July 2023 Newsletter

Hello, Williamson County Friends,

We hope you are finding ways to stay cool in what scientists are surmising is the hottest July on record since records began to be kept. In Heather Cox Richardson's July 26 newsletter, she observed that "a team of international researchers confirmed that human-caused climate change is driving the life-threatening heat waves in the U.S. and Europe."

This is another reminder, as if we needed more reminders, that there is so much more to the current political divide than who is blocking what legislation and who is arguing with who on the floor of the House. Climate change is a stark truth, yet it's considered fake by almost an entire political party due to what can only be seen as some sort of mass oppositional disorder.

This heat, this reality, should impress upon us the seriousness of overcoming this divide to enact meaningful changes at local, state and federal levels. Changes that protect the country and the planet for children, and the children of our children, not to mention the coral reefs and apparently furious orcas just as unsuited to enduring these heated temperatures as we humans are.

We need to lower the temperature - of politics, and of the planet. Let's strive to come together to do just that!

Lift Your Voice! in Democratic celebration and renewal at the TNDP's annual Three Star Dinner, Saturday, August 26th! There is an exciting lineup of speakers and will honor the Tennessee Threeso come out for an inspiring evening of motivation.

WCDP will have a table at the event. If you are interested in seeing if there are seats left at the table instead of getting individual tickets, you may contact our Chair Deborah Sparks. As the dinner was described by an attendee to a previous dinner - "It is an elegant yet fun-filled evening in beautiful Nashville."

Andy Spears with the Education Report is a superb source of information about public schools in Tennessee with a focus on the current push by Governor Lee to privatize public schools. The reason, Spears surmises, is money--a lot of money would be taken from the public school system and poured into private and charter schools with much less accountability, as well as money donated to politicians by private and charter school proponents like Hillsdale College in hopes of those same politicians being favorable in their legislation toward privatization. 

Hillsdale is back with more proposals for charter schools in several counties that already turned it down, per the TN Lookout - not Williamson County, as of yet, though Williamson County's school board also rejected the Hillsdale proposal when it came before it.

Our Williamson County District Captains continue to organize casual meet and greets for Democrats to have coffee, get to know each other, and engage in a little light political dissection if desired. If you are interested in attending a meet and greet, please let us know so we can connect you with your district captain! Make sure to let us know your district/neighborhood in your email. 

The more we hear from folks interested in getting together, the more meet-ups we can have! 

While we pay close attention to local and county politics as the WCDP, we also keep an eye on state politics. Our parent organization, the TNDP, shared a summary of an article posted by Democracy Docket about the disenfranchisement of voters who lost the right to vote due to criminal charges.

Tennessee already has a difficult process to restore rights, and that process has been complicated. It is "more difficult than the procedures that existed before the legislature created certificates of restoration in 2006 and it puts Tennessee in the bottom of the barrel on rights restoration as one of the only states with a fully discretionary process, alongside Mississippi and Virginia… Tennessee now likely has the highest rate of disenfranchisement in the United States.”

Here is a link to the original article for additional details. 

And for more information about disenfranchisement of people who had felony convictions and how racial injustice causes disparities in who gets those convictions and who does not, here is a paper from The Sentencing Project. 

Considering the way the Tennessee Legislature and other conservative state governments around the country have been frantically disenfranchising various voters through gerrymandering and other methods, this is a topic of great interest to Tennesseans who believe in equality and fair civil rights. Our neighbors in Alabama, ordered by the Supreme Court to draw new state voting districts because their new ones disenfranchised Black voters, is currently defying the Supreme Court, so that is ongoing, as well as the lawsuit against the redistricting of Nashville.

Right Now, Whenever You See This: Access the "Cash for Clout" database and article series done by the Tennessee Lookout about the effects of money on TN politics

August 4: Somehow, incredibly, the first day of Williamson County Public Schools is upon us. 

August 10-13: Biennial convention for the National Women's Political Caucus. Omni Hotel, Richmond, VA. Elect more women! Find out how to register here

August 17 @ 12 PM via Zoom: NDTC presents a panel about climate change issues at the local level. Register here.

August 17 @ 6 PM: WCDW Meeting. Contact Chair Erin Crawford for specifics at [email protected] 

August 24 @ 7 PM via Zoom: WCDP Monthly EC meeting -- all are welcome! RSVP via the website.

August 24 @ 7 PM via Zoom also: The National Democratic party presents "Pop the Disinformation Bubble-Take Control and Counter the Lies"  

August 26 @ 6 PM: TNDP Three Star Fundraising Dinner. County parties can buy a table at a discount but individuals can also get tickets.

September 7 @ 7 PM via Zoom: TNDP presents "Civics for Change: Know the System to Change the System" in a virtual workshop

September 23 in Nashville, TN: Tennessee Federation of Democratic Women Annual Board Meeting. Details to come.