The Nashville Voter
 Volume 76, No 1-- January 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.
February 6, 2023 at 12:00pm on Zoom. February Hot Topic: Lindsey Kimery with Metro Nashville Public Schools. Lindsey will speak about school libraries, and recent state and local policy updates on what constitutes appropriate reading materials for public school children. Click here to register.
February 15, 2023 at 1:00pm at John P. Holt Library. Williamson County Medical Center: Learn more about Williamson County’s Williamson Medical Center in Franklin. We will hear about how WMC is anticipating expanding demands for services in the next decade, what partnerships have been established with WMC, how WMC utilizes telehealth, and what emergency services are available. Beginning on February 1, please register at the John P. Holt Library website.
Metro Nashville Council Meetings:
President's Message
Happy New Year!
This time of year is a busy time of year for the LWVN and LWVTN as we gear up for our state advocacy efforts with the legislature. You should have received an email inviting you to sign up for updates and participate in the state advocacy efforts. If you did not receive that email or can’t find it, please reach out to me at Click here to see the LWVTN Legislative Priorities for 2023.  
The LWVN has some great plans for the upcoming year, and we hope to see you at events and hear from you!
Lara Webb
Hot Topics
By Karen Wieckert and Melissa Hanson
The January Hot Topic, "News Literacy - A Lesson in Advancing Civic Engagement" featured WPLN (an NPR radio member station) Senior Editor and Interim News Director, Chas Sisk, who shared information and thoughts on the ways various forms of bias impact our daily lives by shaping the way news is portrayed. As League members know, appreciation of the power of reliable information and the importance of a free flow of information in a democracy is essential to a healthy civil society and informed electorate.

Sisk shared a quote from Canadian author, Roberson Davies, "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend," and set the stage for the hard work necessary for identifying and deciphering our own biases and that of the information we consume. Recognizing that there is truly no such thing as a neutral journalist we would do better to understand that all people have moral instincts and points of view that color their interpretation of the facts. Of course, not all who represent themselves as journalists actually are; therein lies the first necessity of literacy - identification of the reliability of the source and that source's motivation. If you were unable to attend the Hot Topic you can watch the recording by clicking here.

2023 Hot Topics will continue every first Friday of the month; be sure to mark your calendar now for noon to 1pm as a standing engagement and watch your email for the Zoom registration link. In February we'll be hearing about school libraries and recent state and local policy updates on what constitutes appropriate reading materials for public school children.

February 3rd Hot Topic: Lindsey Kimery is Coordinator of Library Services at Metro Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, Tennessee, and a past-president of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians. She serves in leadership roles for the American Association of School Librarians and Future Ready Libraries. She has served in TN public schools for over twenty years. She lives in Franklin, TN, with her sons.

Lindsey will be sharing recent legislation that impacted school libraries. The topics include:
State Coordinator of School Libraries
  • What didn't pass: HB 1944/ SB 1944 and the chilling effect
  • Age-Appropriate Materials Act and its expansion to include classroom libraries
  • State Textbook Commission
  • How this legislation connects to what is happening nationally
  • How to help and how to stay informed
There will be time for Q&A following the presentation. 
Health Care/Public Health Committee
By Constance Caldwell and Claire Sullivan
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Public Health portfolio committee has resumed meeting and monitoring the Nashville Board of Health meetings. The Health Department is making progress on developing a public interface or dashboard that would keep Nashville residents informed of progress and resources to improve key public health goals.
The committee is also preparing to work with the state LWV Advocacy Committee on efforts to ease the total abortion ban, decriminalize needed health care, and improve services for mothers, children and families.

Two local public health committee members-Patricia Post and Clare Sullivan—will serve as liaisons and advisors to the State Advocacy Committee on health issues.

If you are interested in joining the committee please contact us via email with the LWV public health committee in the subject line. Send to
Environment Committee
By Russanne Buchi-Fotre and Kalen Russell
The next Nashville Sustainability Advisory Committee Meeting is on January 25 at 3 p.m. via Zoom. This meeting is open to the public. Sustainability best practices in higher education and working group updates are on the agenda.

