The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 9-- September 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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October 18th at 1:00pm. League of Women Voters Williamson County. Guest Speaker: Kaitlin Moffitt from the Clinch River Nuclear Project at Tennessee Valley Authority will be speaking to the group. Click here to register.

Metro Nashville Council Meetings
President's Message
The Nashville city election is over, and we have a new mayor and many new people serving on the city council. I want to acknowledge that this council is made up of a majority of women! Way to go! I also want to acknowledge our collective efforts to help get out the vote. The League of Women Voters Nashville promoted Vote 411 with billboards and radio ads. The voter services committee was busy registering voters and answering questions from voters at events. Each of us also plays an important role in getting out the vote. Whether you are a poll worker, offering rides to the polls, or talking to your friends and family about the election, what you do matters!

Now that the city election is over, we will begin to plan for the 2024 elections and continue our community outreach work. The board members are setting goals to identify priorities for the next year. Email me at if you have thoughts or ideas about what we should focus on over the next year.
Voter Services
By Kathryn Anderson and Kalen Russell
The Voter Services Committee participated in an event at Genesco on August 22 in celebration of Women’s Equality Day. Cynthia Mercante from the Williamson County League of Women Voters worked at the event wit representatives from the Davison County League, Kathy Anderson and Anne Smith. We distribute information on the upcoming elections and how to register to vote in our counties. We registered a few women at the event and provided information to others. Cynthia and Kathy made presentations about the League’s history and purpose and emphasized how important and impactful voting can be. We hope to participate in other activities with Genesco in the spring 2024.

We will participate in two events at Nashville State Community College. The first one is on Constitution Day, September 18. We will provide voter information and register voters. The second event is for their Fall Y’all Festival October 4-5. We are also working with Lead Academy to register young voters this fall.

If you are interested in joining the Voter Services Committee, contact Kathy (
Hot Topic: Judge Andra Hedrick and Davidson County Probate Court
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
September's Hot Topic was a presentation by Judge Andra Hedrick about Davidson County Probate Court. Judge Hedrick was elected in 2022 after many years of providing probate services to clients.

As Judge Hedrick discussed, probate court is an incredibly busy court. In a typical month,150-200 new cases are filed in the probate court. Each case requires at least one hearing to be conducted by Judge Hedrick or Special Master Lojek. Some cases are uncontested and involve only one hearing. Other cases are complex and/or contested and require multiple (sometimes lengthy) hearings and trials. The administration of an estate, conservatorship or guardianship is an ongoing process that can last many years. The process can involve a fiduciary bond and filing of an inventory, property management plan, periodic accountings and status reports.

Judge Hedrick provided an engaging and informative presentation of her court and the cases. There were numerous questions, and Judge Hedrick also provided an informational background packet on the court.

Stay tuned for next month's Hot Topic! Register for the October Hot Topic here.
Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Jack McFadden
Tennessee Women in Green provides forums and networking opportunities for women committed to environmental sustainability.  In August TWIG hosted Stacey Cothran of WM (formerly Waste Management) speaking about construction/demolition waste and initiatives to convert those materials into usable raw products.  They will be providing TWIG members an opportunity to join a tour of the new WM facility converting waste to usable products.  Visit the TWIG web page to check out all their upcoming events at:

The Greater Nashville Regional Council is an association of state and local government entities formed for the purpose of coordinating plans for state and federal investments in public services and infrastructure.  They have established an Environmental Roundtable charged with enhancing interagency coordination regarding environmental and conservation initiatives and enhancement of conservation efforts.  Recent and/or planned activities shared by member organizations include Brownfield Redevelopment Grants, Milkweed seed distribution, PFAS testing, Metro Nashville solar panels on buildings, water quality monitoring and watershed plans, disaster recovery training for communities, and Carbon Pollution Reduction grants.  For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit:

Nashville recently announced a pilot program to offer free curbside composting to 750 residents for an entire year.  The goal is to make composting available to everyone. So, first, the city is gauging interest. More than 1,400 people have already applied, but the city still wants your application, too, to understand how many people might actually participate. 

