The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 11-- November 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.
Friday, December 1st at 12:00PM on Zoom. League of Women Voters Nashville Hot Topic: Nashville Diaper Connection (NashDiaper) with Guest Speaker Doug Adair. NashDiaper collects diapers and distributes them through community partners. By being intermediaries, NashDiaper limits duplication of services, reduces administration expenses and works collaboratively to solve a basic human need at the community level. If struggling families need diapers, they often have other needs as well, which are best addressed through our partner agencies and their full continuum of care. NashDiaper is a growing community of support.. Join us on Zoom to listen more. Click here to register. 

Metro Nashville Council Meetings
President's Message
The League of Women Voters Nashville has an amazing, dedicated board of directors. The board has always been an active board with members taking on a portfolio which they help organize the chapter’s efforts towards that focus. At recent meetings, board members shared their goals for the upcoming year. Two themes emerged from these goals. One theme was a renewed focus on local involvement. We want to continue to work in our Nashville community and work towards what we can do to reach out to and educate local voters. We also want to continue to work with other organizations in Nashville. Another theme that emerged was reaching out to younger voters. We already have strong partnerships with high schools in place to help young voters get registered, and we want to build on those relationships to get people to take the next step and show up to vote. You can read below how different board members are working toward their goals.   
December Hot Topic: Nashville Diaper Connection (NashDiaper)
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
After many years working in finance, Doug Adair realized in 2013 there were many places you could go for food, but only two organizations that could help with diapers - one was closed and the other put you on a waiting list for 50 diapers to last four 4 months. Doug also was alarmed to learn that there are no federal, state or local assistance programs for diapers.
At the start of Nashville Diaper Connection (NashDiaper), Doug used his garage space, where he could store 1,100 diapers at a time. Currently NashDiaper has a warehouse that can store over 1 million diapers. In 2013, the first year, NashDiaper distributed 19,000 diapers. To date, they have helped diaper more than 160,000 babies and given away over 10 MILLION diapers.
NashDiaper collects diapers and distributes them through community partners. By being intermediaries, NashDiaper limits duplication of services, reduces administration expenses and works collaboratively to solve a basic human need at the community level. If struggling families need diapers, they often have other needs as well, which are best addressed through our partner agencies and their full continuum of care. NashDiaper is a growing community of support.
The November Hot Topic, “Common Sense Gun Legislation” was a sobering session on the impact of state law on the everyday lives of Tennesseans.   Speaker Linda McFadyen-Ketchum, Co-Lead for Legislative Work for “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America/Tennessee” shared with attendees facts and data gathered by the grassroots movement fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Paige Pfleger, a WPLN reporter, also joined the session to share some of her research from a two-year project underway and sponsored by ProPublica on domestic violence and the Tennessee gun dispossession law.
What we learned at the November 3 session is this: America’s civilian gun ownership far exceeds every other country in the world; there are more guns in US than people. And now, for the first time ever, guns are the leading cause of death for children and young people in the US and in Tennessee. What we also learned is that Tennessee is known as a “Guns Everywhere” state due to the repeal of safety measures and enactment of pro-gun ownership and unrestricted use laws. Gun owners are allowed to store loaded guns in car trunks and to carry them at bars, public parks, playgrounds, school campuses and on buses. In Tennessee, only a single federal-level law on mandatory, official reporting of firearm sales remains in place. Guns that change hands in private sales, transfers, loans, gifts or thefts leave no records with the State. Additionally, permits have all but disappeared as of 2021 with the Department of Safety administering just two levels of gun permits: Enhanced and Concealed Carry. These permits are required for a Tennessee gun owner to carry their gun in other states.
Tennessee also does not require training to carry concealed or to carry guns openly in many public places, although concealed carry is prohibited in judicial and federal buildings (including post offices), public schools and property owned, operated or in use by a school, public recreational buildings and civic centers along with a limited number of additional spaces. A number of restrictions to gun ownership do however exist. These restrictions are based on things such as felony record, stalking or hate crime convictions, substance addiction, mental illness or capacity, and active Orders of Protection.
Because guns are so easily carried everywhere, they are also easily stolen. Nashville police received reports of 1,278 guns stolen in Davidson County this year alone. Nearly 8,000 guns have been reported stolen in Nashville since Jan. 1, 2019.
This proliferation of guns in homes and on the streets can be seen in the explosion of gun violence.  Between 2012 and 2021 there was a 52% increase in gun violence in Tennessee and we rank 12th in the nation for gun deaths. The statistics are especially bad for gun use in incidents of domestic violence.  71% of all TN intimate partner deaths are by gun. In 2020, 30 TN women were shot dead by an intimate partner; access to a gun makes it 5 times more likely that a woman will die at the hands of a domestic abuser.
To get guns out of the hands of abusers, Linda explained that Tennessee actually has a decent domestic violence gun dispossession law but it is poorly enforced. The law requires a judge who has issued an Order of Protection to inform the abuser to terminate physical possession of all guns by any legal means within 48 hours. The respondent may not possess guns as long as the Order of Protection is in effect.
The respondent must complete an Affidavit of Firearm Dispossession form and return it to the court. By signing and returning the affidavit, the abuser attests whether or not they possess guns and, if they do, what they did with their guns to comply with the Order.
The catch? The respondent may transfer possession of their guns to any third party who can legally possess firearms. The affidavit does not require that the court be notified of the identity of the third party. No other state in the US permits this non-disclosure of the third party. There are also no checks and balances for issuing and enforcement of the dispossession order. Data is not collected to gauge whether judges across the state are actually instructing respondents that they must give up their guns, nor does the state track respondents who fail to return the Affidavit of Firearm Dispossession form. Additionally, if the respondent does return the Affidavit and attests that they dispossessed their gun(s) to a third party, the court cannot verify this because the third party is not required to be named.
