The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 8-- August 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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Monday, August 21 – Wednesday, August 23rd. Moms Demand Action Special Session Action Plan. There are a number of ways to get involved for next week’s Special Session on Gun Violence. Click here to view the Special Session Action Plan

Thursday, August 24th at 6:20pm. Nashville Mayoral Debate: Freddie O'Connell and Alice Rolli. The last and final debate of our Nashville Mayor Debate Series. The event is free and open to the public, but you have to register for tickets. Click here to register.
Saturday, August 26th from 10:00am – 4:00pm. 2023 Annual Advocacy Conference: Paving the Road to Health Equity. The theme of the 2023 Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC ) Annual Advocacy Conference is Paving the Road to Health Equity.  For the first time, the THCC Annual Conference will be held in Knoxville. For those unable to attend in person, a virtual registration is also available. Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH, Director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University is the keynote speaker. He will talk about the Economic Benefits of Medicaid Expansion. Click here to register.
Friday, September 1st at 12:00pm via Zoom. September Hot Topic: Davidson County Probate Court: Who we are, what we do, and why it matters. Judge Andra Hedrick will give a background on probate, the court, and her vision for making the judicial process efficient, accessible and understandable. Click here to register.
Wednesday, September 20th at 1:00pm via Zoom at John P. Holt Brentwood Library. League of Women Voters Williamson County Meeting. Dr. Jeremy Qualls and Paula Chilton will discuss the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Center (EIC) and the College Career and Technical Education (CCTE) programs have been created for Williamson County Schools. Click here to register.
Metro Nashville Council Meetings
President's Message
With the special session and the Metro Runoff election, the next few weeks will be busy! The special session of the Tennessee Legislature called by Governor Lee begins August 21. We are encouraging anyone who wants to participate to follow the lead of Moms Demand Action. They have an extensive toolkit linked here and in the calendar. The toolkit has listed many different ways to participate. the LWVTN hosted a webinar with Moms Demand Action. Watch the recording here.

Early voting for the Metro Runoff election begins soon, and we will continue to use social media, billboards, and other promotions to reach voters. There is one more mayoral forum we are cosponsoring with the Tennessean on August 24 at Belmont University. See here for details and tickets.

Lastly, I want to thank you. We are int he mdist of our membership renewals, and we could not accomplish what we do without your support as members. I am honored to serve as president because our members are so dedicated to serving their community in so many ways.
Vote411 Online Guide Available for August 3 Metro Nashville Election to Share
By Susan Mattson
Promote for September 14 Metro Runoff and Special Election!
The LWVN on-line voting guide for the September 14th Metro Nashville Runoff Election and House District 51 Special Election is available at Check it out and promote VOTE411 to others to get voting information. You can request small cards that you can hand out to others from Tracy at
LWVN is again planning to purchase digital billboards around town encouraging Nashvillians to vote again to influence Nashville’s future. We are looking at radio ads too. The ads will run during early voting (August 25 through September 9) through election day September 14.
Voter Services
By Kathryn Anderson and Kalen Russell
The Voter Services Committee held registration events at Wedgewood-Houston and Richland Farmers Markets in July. These events generated only 2 registrations. We have decided not to hold any additional events at Farmer’s Markets this year. We may revisit this policy in the spring.
We have been asked to participate in an event at Genesco on August 22 in celebration of Women’s Equality Day. The League of Women Voters will have representatives from Davidson and Williamson Counties at this event. We will be able to register voters and provide voter registration and election information to those persons in attendance.
The Nashville Election Commission held its most recent meeting on August 10, 2023. The Administrator of Elections, Jeff Roberts, presented the August 3 election results and explained how provisional ballots were finally allocated (90 votes counted). The Commission certified the election results for the following elections: District 51 Special Primary Election; District 52 Special General Election; Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County General Election. They certified the candidates for the September 14 Special General Election.

September Hot Topic: Davidson County Probate Court: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why It Matters
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
On September 1st at noon, Judge Andra Hedrick will present “Davidson County Probate Court: Who we are, what we do and why it matters.” Many families do not know how probate works to attend to a deceased person’s estates, including the probating of wills. Judge Hedrick, elected to the Seventh Circuit Court in 2022 will give a background on probate, the court, and her vision for making the judicial process efficient, accessible and understandable.

