The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 2-- February 2023
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! 
Please note, you can increase your screen size within your personal information manager (i.e., Microsoft Outlook). In the Microsoft Outlook Message Bar at the top of the e-mail page, choose "Other Actions'' and then in the dropdown menu choose "Zoom." The Zoom window allows you to increase the file size; try 140% for easier onscreen reading.
Also, please note that if you want to share/forward this newsletter to others, you MUST click on the envelope icon at the upper right side of this emailed version.
March 3, 2023 at 12:00pm on Zoom. March Hot Topic: Dan Firth, Chair of the Sierra Club's Solid Waste Committee. Dr. Firth will provide a background on the Tennessee Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, SB0573/HB0550. Click here to register.
March 15, 2023 at 1:00pm at John P. Holt Library. The LWVWC March 15th program comes with the “luck of the Irish.” Ireland’s top debate team will be visiting several universities in the U.S. including MTSU, where they will face off with Dr. Pat Richey’s award-winning MTSU Blue Raider Debate Team. Registration is available on the Library website calendar page. We hope you’ll join us for this unique opportunity to witness live formal debate with international participants. (

Metro Nashville Council Meetings:
President's Message
On February 10, the League of Women Voters Nashville hosted several legislators from the Davidson County delegation including Sen. Charlane Oliver, Sen. Heidi Campbell, Rep. Caleb Hemmer, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. John Ray Clemmons. Each legislator shared their legislative priorities, and the group stayed afterwards to answer questions. One common theme that the legislators discussed was voting rights and making it easier to vote. Many of the legislators also have different bills that take steps to reducing health inequalities. Legislators also talked about different bills they are supporting to address the ongoing crisis with DCS. It was great to hear all the ways that this delegation is working for the people in Tennessee.

The legislators had some excellent suggestions for ways to get more involved with advocacy during this state legislature session. They encouraged people to show up at the state house. The LWVTN advocacy committee is in full swing with weekly meetings. These meetings are a great way to hear updates about bills that are moving through the legislature. Keep making those calls and sending emails, and reach out to your friends and neighbors and encourage them to get involved in the state legislature. 

We thank Sen. Charlane Oliver, Sen. Heidi Campbell, Rep. Caleb Hemmer, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. John Ray Clemmons for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend this event!

Lara Webb
Hot Topics
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
On March 3rd at noon, the League of Women Voters of Davidson will host Dan Firth, Chair of the Sierra Club's Solid Waste Committee.

Dr. Firth will provide a background on the Tennessee Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, SB0573/HB0550. The TWRRA aims to reduce trash tonnage going to landfills, fund and expand recycling, add jobs, increase business opportunities, and save taxpayer money. The presentation will give a background on extended producer responsibility policies, where they have been enacted, and how the TWRRA addresses the unique opportunities for and needs of Tennesseans.

Click here to register:

The February Hot Topic Library Services at Metro Nashville Public Schools featured Lindsey Kimery, Coordinator of Library Services at Metro Nashville Public Schools in Nashville. Kimery is a past-president of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians and has served in leadership roles for the American Association of School Librarians and Future Ready Libraries. She has served in TN public schools for over twenty years.

There were over 780 attempts to bar or restrict school library materials across the United States last year, with Tennessee in the top tier of states with challenges. Tennessee's Age Appropriate Materials Act contributed to the high number of removal requests.

The bill came about in response to alleged widespread concern among Tennessee parents that certain materials in school libraries are obscene or inappropriate for certain ages.  Passed in March 2022, the new law requires each school governed by a Local Education Agency (LEA) and public charter schools to maintain a list of materials in the library collection. Teachers are also required to catalog every book in their classroom library. The lists are required to be posted online.

An additional bill HB 1944/ SB 1944 (which did not move forward), sought to create a process for a parent or guardian to submit to a district’s superintendent a concern about a book they deem “obscene.” Upon receipt of the complaint, a district must remove the book from all library shelves for no less than 30 days. The school board then reviews the book, applying the Miller test, the primary legal test for determining whether expression constitutes obscenity.

If the book is deemed obscene or harmful to minors, it must be permanently removed. A librarian who disregards the directive can be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to a $50,000 fine. A subsequent offense is a Class E felony, which could mean prison time of one to six years in Tennessee, in addition to a fine of up to $3,000. While this bill was tabled for summer study, this censorship issue was again attached to the HB 2666/SB 2247 which among other things, gave the Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission the ability to categorically ban books across the state deemed “inappropriate” based on one successful appeal from one parent in one district. The bill also expanded the State Textbook Commission to 12 members.

LWV members can stay informed on this topic by visiting the Tennessee Association of School Librarians, Unite Against Book Bans, ALA Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Foundation.
Health Care/Public Health Committee
By Constance Caldwell and Claire Sullivan
As the New Year Starts

It would be great if our legislative concerns were all cleared and LWV Nashville was able to start with a new slate of concerns to work on. Unfortunately, that is not the case. 2023 finds us wrestling with issues that are causing us more headaches. Legislators are back in session. Abortion rights remain at the top of the list as well as the provision for quality health care and maintenance.

House Bills 0010 and 0101 deal with criminal abortions but do not include factors of mental health and those involving rape or incest.

Senate Bills 0128, 0177, 0187 and 0341 (HB0363) address the issues of Maternal Health/Child care that would definitely improve Tennessee’s poor record relative to Maternal and Infant Mortality as well as  Preventive Services.

Senate Bills 0005 and 0138, House Bill 0252 focus on our children, including home schooled ones. They deal with gender affirming medical treatment and protection of our youth from negative social media influence with parental involvement.