The Tennessee Clean Act is a piece of legislation that will be introduced this session. This Act proposes a more unified approach to remedying Tennessee’s litter problem and the effects litter has on our environment and local economy. Sign the petition and read the full bill here.

The Environmental Committee is planning to meet in early February. If you are interested in joining the committee or would like to share any ideas, please email Russanne or Kalen.
Education Committee
By Harper-Grace Niedermeyer
The Education Committee is monitoring key education issues this legislative session. In addition to book-banning, school vouchers, and issues relevant to 3rd grade reading levels.

Click below to learn what to watch for as the General Assembly convenes:
Tennessee legislative preview: Key education issues to watch as lawmakers return
Metro Council Meeting
By Pat McCauley and Jack McFadden
Here's an update from the past 2 Metro council meetings (12/20/22 and 1/3/23).
-Recycle pickup changes to every other week starting Jan. 30, 2023.  Go to and click on “Look up your new schedule”.  Scroll down and enter your address to find out when your new days are.

-Land has been rezoned through 3 readings to allow a free-standing ER in Bellevue at the corner of Hwy 70S and Harpeth Valley Road.

-A resolution passed which appropriates $5,100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”) funds for renovations to the McGruder Family Resource Center. The McGruder Center is a neighborhood resource center in the North Nashville Area run by Catholic Charities and other community partners. Funds will go towards renovation to make it ADA-compliant and to expand its capacity.

-A resolution passed appropriating $2,000,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee for repairs and infrastructure improvements to the Weaver Domestic Violence Center.  Weaver Domestic Violence Center was built in 2000 on a five-acre lot donated by the Metropolitan Government.

-A resolution passed which appropriates $2,090,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”) funds to the Metropolitan Action Commission (“MAC”) for repairs and safety improvements to Metro-owned childcare centers. MAC provides affordable childcare for Head Start children throughout the city.

-Passed on 2nd reading is a bill to change from 3 to 7 the number of unrelated persons that can live in a house together. There are also square foot requirements for the size of bedrooms.
Related individuals have no limit to how many can live in one house. 3rd reading will be on Feb 1. Additionally, this ordinance amends the portion of the “Family” definition related to group homes for persons with disabilities to update terminology to modern standards and to align with state law more closely. This has been approved by the Planning Commission.

-Brookmeade encampment - This ordinance passed on 2nd and 3rd readings accepts an easement on property located at 7034 Charlotte Pike owned by Lowes Home Centers, LLC. The Metropolitan Government proposes to install and maintain an 8-foot chain link fence on this easement.  This ordinance has been approved by the Planning Commission.

-An ordinance passed on 2nd and 3rd reading which is the annual renewal of the property tax relief program for low-income elderly residents. This is a state law that the general funds of the state shall be paid to certain low-income taxpayers 65 years of age or older necessary to pay or reimburse such taxpayers for all or part of their local property taxes. Persons who qualify this program have an income that does not exceed a state-mandated cap of $31,600 annually.

-Resolutions passed approving intergovernmental agreements between Cookeville, Dickson County, Spring Hill, Williamson County and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, for the distribution of state grant funds to assist with investigations of internet crimes against children.

-A resolution passed approving an application for a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (“SMART”) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (“NDOT”). The application is for an award of $2,000,000 with no local cash match. The SMART grant will be used for video and other sensor data to identify safety issues outside of traditional crash reports, implement targeted safety measures, and evaluate these measures in downtown Nashville’s environment as part of Metro’s Vision Zero Implementation Plan. This project will benefit North Nashville by focusing on the Clarksville Pike and Buchanan Street arterial connections to improve transportation safety with an emphasis on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

-A resolution passed approving a grant application for Advanced Transportation Technologies and Innovation Mobility Deployment (“ATTIMD”) from the U.S. Department of Transportation. If awarded, the ATTIMD grant award would be $12,000,000 with a required local cash match of $3,400,000. This grant would be used to fund the development of a fully instrumented Advanced Transportation Management System with Transit Signal Priority technology along Gallatin Pike.