Judge Hedrick was a full-time probate lawyer with more than twenty-three years of experience. She and her co-authors, Jack Robinson, Sr. and Jeffrey Mobley, literally wrote the book on Tennessee probate law. Their three-volume legal treatise, Pritchard on Wills and Administration of Estates, is widely recognized by lawyers and judges as the leading secondary legal authority in the area of probate law across the state.
Andra graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in 1995, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1998. While in law school, she served as a student law clerk to Judge Donn Southern of the Shelby County Probate Court. Upon graduation, she completed a two-year term as an attorney law clerk to Judge David R. Farmer of the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Jack McFadden
Have you ever wanted to try a new craft or hobby but found yourself discouraged after realizing you didn’t have the needed tools?

Nashville Public Library’s newest program offers an alternative: BORROW INSTEAD OF BUY! The Library of Things allows NPL library cardholders to borrow a range of useful household items including activities, games, fitness equipment, tools and electronics.  Want to try birdwatching, knitting, playing bongos and much more?  This program provides further enrichment to our Nashville community - give this borrow-vs.-buy a try!
Education Committee
By Dr. Patricia Brock and Harper-Grace Niedermeyer
Local Education and Nashville Schools Update
1.     Eighteen (18) new principal assignments were announced.  New principals present were introduced.
2.     New charter school proposals were introduced and discussed.  The charter school committee reviewed current proposals, the Board listened, asked questions concerning rationale, etc., and voted.  Each proposal was denied.  The charter schools do have the option to review their proposals and reapply.
3.     The current Director of Schools, Dr. Adrienne Battle is scheduled for a performance review by the Board.
TN Disability Responds to Governor and Legislature’s proposal to Increase Youth Incarceration in Response to the Tragedy at The Covenant School
“The national estimate shows that around 70% of youth embroiled in the juvenile justice system have a disability and/or mental health diagnosis. Research has also repeatedly shown that transferring youth to the adult criminal justice system makes them more, not less, likely to commit crimes in the future. In fact, almost 90% of youth in custody of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) on the juvenile justice side have had prior contact with DCS on the child welfare side, making juvenile court judges more familiar with, and thus better situated to assess, this population of youth. In recognition of this fact, both Democratic and Republican-run states have worked to decrease transfer to adult courts over the past 20 years, over which period the rates of youth crime in the United States have continued to drop. Using the special session to criminalize young people, rather than expand services, is deeply problematic, especially given that youth have been at the forefront of calling for meaningful solutions to school shootings.” Click here to read their full statement.
Health Care/Public Health 
By Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan
Several members of the Health Care Committee participated in focus groups relative to the Tennessee Health Care Plan. This was accomplished in person at a designated session held at the Lentz Health Department and virtually online. Individuals from across the state joined together to look at and make recommendations concerning nutrition in all age groups, better case management of persons with chronic conditions, sharing information concerning available health resources and looking at continued issues of health disparities.
The LWVNashville Public Health Committee devoted its early August meeting to discussing the Special Legislative Session on August 21 and preparing talking points for comments to submit to Governor Lee on a website created for this purpose:  State of Tennessee ( Gun violence results from a combination of person + opportunity + means.  We had hoped that the session would deal with limiting access to firearms, closing background check loopholes, and requiring permitting and safe storage to directly control the means, and were disappointed to learn that the Governor has limited debate on these issues. We felt, however, that we could support additional efforts to increase access to mental health services.  Even with our state's increased investments in the Mental Health Safety Net in the past few legislative sessions, 92 of Tennessee's 95 counties are considered mental health professional shortage areas, and in some of these counties the rate of uninsured adults 19-64 is as high as 20%. We felt that we should encourage the General Assembly to revisit Medicaid expansion as the most efficient and most effective way of increasing access to comprehensive health coverage and sustaining and broadening safety net services.  State investment would be matched 9-fold by federal funds under current Medicaid expansion terms offered to non-expansion states, and the state would also receive $900 million in additional federal incentives. 
Our committee also entered into dialogue with TennCare about the monitoring of results of TennCare recertification efforts which began in April.  While our state is doing better than many states in auto renewing eligible TennCare recipients through data matching, in the first two months of the recertification process (the only months for which data is currently available) 38% of those due for recertification were found to be ineligible to continue on TennCare.  Of those being dropped, more than 70% are being dropped for not receiving or not returning paperwork requested.  Those losing coverage include an estimated 18,000 children.  Some of these children may be eligible for coverage through Cover Kids or Marketplace or other sources.  We have asked TennCare to provide additional information about this. [TennCare Unwinding Report (April/May Renewals) (]