Most recently, the state has decided to NOT accept federal funding for the prevention, treatment and education relative to HIV. This is about eight (8) million dollars that could be used to support non-profit agencies as they work with this population of citizens.

The Health Care/Public Health Committee will be monitoring these legislative activities and will take a stand as appropriate to voice concerns or support.

Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Kalen Russell
Metro Council approved the adoption of the C-PACER Program (Commercially-Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency). This program will allow a financing approach that allows owners of commercial properties to seek long-term financing from private lenders for clean energy and resiliency improvements. (Note to watch HB0946.)

We will be participating in Food Waste Awareness Week from April 10 - 16. Take the pledge to reduce food waste here and be on the lookout for more information on how to reduce food waste via social media and next month's voter!

Education Committee
By Harper-Grace Niedermeyer
Speaker Sexton’s Proposal: Rejecting Federal Education Funding

Federal Education Funding
Speaker Sexton proposed that TN reject $1.8 billion of federal education funding (AP).

The federal government supports K-12 education through specific grant programs, and these include Title I grants under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Part B grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (Peterson Foundation)

Districts with many students from low-income backgrounds rely more on Title 1 dollars than wealthy districts.

Federal funding comes with requirements to report standardized test results by student subgroup, contribute to the Civil Rights Data Collection, and comply with procedural safeguards for students with disabilities.

TN’s Rainy-Day Fund
In one to two years of using state dollars to compensate for the loss of federal education funding, Tennessee would use up the entire Rainy-Day Fund.

TN Rainy Day Fund Stats and Projections: (
End of FY 2021-22: $1.55 billion
End of FY 2022-23: $1.8 billion
End of FY 2023-24: $2.05 billion

The Rainy-Day Fund has fluctuated significantly over the last ten years. (See Sycamore Institute for more details about the Rainy Day Fund.)

TN’s sizeable rainy-day fund is partially due to large amounts of COVID relief funding, which allowed TN to reserve other funds.

Metro Council Meeting
By Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Here's an update from the past 2 Metro council meetings (1/17/23 and 2/7/23).
Resolution adopted – appropriate $10 million of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to be allocated to neighborhood needs through a citywide participatory budgeting process.  Residents will submit ideas for projects that will be reviewed by a committee.  A 35-item ballot will be created.  Residents 14 years old and older and unhoused will vote and participate in process.

Bill passed on second reading – rezone of 4612 Nolensville Pike, just north of Haywood Lane, from commercial to residential to allow construction of 180 multi-family units of affordable housing on a major corridor with 2 bus stops

Resolution passed authorizing the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) to obtain low income tax credits for construction of a 238-unit multi-family housing project located at 301 Ben Allen Road known as Ben Allen Ridge.

Deferred to April resolution to give rebates for purchasing an electric bike at a participating bike shop which may include some income-qualifying rebates.

Pre-budget comment period starts at next council meeting 2/21 – speakers need to sign up to speak – purpose is to tell council if there are issues you wish to be included in the city’s budget.

Passed - A resolution stating the Metropolitan Council’s opposition to HB48, SB87, and other legislation that makes substantial changes to governance in Nashville-Davidson County without the assent of Davidson County voters. 5 council members did not vote for it as they felt it was “poking the bear.” This is bill to reduce metro council to 20 members.

HB48 has passed House Cities and Counties subcommittee on 2/1

HB48 has passed Local Government committee on 2/7

HB48 moves to Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on 2/13 at 9am, Monday

Senate has not put SB87 on schedule yet, but it will go to the Senate State and Local Government Committee which meets on 2/14 at 10:30 am, Tuesday

Strong possibility of litigation if bill passes. It extends by one-year council members term to Aug 2024.  Citizens of Nashville have voted for term limits twice.  State would be extending term and denying Citizens the right to have a say how they are governed, among other things.

Metro Council Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and are open to the public. Here’s where you can watch Metro Council Meetings:
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: Kathleen Carlson.

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

Membership New or Renewal
Need to renew or start a new membership? Membership allows you to share a year’s worth of experiences promoting democracy, educating others in the community, participating in political discourse, and 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 

Williamson County Update
By Bette Holmes and Linda Sherman
The LWVWC March 15th program comes with the “luck of the Irish.” Ireland’s top debate team will be visiting several universities in the U.S. including MTSU, where they will face off with Dr. Pat Richey’s award-winning MTSU Blue Raider Debate Team. Held at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library, this debate promises to be lively and entertaining. The topic has not yet been announced. Please join us at the Library on Wednesday, March 15 at 1:00 p.m. Registration is available on the Library website calendar page. We hope you’ll join us for this unique opportunity to witness live formal debate with international participants. (
In Memoriam
It is with profound sorrow to share that long-time League member Avi Poster passed away Thursday, January 26, 2023. A tireless advocate, Avi was dedicated to helping the marginalized, underserved, and underprivileged through his service on numerous boards throughout the community. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Joie Scott-Poster, his sister, Sarah Levin, sister-in-law, Susan Handelman, and a host of loving nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

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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2022-2023 LWVN Board of Directors
Co-Presidents: Lara Webb
Immediate Past President: Madeline Garr
1st Vice Presidents: Melissa Hanson and Karen Weickert
Secretary: Elise Lamar
Treasurer Susan Mattson

Portfolio Chairs
Communications: Ophelia Doe
Community Connections: Sabina Mohyuddin and Katelyn Benhoff
Education: Harper-Grace Niedermeyer
Environment: Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Kalen Russell
Health Care/Public Health:  Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan 
Membership: Reba Holmes 
Metro Government:  Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Voter Services: Beth Gordon 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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