The Nashville Voter
 Volume 75, No 12-- December 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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January 6, 2023 at 12:00pm. January Hot Topic: News Literacy - A Lesson in Advancing Civic Engagement. Do you need to strengthen your critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet? Join WPLN's Chas Sisk and the League for the January 6  Hot Topic to learn more about this particularly important skill in the Digital Age, as everyone struggles to deal with information overload and the difficulty in determining the authenticity of
Metro Nashville Council Meetings:
President's Message
As we near the end of 2022, I want to thank each of you for your support of the League of Women Voters Nashville. We are a unique group that is volunteer driven, and thanks to you we accomplished a lot! We registered voters, educated voters through Vote 411, hosted community events, advocated in the state legislature, and served as poll-watchers.

Next year we have an important task ahead of us with the city-wide election. We know that voter turnout was low for the midterms, and we will need to work hard to reach out to our neighbors and community members to communicate how important this election is for the future of Nashville. In the next few months, be on the lookout for ways to help as we begin planning for the election.

I wish each of you peace and joy this holiday season! Happy New Year!

Lara Webb
By Susan Mattson
The League of Women Voters of Nashville (LWVN) again participated in the LWVUS on-line voter Information and candidates’ guide ( for all three elections in Nashville in 2022 including the Federal, State, and County Primaries and General Elections.  The LWVTN covered the Governor’s and Congressional races. is a comprehensive guide of voter information including election dates and voting requirements as well as responses from candidates in their own words to league-developed questions on their campaign priorities and their stance on public policy issues.
In 2022, the number of VOTE411 users in Nashville increased significantly from 2018, the last mid-term election year.  Over 41,000 Nashville users signed on to VOTE411, a 42 percent increase from the 29,000 users in 2018, An estimated nine percent of Nashville’s 450,815 registered voters (as of 2021-the latest number available from the Tennessee Secretary of State) used VOTE411 in 2023.  About half of the statewide users were in Nashville.
Nashville saw a slightly lower response rate – 61 percent - from Davidson County legislative candidates in the November 8, 2022 election. Most non-responding candidates were incumbent and unopposed candidates.
LWVN will continue to use and publicize as a means to educate and inform voters in 2023 for the important Metro Nashville elections. Help us spread the word about VOTE411,org to other voters and keep high participation from candidates!
Health Care/Public Health Committee
By Constance Caldwell and Claire Sullivan
Thank you to Constance Caldwell for helping pull together the December Hot Topic presentation Homeless in Nashville.  Creating a community where homes are affordable and safe is key to reducing the many health disparities that persist in middle Tennessee.  We sincerely thank our speakers from Open Table Nashville and the Village at Glencliff, and all the dedicated advocates on behalf of the homeless in Nashville for their work, and hope you will think of them in your year end giving.
Our committee is looking forward to advocating for the issues identified in the LWVNashville position paper on reproductive health in the coming year, and we invite you to join that work.  Please let our committee chairs know if you have interest in joining the Public Health Portfolio committee.  Just email and put LWV Public Health in the subject line.
Please remind friends and family that Open Enrollment in Affordable Health Care Plans for 2023 extends until January 15th.  Recent changes made through the Inflation Reduction Act and executive orders have made premiums much more affordable for more families in Tennessee.  Encourage folks to check the plans on and if they need help let them know they can contact the Tennessee Health Care Campaign at 844-644-5443 or Family and Children's Services at 866-475-7879 for enrollment assistance.  Both organizations also help with enrollment in TennCare too.
Also, please put a hold on January 10.  Advocates from across the state for voting rights, public education, environmental justice, health care for all, safer gun laws, and a livable minimum wage are planning to gather in Nashville to welcome our legislators as they begin their new session and remind them of the real needs of Tennessee families.  More information to come!
We wish you all a restful, rejuvenating and healthful holiday.
Hot Topics
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
January Hot Topic: News Literacy - A Lesson in Advancing Civic Engagement
Appreciation of the power of reliable information and the importance of a free flow of information in a democratic society is essential to a healthy civil society and informed electorate.
