The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 12-- December 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! 
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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.
Wednesday, January 17 at 12:00PM on Zoom. League of Women Voters Williamson Program: Williamson County Election Commission with Guest Speaker Chad Gray. Voting is critically important for every citizen. Along with voter participation is the importance of understanding how elections are organized and run. Our January 17th LWV Wm. Co. program features the Williamson County Election Commission Administrator, Chad Gray. Along with those Commissioners who are able to attend, Mr. Gray will present an opportunity to learn about the work involved in providing maximum voting access and secure and accurate balloting in Williamson County elections. Join us on Zoom to listen more. Click here to register.

Metro Nashville Council Meetings
President's Message
As we near the end of 2023, I want to thank each of you for all that you do to make our democracy work through the support of the League of Women Voters Nashville. Each of us are making a difference in the conversations we have with our friends and acquaintances, in our public support for voting rights, restoration of voting rights, educating ourselves regarding issues affecting education, environment, public health, and local issues in Davidson County.  

In January, we will renew our focus on voter education and outreach. Early voting for the March primary election will begin in February. It’s going to be a big year for elections with the Presidential election. Also, in January the League of Women Voters Tennessee will begin its work with the State Action Committee. The General Assembly will begin meeting in early January, and the League will be monitoring bills that are of concern.

Wishing you all the best in the new year!
~Lara Webb 
January Hot Topic: Advocacy
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
Doug Adair from the Diaper Connection presented at the December Hot Topics meeting. Diapers cannot be purchased using food stamps or other governmental programs. The Diaper Connection has been providing cover for Middle Tennessee "butts" for ten years. Adair provided information about possible expansion of TennCare benefits to cover diapers. The League will follow this possibility through the upcoming Legislative Session.
January's Hot Topics will be canceled as January 5th is State Advocacy Planning Day. We encourage members to consider joining Courtney Atnip, our lobbyist, on January 25, Thursday — 6:00 p.m.  She will present Advocacy 101, a general overview of advocacy strategies. This is a good introductory place for lobbying/advocacy efforts.
Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Jack McFadden
The holidays can be a wasteful time. Americans generate 23% more waste in December than any other month. Here are some helpful hints on having an environmental-friendly and sustainable holiday:
  • Make a donation to a charity in a loved one’s name.
  • Opt for 2nd hand clothing at thrift stores.
  • Wrap presents in cloth, newsprint (colorful comics are great), old calendars or maps, baskets, tins, or cloth gift bags
  • Decorate gifts with natural fabric bow and ribbons.
  • Get crafty and make your own gifts.
  • Give ‘experience’ gifts like lessons, spa days, gift certificates
  • Give books, puzzles, old fashioned photo albums, or magazine prescription
  • Buy wooden toys or musical instruments.
  • Be sure to recycle your Christmas tree!
Health Care/Public Health 
By Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan
So Where Are We As the Year Ends?
Most of the health care issues which have consumed our attention this year are on hold until our legislators return in January. The Health Care/ Public Health Committee is watching the following items:
  • The Nashville Community Health Improvement Plan that was presented to the Board of Health at its November meeting. The link to that document is 2023-2025 Nashville Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).  Chapter members are asked to review the document and send any comments you may have to Clare Sullivan at
  • Metro General Hospital terminates its contract with Meharry Medical College in 2027. The Committee will be monitoring this event as to whether another hospital will be built or if the current one will be renovated. This should be of significant concern to our community. Efforts will continue to,be made to attend the Hospital Board Meeting.
  • It is anticipated that bills of some degree will be proposed relative to abortion rights, contraceptive rights, clarification of access to contraceptive and fertility treatments, a requirement that gun owners lock their cars if they have a gun stowed in the vehicle and a requirement that all 18 year olds get a special ID that would need to be uploaded to prove their age for access to any sexual content on the internet.
  • There appears to be a little more interest in the extension of Medicaid by Republican leaders given that tax revenue is projected to be lower.
  • Chapter members are reminded to be mindful of their self-care actions. Vaccines for Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV are readily available.