-An Ordinance passed on 1st and 2nd readings which adopts a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resilience (“C-PACER”) program. C-PACER programs assist owners of agricultural, commercial, industrial, and some multi-family residential properties to obtain low-cost and long-term financing for qualifying improvements to the property.

-A bill regarding Nashville’s tree canopy was deferred to a March 7 public hearing.  It’s a very long involved bill meant to preserve tree canopy.  I do not know if it refers to just public land or if it includes private land.

-A resolution passed approving a term sheet describing the terms and conditions of the agreements and transactions required to finance, construct, and operate a new, enclosed multi-purpose stadium on the East Bank, subject to the subsequent approval of final agreements, and authorizing the Metropolitan Government to pursue other matters related thereto. 

-10 amendments proposed. 6 were adopted. Failed amendments included moving money to DCS and adding a $3 ticket tax.

-One amendment that passed was about how a shortfall is funded.  Term sheet says metro will cover a shortfall.  Amendment says that metro will get reimbursed for covering a shortfall.
All these amendments are a basis of negotiations.  Term sheet is ultimately non-binding.
Original contract with current Titan’s stadium has Nashville to pay for stadium maintenance.  Currently the stadium needs $800 million in maintenance.  New stadium releases Nashville from having to pay maintenance on old stadium.  But Nashville is to pay $800 million towards construction of new stadium. Passed with 27 yes, 8 no, 3 abstain.

-An ordinance passed on third reading increasing the hotel occupancy privilege tax in the amount of one percent and directing the proceeds be used for the construction of and future capital improvements to a new enclosed stadium, and debt service related thereto.  An amendment was added to rebate the tax on hotel rooms occupied by homeless.

-An ordinance passed on 2nd and 3rd readings, as substituted, changes the composition of 11 Metropolitan boards and commissions. In general, it reduces the number of members appointed by the mayor, and has that number appointed and voted on by the metro council.    The intent is to increase diversity on the boards and commissions.

-Bills submitted to state legislature, HB0048 by Lamberth, C. Sexton, Faison, and Garret, and
SB0087 by Watson, and Bowling caps at 20 the number of members that may be elected to the governing body of a metropolitan or municipal government.  It has been assigned to Local Government, General. Lamberth has said it is meant to increase representation.  However, the first sentence on the General Assembly’s own website describing the House of Representatives says, “The larger house, and arguably the more representative one, of Tennessee's bicameral legislature is called the House of Representatives."

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
Membership in 2023
Together in 2023, we will continue to advance our nonpartisan issues: health care reform, immigration reform, empowering voters, defending democracy, promoting an open governmental system, and protecting and expanding voting rights. As in the past, our activism has dramatically impacted public policy.

Action Alerts
Action Alerts are a critical tool for public advocacy. As these issues arise throughout 2023, be on the lookout for the request to contact your state legislator, US representatives, or senators, depending on the concern. This is not exclusive to the state and national level; on occasion, an appeal is sent to contact your local council person, e.g., Metropolitan Davidson County Council.

Membership New or Renewal
Need to renew or start a new membership? Membership allows you to share a year’s worth of experiences promoting democracy, educating others in the community, participating in political discourse, and 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
Understanding healthcare options and getting good information can be complicated. Please join us Wednesday, Feb 15, at 1:00 p.m. to learn more about Williamson County’s Williamson Medical Center in Franklin. We will hear about how WMC is anticipating expanding demands for services in the next decade, what partnerships have been established with WMC, how WMC utilizes telehealth, and what emergency services are available. Our guests will be Michael Wallace, Director of Emergency Services and Michele Simpson, WMC’s Public Relations and Communications Director. Beginning Feb. 1, please register on the John P. Holt Library website calendar page to learn about healthcare offered in our county.
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!
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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
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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