Do you need to strengthen your critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet? Join WPLN's Chas Sisk and the League for the January 6  Hot Topic to learn more about this particularly important skill in the Digital Age, as everyone struggles to deal with information overload and the difficulty in determining the authenticity of reports.
Being houseless in Nashville was the theme for December's Hot Topic.
Lindsey Krinks the Co-Founder and Interim Co-Director for Open Table Nashville gave a background on how houselessness became a chronic problem from the 1980's to the present. She focused on specific issues in the Nashville area, and how Open Table Nashville works to disrupt houselessness by addressing underlying economic, social, and community issues. She was joined by Julia Sutherland, the Executive Director for the Village at Glencliff. She gave a history of the Village at Glencliff and their 10 housing units developed to provide dignified medical respite and bridge housing for people experiencing houselessness. The recording can be found on the League of Women Voters website.
Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Kalen Russell
Recycling Advocates of Middle TN(RAM) is a research and education-based environmental organization.  RAM advocates the development of recycling techniques that foster industrial improvement, new jobs, prosperity, awareness, health, a cleaner environment, and a reduction in land filling.  They meet on the 4th Monday of most months. For further information call 615.227-3499 or email John van der Harst at
Metro Council Meeting
By Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Pat summarized 2 Metro council meetings (11/15 and 12/6).
An ordinance passed to permit a freestanding ER in Bellevue; those who spoke against it at public hearing did so because of its location, not the principle.
  • A resolution passed approving a grant between the Board of Health and a Mental Health Cooperative to provide outreach, assessment, and linkage to care for individuals identified by the Fire Department’s EMS as part of the High Impact Area Opioid Overdose Response Program.  Program will include 2 full time fire department employees.
  • There were resolutions approved relevant to affordable housing based on $50 million of ARPA money. One is a plan to update the Cayce projects, and there is money approved for construction of 500 apartments, rehabilitate some existing buildings, and to provide financial literacy training.
  • There was a resolution to approve a $4 million grant between Metro and the Salvation Army to provide temporary gap housing (motel space) for people in need.
  • An ordinance passed for a zoning change on Rosa Parks Blvd. to allow the Lutheran Church to build multi-family housing (for seniors and the disabled).
  • An ordinance passed approving a lease agreement between the Metro Board of Education and Conexión Américas to open an EL office and Pre-Kindergarten at Casa Azafran.
  • An ordinance passed authorizing the Director of Public Property Administration to accept a property donation in Hermitage for a new school. Traffic calming ordinances are back on the agenda and passed first and second readings. NDOT will decide who gets these projects.
  • A resolution to allow LPRs passed. Prior to that there was a public hearing including words in favor from the police chief, the DA, and a homicide detective. Interestingly, some areas already have this technology, namely, Belle Meade, Donelson, and Hermitage.  There are some LPRs in private parking lots and apartments.
  • The stadium issue was deferred for another meeting. The hotel occupancy privilege tax was enacted but will not go into effect until stadium issues are decided. 
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:  Teena Cohen, Craig Anne Heflinger, and Donna Lee Michel.
We are grateful to these members and all our members that support the League’s activities, programs, and underwriting.
Membership Count
Monthly our League Administrator, Tracy Depp reconciles our membership roster. The official league count for December is 240.  
With your help we will continue increasing membership, we need more advocates to defend and protect our system of democracy and its cornerstones.
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  
Williamson County Update
By Bette Holmes and Linda Sherman
The League of Women Voters of Williamson County is working to provide valuable information to the Brentwood community regarding candidates for the upcoming Brentwood City Commission Special Election. On January 12, 2023 Brentwood voters will elect a new Commissioner to fill the vacant Commission seat, previously held by Regina Smithson, who died earlier this year. Early voting begins Tuesday, December 27. Candidates for Brentwood Commissioner, Devin McClendon, and Allison Spears were invited to enter their information on the VOTE411 website and respond to a group of questions that may be of interest to many voters. The website is convenient, easy to use, and allows voters to prepare for this election by reading what the candidates have to say, in their own words. 
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!
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: La'Kisha Harris and 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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