This unfortunate lack of oversight also results in the state not tracking the number of people who die in shootings with a gun that the shooter was not authorized to possess.
Perhaps even more importantly, on November 7, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the United States v. Rahimi, a challenge to the constitutionality of a federal ban on the possession of guns by individuals who are subject to orders of protection (restraining orders).  The case involves an appeal by Zackey Rahimi, who was committed five shootings between December 2020 and January 2021. When police identified Rahimi as a suspect and obtained a warrant to search his home, they found a rifle and pistol. Rahimi had been the subject of a protective order which specifically barred him from having a gun, and he was indicted on additional charges that he had violated federal law which bars anyone who is the subject of a domestic-violence restraining order from possessing a gun.
The Defendant argued that the law violates the 2nd Amendment. Both a federal district court and a panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit initially upheld the law, rejecting Rahimi’s challenge. But after the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, the panel issued a new opinion vacating Rahimi’s conviction and deeming the statute unconstitutional. The federal government, the panel stressed, could not point to a historical tradition of similar restrictions, as Bruen requires.
Lawyers for the US government will argue that the law is constitutional, even if there is no exact historical match for it from the 18th century. The law fits into a broad historical tradition of disarming dangerous people, like Rahimi, who are not law-abiding, responsible citizens. Stay tuned for that SCOTUS decision and updates from the ProPublica study.
To learn more about gun legislation and public safety, visit:
  • Consider adding the Domestic Violence Hotline to your contacts: 800-799-7233
  • You may also choose to join Moms Demand Action by texting the word Ready to 64433.
Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Jack McFadden
  • There are two planning efforts underway that are currently open for public input - one from the EPA and one from the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation.
  • The EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program (CPRG) will be providing grants to the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville areas.  (The Greater Nashville Regional Council will be overseeing the Nashville-area grant request.)  Project scope may address needs including: watershed, agriculture, transportation, carbon removal, waste management. Details can be found here:
  • The TN Volunteer Emission Reduction Strategy (TVERS) from the Dept. of Environment and Conservation is soliciting public input regarding strategies for reduction of emissions.  A background video and a survey can be found here:
Health Care/Public Health 
By Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan
This past month our committee adopted some goals and objectives for the coming year. Our members are following a variety of public health issues and networking with other community and statewide organizations striving for reproductive justice, gun violence prevention, improved access to health care and mental health services and the rising number of unvaccinated children. We will be familiarizing ourselves with the new Metro Nashville Community Health Improvement Plan for 2023-2025 [2023-2025 Nashville Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)], and following discussion of the future for Metro General Hospital which we expect to begin in earnest next year.
New members are always welcome. Please contact Constance Caldwell ( or Clare Sullivan ( ) if you would like more information about joining the committee.
Communications Committee
By Ophelia Doe
We're inviting high school students to participate in our Civic Engagement Survey and Focus Group. This is all about encouraging voter registration and active involvement in our democracy. But before we dive in, we want to hear directly from high school students to understand what motivates them to get involved. 
If you are interested in joining the Voter Services Committee, contact Ophelia (
Metro Council
By Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan
Metro Council Dates. 10/17/23 & 11/7/23
  • Controversial Resolution 16 passed with 23 yeses, 12 nos, and 2 abstentions. This is a resolution accepting state monies to pay salaries of existing School Resource Officers (SROs) in Public Schools. This was discussed by council members and the public. People who were against it were either against SROs in principle or against the agreement for SROs between MNPS and MNPD (between schools and police). The agreement is badly written and contains conflicting statements. The agreement is not a council function. So why turn down free money from state for salaries that will be paid regardless? The council accepted the money.
  • 3 resolutions passed to accept grant money for violent crime reduction. 2 grants were for about $700K each and went to MNPD (police department) for the zip code area 37207. One grant was for $2M and went to the Mayor’s Office and was from US Department of Justice.
  • Passed on 1 st and 2 nd readings – on consent – Bill regarding License Plate Readers (LPRs) related to the placement and removal of LPRs and related signage.
  • Deferred on third reading to 1/16/24 BL2023-2. An ordinance approving an agreement between the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, United Way of Greater Nashville, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by and through the Office of Emergency Management, to support disaster recovery efforts. A council committee is auditing the Community Foundation, and it was felt this bill should be deferred until the audit was complete. Vote was 35 yeses to defer. 5 nos.
  • Zulfat Suara was elected President Pro Tempora of Metro council. Pro tempore is a Latin term meaning for the time being. Suara will be first Muslim to fill in for the Council President or Vice Mayor for short periods of time.
  • RS-99 A Resolution passed recognizing November 20, 2023, as Transgender Day of Remembrance in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.
  • Olivia Hill spoke in favor of resolution. She stated that when the Democratic Women’s Group named her woman of the year, she received 380,000 hateful comments on her twitter account.
By Reba Holmes
Annual Membership Drive
Thank you to everyone who renewed their Membership. Your support is essential.
As a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights and
ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. Collectively we empower voters and defend
democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, at the local, state, and national levels.
Again, thank you for sponsoring the League’s activities, programs, and underwriting.
As of November 2023, we are 182 strong.
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. 
ATTENTION: Please show your support by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Let us know what you think and send us feedback!  
2023-2024 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
Education: Harper-Grace Niedermeyer and Patricia Brock
Environment: Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Jack McFadden
Health Care/Public Health:  Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan 
Membership: Reba Holmes 
Metro Government:  Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan
Voter Services: Kathryn Anderson and Kalen Russell
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

powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.