CHATTANOOGA — What community needs should lawmakers be focused on? That’s the question a group of legislators, who will soon consider new political maps, want answered this Thursday.
Chattanooga residents can make their voices heard Thursday at noon EST during an online public meeting hosted by Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga), Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) and Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville).
The discussion will be focused on community districting and how the legislature could better serve the needs of Chattanooga.
Community districting — also called redistricting or reapportionment — happens every 10 years after…
MEMPHIS — Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) was named co-vice chair of a special Senate committee tasked with drawing new political boundaries in Tennessee.
Senate Speaker Randy McNally named both Sen. Akbari and minority leader Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) to the committee this week.
Community districting, also called reapportionment and redistricting, happens every 10 years after federal census officials release the population of counties, cities and towns nationwide.
The primary purpose of districting is to even the number of people in political districts, such as the U.S. House of Representatives and the Tennessee General Assemby.
Sen. Akbari says it’s also an…
KNOXVILLE — What should East Tennessee’s political maps look like for the next 10 years? That’s a question lawmakers want to answer this Thursday.
Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) and Rep. Sam McKenzie (D-Knoxville) are hosting an online community meeting Thursday at noon EST. Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) and Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) will also participate.
Lawmakers want input from Knox County residents about their neighborhoods and how the legislature could better serve the needs of their community. …
MEMPHIS — With a federal civil rights probe underway, Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) says Gov. Bill Lee should reverse his executive order making all public school mask rules optional.
The U.S. Dept. of Education reportedly launched a civil rights investigation against Gov. Bill Lee and four other governors who have undermined local masking rules at schools. Federal officials say executive action that in effect overturns local mask mandates amounts to discrimination against students with disabilities or health conditions.
“Gov. Bill Lee’s administration should immediately suspend its order negating local mask rules in schools until this federal investigation concludes,” says Sen…
MEMPHIS —Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) will be joining a highly selective fellowship program run by Fair Fight, the voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams.
For the past two years, Fair Fight focused on developing a cohort of elected officials in the state of Georgia. This year, the program is expanding Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
“People often write off the South as a place where elections and fights for progressive values are unwinnable — but we’re proving that the South is ground zero for the next wave of progressivism in this country. Through the Fair Fight National…
NASHVILLE — Tennessee communities should have a voice in mapping the state’s political future for the next decade, lawmakers said Tuesday in a letter to legislative leaders, and citizens should not have to wait until 2022 to see new proposed district lines.
The process of drawing new electoral boundaries for the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislative districts only happens once every 10 years after the U.S. Census releases local data.
While many states have laws that require political boundaries to be drawn with community input, Tennessee’s process is controlled entirely by the majority party in the legislature.
NASHVILLE — Employees at Tennessee’s Department of Children Services offered an alarming assessment of the agency in a recent workplace survey that brings into question whether the department is fulfilling its core mission to create safe and healthy environments for the vulnerable children in state custody — or following the law.
“It’s emotionally exhausting to work in such a toxic environment,” one employee at the central office wrote.
“The State of Tennessee has absolutely broken my passion for child welfare work due to its prioritization of data instead of child and family outcomes,” a worker in Northeast Tennessee wrote.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Sen. Brenda Gilmore and Rep. London Lamar are joining more than 100 state legislators from across the country in the nation’s capital to stand alongside 50 Texas state representatives who want action on protecting voter rights.
These state lawmakers are urging the U.S. Senate to do whatever it takes to immediately pass the For the People Act.
“In America, we value our freedom. And when it comes to setting the rules for our lives, we want the freedom to vote in a transparent process we trust so we can elect leaders who deliver for us from creating jobs…
NASHVILLE — Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) is calling on state auditors to complete an investigation into the no-bid contracts awarded by Gov. Bill Lee’s administration since the beginning of the pandemic and report those findings to the Fiscal Review Committee this summer.
“Tennesseans are right to question if they’re getting their money’s worth from the Lee administration. The pandemic has been unprecedented, but spending tax dollars responsibly should be the standard no matter what,” Sen. Campbell said. …
NASHVILLE — Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) issued a statement today applauding a vote to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from Tennessee’s Capitol Building.
Sen. Akbari’s full statement:
From the Fort Pillow massacre to roving lynch mobs, from Jim Crow to the assassination of MLK, Jr., it’s time for us, as one people, to heal the wounds of the past.
Much like this bust symbolizes the pain and suffering of slavery and terror, removing the likeness of Nathan Bedford Forrest from a place of honor in Tennessee’s Capitol is a symbol of much needed reconciliation.
No doubt we have…