Metro Council
By Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Here’s a recap Metro Council 07/18/23 & 08/02/23. To view the Metro Council Calendar, click here.
  • For TN House District 51 primary, Behn won for the Democrats, and Hooven for the Republicans. Election is scheduled for 9/14/23.
  • For TN House District 52, Justin Jones won the election.
  • There was no winner for the mayor’s race and it goes to a runoff election on 9/14/23. O’Connell and Rolli are the candidates.
  • For Vice Mayor, Henderson won, upsetting the incumbent Shulman.
  • For Council At Large, only Suara won a seat.  8 candidates will runoff for the remaining 4 seats on 9/14/23 election. Candidates running are Allen, Syracuse, Porterfield, Segall, Cheng, Hill, Jones, and Pulley. You may vote for 4.
  • 3 council districts will have a runoff, Districts 4, 11, and 29.  Candidates for District 4 are Blalock and Cortese.  Candidates for District 11 are Eslick and Patton.  Candidates for District 29 are Ellis and Reed.
Voter Turnout
Voting turnout was low.  The district with the highest voter turnout was District 6 with 4,876 voters (30%) voting to elect Capp.  The district with the lowest voter turnout was District 30 with 636 voters (4%) voting to elect Sepulveda.
Early Voting
Early voting for the 9/14/23 election will be Friday 8/25/23 thru 9/9/23.  Early voting starts at 8am every day.  Early voting sites will be closed on Sundays and Labor Day.  Late early voting days are Tuesdays and Thursdays when the sites stay open until 7pm.  Early closing days are Wednesdays and Saturdays when they close at 4:30. Early voting sites stay open until 5:30 on Mondays and Fridays. You must be in line one minute before closing.
Election Day
On election day, you must go to your precinct location to vote.  On election day, the polls are open from 7am to 7pm.  See or use the app GoVoteTN to find your precinct voting location.  Use to find information submitted by candidates.  
What to Bring to Vote
You must present a government issued photo ID from Tennessee or Federal to vote.  A Tennessee driver’s license or your passport are the usual IDs presented.  School IDs and out of state driver’s licenses are not accepted.  The IDs can be expired UNLESS you are a first-time voter.
  • A Resolution passed authorizing the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency to negotiate and enter into an Agreement with respect to a multi-family housing project located at 910 Robinson Road known as Robinson Road Apartments to include 39 low income housing units.
  • A resolution passed authorizing a grant not exceeding $2,000,000 to Living Development Concepts, Inc. for the purpose of adding 116 affordable housing units located on Sawyer Brown Road.
  • Passed on 3rd reading was an ordinance creating a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission
  • A resolution passed approving the Tennessee Valley Authority, Nashville Electric Service, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to purchase renewable energy. 
  • Passed on 3rd reading was an ordinance to create a Sustainability Advisory Committee to increase sustainability and resilience and further community livability and economic competitiveness. 
  • Indefinitely deferred on third and final reading was a bill requiring that construction and demolition materials be diverted from landfills. This bill is canceled for this council and mayor.
  • Passed on third reading, were many bills to approve zoning changes for construction of about 3000 apartments
  • NASCAR Speedway renovation bills were withdrawn. These are canceled for this council and mayor.
Williamson County Update
By Bette Holmes and Linda Sherman
Williamson County Schools is easily recognized by its initials, WCS. However, the abbreviations EIC and CCTE used in conjunction with WCS, probably are not recognized by many Williamson County residents.
On Wednesday, September 20, at 1:00 p.m. via their Zoom program, LWV-WC will feature guests Director, Dr. Jeremy Qualls and Assistant Director, Paula Chilton, who will acquaint us with two WCS programs which are among some of the most unique in Tennessee. The Entrepreneurial and Innovation Center (EIC) and the College Career and Technical Education (CCTE) programs have been created by the combined educator experience, creative thinking, and enthusiasm of Jeremy Qualls and Paula Chilton.

Please join us at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library or on Zoom on September 20th to learn about these innovative student options for WCS students. Click here to register.
By Reba Holmes
Our League Administrator, Tracy Depp, reviews our membership roster every month. As of August, 156 members have renewed.
We hope to keep growing our membership and encourage more people to become advocates for democracy and its essential cornerstones. By becoming a member, you can participate in various activities, such as promoting democracy, educating others in the community, engaging in political discussions and forums, and registering new voters. 
We Are Looking for Volunteers 
We are excited to announce the formation of a Membership Committee. This committee will assist with the annual membership campaign and work on other critical membership-related initiatives. We would like to invite you to join the committee and take on tasks such as aiding with membership communication and recruitment.
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. 
If you are interested in serving on the committee please send an email expressing your interest to

Member Comments
We want to hear from you.  Please share your comments regarding why you joined the League of Women Voters.  Email your comments to
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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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 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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