Tennessee Voices: Interview with Chris Sanders
Tennessee Equality Undertaking Govt Director Chris Sanders spoke with Tennessee Opinion Editor David Plazas.
Cease hurting us.
It is that easy. It’s the least of what we want from our state legislators, and but indicators level to an upcoming legislative agenda designed to hurt massive numbers of Tennesseans, particularly our most susceptible.
In response, a various group of activists and anxious residents from throughout the state are engaged on another “Individuals’s Agenda” that addresses the actual wants of the actual individuals who reside on this state. Not political donors, not nationwide students, not the wealthy who’re already insulated from hardship, however atypical, worldly individuals making an attempt to make a dwelling right here. We’re kicking off the motion in Nashville on Tuesday, January tenth at 9:30 a.m. with a rally on the steps of the state Capitol.
Though the Individuals’s Agenda will handle a myriad of points together with transgender rights, voting rights, environmental justice, homosexual rights, girls’s rights, public schooling, inexpensive well being care, and public security, it’s primarily based on the core themes of freedom, equality, and justice.
It’s unimaginable to be free until you’ll be able to management what occurs to your individual physique. No authorities entity ought to have the facility to inform you what number of kids you must have and when to have them, any greater than it might inform you how a lot you weigh, how you can reduce your hair, how you can stroll, who you’ll be able to love, what gender, what books you’ll be able to learn, and what are you able to speak about No matter private emotions about abortion, most Tennesseans need the federal government out of their most non-public selections. Likewise, individuals can’t be free if their entry to well being care is dependent upon their financial institution stability.
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You understand what you name a system the place the federal government enforces one algorithm for one group of residents and totally different guidelines for others? I name it apartheid. Sufficient of laws that discriminates towards LGBTQ+ residents, girls, individuals of coloration and poor individuals. Sufficient to make it more durable, not simpler, for Tennesseans to vote. It’s gone time for all residents to have entry to high-speed web, totally funded public colleges, common preschool and equal pay for equal work.
Tennesseans need and deserve frequent sense gun legal guidelines and accountable and accountable police. We wish and deserve clear air and water and the chance to take part within the inevitable transition to sustainable vitality. It’s unsustainable to disclaim our residents a dwelling wage and inexpensive housing.
Our agenda doesn’t ask for particular remedy. We demand dignity for all our residents. Is the concept all Tennesseans ought to have equal alternative and standing below the legislation new? That we should not undergo discriminatory remedy from the individuals we elected to characterize us?
Our present legislators will little doubt fake to be elected by the individuals, permitting them to function as if they’ve a mandate, however they haven’t any mandate. In our final election, solely 38.57% of eligible voters voted, leaving 61.43%, plus those that aren’t registered to vote and aren’t represented by these individuals. Why do not individuals vote? Partly as a result of it is more durable to vote right here than it needs to be, which is only one purpose why there is a sure degree of desperation amongst a inhabitants used to not being heard. It is Tennessee; Why hassle?
However we did not surrender on Tennessee. We imagine this state is usually a place the place extra individuals can thrive, however it would take work to get there. Be a part of our statewide motion at a rally on January tenth to let our representatives hear the voices of Tennesseans who’re uninterested in being harm. There you’ll be able to study extra about how we will educate, inspire and elevate a program that works for all of us.
Catherine Landis Henschen of Knoxville is a member of the Individuals’s Agenda committee.