The Equity Alliance Fund and its coalition partners hosted a weekend full of events planned ahead of the official start of the special session. Saturday and Sunday TEAF will be in Memphis connecting with our communities in East Tennessee to get out the word about the special session and the upcoming Memphis Municipal Election.
“They’re banking on us giving up. They’re betting on us backing down, but we won’t. We’re showing up with more manpower, more volunteers, and more energy. Freedom Summer showed the youth that there are opportunities for them to get involved. This movement is showing them that they don’t have to sit around and wait for bad stuff to happen,” Kayla Prowell, The Equity Alliance, Youth Organizing Director.
Kayla and our Youth Fellows, Devron Burks and Richard Massey, have been behind the scenes, on the phone, knocking doors, and recruiting volunteers for months in preparation for our Freedom Summer Tour. Their commitment to mobilizing their peers and amplifying the voice of Gen-Z is invaluable to our movement and the future of democracy.
SPECIAL SESSION highlights
The First Extraordinary Session of the 113th General Assembly has been extraordinarily disappointing. The special session, which began last Monday, has produced little legislation around gun safety. Grab your popcorn, a few sugar cubes, or whatever you need cause it went down at The Capitol:
- As Rep. Justin Jones was planning a vote of no confidence for House Speaker Cameron Sexton, the House of Representatives voted to silence Rep. Jones for “speaking out of order” (Here’s that “decorum” thing again). All House Democrats walked out of session to stand in solidarity with Rep. Jones.
- The Senate has passed a handful of bills, including SB 7085/HB 7012, which provides free firearm locks to Tennessee residents upon request, establishes a PSA campaign for secure storage, incorporates secure storage into firearm safety courses, and makes gun safes tax-free; and SB 7086/HB 7013 which shortens the timeframe in which Tennessee Bureau of Investigations must be notified of an individual’s final disposition by a court clerk.
- Governor Lee has stated his support of 12 bills for the special session; including SB 7027/HB7073 which would provide that juveniles, age 16 and up, be transferred to adult court to be tried for murder or attempted murder.
- House Republicans approved new rules that would ban flags, signs, and banners in the gallery. This rule was blocked when, A Davidson County judge issued a temporary restraining order against the Tennessee House of Representatives effectively blocking the ban of signs in the galleries. Judge Anne Martin held an emergency hearing to rule against new rules from the TN House of Representatives which would have banned flags, signs, and banners in the gallery.
FREEDOM SUMMER RECAP
We are building a movement and we are just getting started. Please make an investment in The Equity Alliance today. Your contributions allow us to increase our impact by registering more Black voters, pay our canvassers, support LiberTEA scholarships and more.
Our multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement needs your support to create a safer, more equitable, and more just Tennessee.
Make an investment today: theequityalliance.org/donate
August 31, 2023- The Tennessee Tribune- Tennessee Organizations Release Joint Statement Decrying the Political Antics and Lack of Reform from Supermajority
August 21, 2023- Tennessean- Tennessee special session: House recesses after adopting controversial disciplinary rules
August 21, 2023- News Channel 5- Peaceful protests lead the way as Tennessee special session begins
August 19, 2023- Tennessee Lookout- Tennessee community and gun safety groups organize special legislative session activities
August 11, 2023- Pride Publishing- The Equity Alliance invites you to march with them August 21
July 25, 2023- WKRN- Rallies planned ahead of public meeting on Nashville Speedway renovations