those have served their sentences and parole. Howard Gentry, Criminal Court Clerk for Davidson County, and Jim Shulman, Vice-mayor for Nashville, offered an informative colloquy regarding the complicated process of restoring voting rights in Tennessee. Locally, Gentry has worked to make the process easier, resulting in a steady increase in the number of restored voting rights in Davidson County. Unfortunately, this process is not as well honed in other Tennessee counties. In the audience for this Hot Topic was Kathy Greenberg from the Tennessee League's Voter Restoration Project. She commended the work done in Davidson County, and urged our members to follow her project. Information is available at

June and July will be off months for Hot Topics. We will resume in August..
Education Committee
By Committee Co-Chairs Jami Oakley and Mary Claire Dismukes
As the school year comes to an end, here are some things we’ll be keeping an eye on throughout the summer and in preparation for next year’s education legislation: 

The Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act (TISA - the new school funding formula, developed and passed during this year’s session to replace the BEP) has officially been written into law, with a couple of changes near the end that were to Nashville’s advantage, including a cost differential factor that takes into account the higher labor costs in Davidson County. The formula purports to add a recurring $750 Million into education funding each year, but it remains to be seen if that will equate to the promised ratio increases among positions like school nurses, counselors and social workers, among other resources the LWV has advocated for statewide.

The new formula, at its heart, features a baseline funding for each student with “weights” added for each student’s particular characteristics. These weights include extra money allocated for English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities or learning differences, and more. The rulemaking process will further define these weights and answer questions that arose during discussion, so we will follow the process and influence where we can in line with our priorities – look out for even more school funding Action Alerts next session! In the meantime, read more about the formula details here

Another bill that we followed with interest involved allowing an easy way for parents to propose the banning of books from school libraries. Once proposed, the decision would come from the politically-appointed textbook commission, which includes controversial members that have been on the receiving end of pushback from the League, like Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a longtime activist who has been accused of being anti-Muslim and extremely divisive. If banned by a school library, the ban would stretch across the state to all school libraries. We will continue to keep a close watch and activate members when appropriate. In the meantime, you can trade in your library card during the month of May for one that proclaims “I read banned books!” Details here. 

Lastly, the August election ballot will include several school board races after the state’s first-ever partisan primary for school board positions was held this month to determine candidacy. We’ll keep you updated in The Voter and on social media – here are the races and their contenders: District 8, District 6, and District 4.

Environment Committee
By Education Co-Chairs Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Barbara Gay
The LWVN Environment Committee has had some success this year. The Metro Government Sustainability Department has a plan to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. It will power more Metro Government buildings with solar energy, plant more trees, update building codes and energy standards, and improve air quality by electrifying buses.

The Nashville League helped defeat the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a commercial concession of the Cook Recreation Park so it would no longer be free to the public. Metro Council voted against it with support of Friends of Cook Recreation Area, the LWVN, and other groups.

A change in Nashville’s residential zoning codes approved by the Metro Council will help to secure greater protections for environmentally sensitive natural areas throughout Davidson County.  BL2022-1121 and its companion bill, BL2022-1122, passed the Council on third and final reading May 17. Councilwoman Henderson’s bills replace the old cluster lot process to provide a better subdivision model for preservation of natural resources and forest protection, and incorporate ideas that Radnor 2 River has been advocating for better landscape-oriented approaches to conservation. Some of you may have seen Noah Charney’s First Friday presentation.

You may read more details of this exciting step forward at:

The following legislation resulted in some environmental victories:

SB1953/HB2328 failed to exempt reclamation of quarries from local or regional zoning or planning regulations or other restrictions. The bill was designed to allow the McCrory or Hutton Quarry in Bellevue to be used for construction trash and then have a housing development built over it. This plan was not approved by the Metro Planning Commission, so the owners tried to override local control with state legislation.

SB1760/1651 to allow electronic billboards to be placed anywhere without local regulation was  defeated. This was another victory for local control of land use.

SB1871/HB224 to prohibit the Department of Environment and Conservation from imposing restrictions on the disposal of gray water from floating cabins was defeated.

SB2012/HB1833 expands the offense of aggravated criminal littering involving the disposal of tires was supported by environmental groups.

SB2070/HB2424 increases the penalty for mitigated criminal littering raising the fine to $500 and a class B misdemeanor. These littering bills should have passed but I was unable to find confirmation on the legislative website. Legislative transparency is less this year. 

The main legislation opposed by the state League and environmental groups (SB2077/HB2246) will preempt any action taken by city or county planning commissions, or other oversight board to interfere in any way with the siting and development of fossil fuel infrastructure in Tennessee. There was an action alert sent to LWVTN members as well as loud outcry from the public. This resulted in amendments that lessened the harm of this bill and will prevent the defeated Byhalia pipeline in Memphis from being revived. The state legislature is still not expressing any concern about climate change and needs to continue to hear from advocacy groups and the public.
Metro Council Meeting
By Committee Co-Chairs Pat McCauley, Karen Hernan, and Jack McFadden
Metro council approved 4 charter amendments that will be on the August ballot:

  • Rewrite of Article 19 related to procedures for amending the Charter.  This change is motivated by issues related to the failed tax referendum.  Amending resolutions must be legally reviewed and certified by a Charter Revision Commission prior to adoption and prior to petition circulation for signatures.  The number of required signatures for petition will be 10% of registered voters. Petitions with signatures must be returned within 90 days of certification.  Charter amendment referendums would occur at the August or November election.
  • The civil service commission will set the physical fitness qualifications for police officers. Currently, police officers must meet the same physical requirements for admission to the U.S. Army or Navy.
  • Mostly a housekeeping measure, clarifying terms and titles for the Board of Health and Department of Health.
  • Removes the department of public works from the charter and replaces it with NDOT (Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure) This is to conform with how most cities organize and make the charter silent on trash so that it can be handled by ordinances. 
  • Issues related to zoning and affordable housing continue to dominate council discussions. A bill that incentivizes affordable housing construction has passed on third reading. A subset of newly built mixed-income multifamily housing will receive tax reductions for 15 years to include housing for people at or below the poverty level.
  • Council Member Freddie O’Connell is interested in running for mayor.
Williamson County Update
By Committee Chair Bette Holmes
Traffic tickets? Stolen items from an unlocked car? Fender benders? Beyond these contacts with your local police, wouldn’t it be interesting to learn more about police work from the perspective of an experienced law enforcement officer?

Join us on Wednesday, June 15, to hear about Police Chief Richard Hickey’s three decades of experience and insights regarding local law enforcement. He was appointed as the city of Brentwood’s fourth Chief of Police in February of 2022. Since 1991 Chief Hickey has served as a field training officer, a crime scene technician, and an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office. Chief Hickey is a graduate of MTSU and the FBI National Academy.

To attend, please register for the in-person LWVWC program at the Library website calendar page for June 15th at 1:00 p.m. This program will be recorded on Facebook for future viewing. Click here to register.
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!
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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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