    New members are always welcome. Please contact Constance Caldwell ( or Clare Sullivan ( if you would like more information about joining the committee.
Education Committee
By Patricia Brock and Harper-Grace Niedermeyer
We're attending webinars focused on increasing the number of young adult voter registration and getting them to the polls to cast their ballots. The webinars are brainstorming ways to use existing high school Civics/Government classes to grow interest in the importance of voting in the democratic voting process.
If you have any ideas to share or would like to join the Education Committee, please reach out to us at
Voter Services Committee
By Kathryn Anderson and Kalen Russell
The Voter Services committee did not have any voter registration events at any high schools or community colleges this month. The presentations to government classes at Cane Ridge High School were postponed until the spring. In January and February 2024, we will try to connect with our contacts at all high schools and colleges on our list. If you are interested in volunteering to help register high school students, please reach out to Kathryn at
Also, we submitted a grant proposal under the League of Women Voters’ “Youth Voter Registration Project.” The grant would provide a small amount of money to be used to facilitate our activities in high schools. 
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 Communications Committee, contact Ophelia (
Metro Council
By Pat McCauley and Karen Hernan
Here's a recap of what's happening with the Metro Council from 11/21/23 and 12/5/23.

Early voting for 3/5/24 election starts on Wednesday 2/14/24 thru Tuesday 2/27/24.

Resolution 113 passed.  This resolution approves a $3M grant contract to expand the Nashville Partners in Care program to 2 additional precincts.  This grant is between the Metropolitan Board of Health and the Mental Health Cooperative (“MHC”) related to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department’s (“MNPD”) co-response model, Nashville Partners in Care. These funds are to be used to provide expertise and staff in emergency behavioral health care to support the continuation of Nashville Partners in Care. 

Bill 70 passed on third reading.  This authorizes use of License Plate Readers by MNPD under limited conditions.  A vendor can be approved after a public hearing and metro council approval. Some LPRs and signage have remained after the end of pilot program. These will be removed when a vendor is approved.

Bill 113 failed on second reading.  This was a bill to buy newly designed tasers and increase the contract by $18M.  3 years are left on the current 5 year contract with 2 year old tasers.  Vote was 14 yeses, 24 nos, 1 abstaining.

Bill 111 passed on 2nd and 3rd readings.  This ordinance authorizes the Directors of Water and Sewerage Services and Public Property Administration to acquire through negotiations, condemnation, or fee simple purchase, a parcel of real property known as 1818 Cement Plant Road. This property will be used for expansion of Metro Water Services’ Biosolids operations. According to the appraisal attached to the ordinance, the current market value of this property is $16M.  Biosolids are solid organic matter recovered from a sewage treatment process and used as fertilizer.  

Resolution 124 passed.  A resolution urging the Mayor to pursue all options to ensure the preservation of the Morris Memorial Building, including using the building to house a museum dedicated to African American and Civil Rights history.  Someone has purchased the building with plans to develop a hotel.
Previous council had decided against purchasing this building as it is old and needs a great deal of renovation, and that metro had already purchased the School for Blind building which remains vacant and Hickory Hollow Mall which is slowly getting tenants.  The buildings are supposed to have great plans, but they are difficult to make happen.  Metro is renting office space, while owning several unused, undeveloped buildings.
By Reba Holmes
Member Count
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 December 2023, we are 192 strong.

Are you looking for a holiday gift?
What about a membership for the League of Women Voters? 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 website

Williamson County Update
By Bette Holmes and Linda Sherman
Voting is critically important for every citizen. Along with voter participation is the importance of understanding how elections are organized and run. Our January 17th LWV Wm. Co. program features the Williamson County Election Commission Administrator, Chad Gray. Along with those Commissioners who are able to attend, Mr. Gray will present an opportunity to learn about the work involved in providing maximum voting access and secure and accurate balloting in Williamson County elections.
Register at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library website calendar page. Commission guests will meet with us in person from 1 - 2 p.m. at John P. Holt Brentwood Library. They will provide the opportunity to hear about the task of running national, state, local, and special elections and time to ask questions. Administrator Gray served as deputy WCEC administrator from 2000 until 2015, at which time he was appointed Commission Administrator. Mr. Gray is a Williamson County native who graduated from Page High School and Western Kentucky University.
Please join us on 1/17/24 at 1 p.m. in the Library where we will learn how to expand participation in the election process beyond voting and learn about the extensive and excellent work done by our Williamson County Election Commission.
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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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

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