Learn more here:

Health Care/Public Health 
By Constance Caldwell and Clare Sullivan
The Public Health Committee continues to monitor and learn about public health issues impacting Davidson County.  In addition to sharing our disappointment and anger at the failure of the Special Session to yield any significant firearm safety legislation, we discussed the following issues:

An article in the Tennessean Newspaper gave us reason to pause as we thought about the possible consequences. It reported that the vaccination rates for kindergarten students  have been decreasing in the last three years. Thresholds for communities to remain at low risk for highly infectious disease breakouts is 95%. 69 of the 95 counties in Tennessee did not meet the threshold this school year. Davidson County had a threshold of 92.5%.  Surrounding counties like Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson are all below the threshold. Several elementary schools (actually named in surrounding counties) are in the 80 percentile. This should concern all of us as most infectious diseases have been eradicated in the United States with the introduction of vaccines.

Public Health officials surmise that some of the possible reasons may be 1) vaccine mistrust after the Pandemic; 2) an increase in religious exemptions and 3) misinformation and the politicization of the vaccine.

The CDC and FDA have both approved the new COVID-19 vaccine for distribution. It is supposed to cover the two new variants that have been identified. The good news is that the new variants are no more virulent than the ones we have already experienced. The new vaccine is currently available.

Health Professionals are alerting the public to the anticipated 'tripledemic' expected this Fall and Winter. This includes Influenza, COVID -19 and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)). Vaccines are available for all three viruses.

Overdoses from opioids and street drugs continue to rise in Nashville/Davidson County and in the state. As of this writing, Davidson County is currently recognized as Number two (2) in the United States.

Three women are suing the state of Tennessee over its abortion statute. The argument is that the state's abortion law is too restrictive and vague about when doctors can legally terminate a pregnancy with serious complications.

Metro Council
By Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Here’s a recap Metro Council 8/15/23. To view the Metro Council Calendar, click hereNew Council’s first meeting will be Oct. 3.

Mayor submitted a candidate for Hospital Authority to replace Dr. Mason for General Hospital board. His term expires in 3 weeks. But he was just voted to be chairman of the board. Several council people objected to Dr. Allen’s candidacy, not because he wasn’t qualified, but because the council felt, Dr. Mason, should be re-appointed, not replaced. Dr. Allen did not get enough votes to be seated. (Votes 18 yes, 18 no, 3 abstained) Needed 21 votes to pass.

A resolution approving a $19.5M grant agreement from The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the purpose of creating the Housing Catalyst Fund using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Acceptance of these ARPA funds were originally approved Dec. 2021. The Fund will make loans to affordable housing projects, which will be repaid over time, allowing for the Fund to revolve Metro’s capital to other affordable housing projects. This fund will also partner with the Community Foundation to provide a unique opportunity for the Fund to attract philanthropic funds, to further leverage Metro’s investments.

Resolution passed to allow License Plate Readers (24 yes, 14 no, 1 abstained). There was much discussion, 3 hours at committee meeting, and over an hour at council meeting. An attempt was made to defer it to next council, which failed (15 yes, 24 no, 0 abstained). Next council will still need to pass two more resolutions for procurement and appropriation. Items that kept coming up in discussions was the lack of cost to benefit data. No costs are listed. Some felt the LPRs were only placed in non-white areas during pilot. State has threatened to mandate Nashville get LPRs through legislation.

Proposed Rule Amendment passed. State law mandates a public hearing at all meetings. 10 people may speak for 2 minutes each at council meetings, and comments must be germane to legislative items appearing on agenda. Persons must sign up in advance. At committee meetings, 8 people may speak for 2 minutes each, and do not have to sign up before.

Williamson County Update
By Bette Holmes and Linda Sherman
On October 18th at 1 pm, the Williamson County LWV is looking forward to hearing from Kaitlin Moffitt, Strategic Consultant, Clinch River Nuclear Project at Tennessee Valley Authority. Please join us at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library or on Zoom. Click here to register.
By Reba Holmes
Our League Administrator, Tracy Depp, reviews our membership roster every month. As of September, we are 164 members strong!
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!
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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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