Our community showed up for PRIDE earlier this month, and we have another opportunity to come together and celebrate ALL of our citizens on June 17. In Franklin, there will be a wonderful Juneteenth Festival in downtown with vendors, information, performances, booths, and friends.
In fact the County Commission, in addition to approving the retention of our safe and effective electronic voting machines, voted on "Resolution No. 6-23-35, Resolution Revising the Williamson County Personnel Policies to Include the
Juneteenth Federal and State Holiday as a Williamson County Government Holiday – by Commissioner Morton" successfully.
Like school board meetings, County Commission meetings and Election Commission meetings, among others, provide opportunities for members of the community to come before their elected officials and voice their concerns, their praise, and their opinions about county business. It's a nonpartisan way anyone can become more involved in local politics and truth sharing.
(Emphasis on truth, of course, and not conspiracy theories.)
Involvement is key to progress!
Hosted by the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, the third annual Juneteenth celebration of freedom is in downtown Franklin from 10 am until 5 PM. Don't miss it! Music, booths, information, children's area, petting zoo, food trucks, and more.
Here is the website for more info: https://fjecwilco.org/
A few links of interest of items relevant to Williamson County citizens!
One, Justin Pearson won his primary in the special election after the TN House expelled him, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson and put Tennessee on the map...again...as having some problematic behaviors in its legislature regarding racism. Justin Jones also won his primary. Here is an article about both of them as they move on to an August 3 election.
Two, helpful organization ThinkTennessee published a summary of 2023 Legislative actions in TN that happened this year, not including the special session that may or may not happen regarding gun violence. They break down what our elected officials did in an accurate, easy to read format. Settle in and get your brain involved!
Three, Andy Spears of The Education Report described some of the push toward charter schools so prevalent on the conservative side of the political spectrum, in particular the morass of TN Ready, 3rd Grade Retention, and so on.
Four, Robert Reich's Substack tackles "the deserving poor" - considering we live in a state that claims it is strong but instead falls in the bottom percentile in many indicators of child poverty and other issues, understanding people's attitudes toward who deserves help and who does not might prepare you to talk to your elected officials about things like minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, and so on.
Five, last but not least, wrap your head around the Supreme Court UPHOLDING the Voting Rights Act in Alabama, in a case where Alabama gerrymandered with the intention of shoving its Black citizens into a single, oddly formed district, creating disproportionately white and conservative representation in the process. Will this have bearing on the similar gerrymandering that was done in Nashville? Let's hope!
On behalf of the Outreach Committee, thank you to everyone who volunteered, registered voters and helped to make the 2023 Franklin PRIDE Festival a huge success. There were more than 7,000 in attendance and our team registered more than 50 new voters!
WCDP will host a booth at the Franklin Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 17, with a focus on registering voters and verifying registration. If you'd like to get involved, sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0D4FADAD23A4F94-franklin1.
Federal elections aren't the only elections involved community members need to track and participate in every year. Local elections -- like the upcoming election for City of Franklin Aldermen, Mayor, and so on -- have just as big an effect on our day to day lives as who is in the US Congress.
Are you a resident and interested in running for office in Franklin? Here's a document listing the qualifications for running for office in TN. You can pull a petition to run today and the qualifying deadline is July 20. Then the elections themselves are on October 24. While these elections are nonpartisan, Democrats are big believers in community participation and can help answer questions about technical matters, though we do not endorse candidates in nonpartisan elections.
Here is the Williamson County Election Calendar!
City of Franklin
Mayor, Four Alderman at Large, and Four Ward Alderman
Four Year Terms-(Alternating)
Elected in Odd Years-Fourth Tuesday in October
Qualifications for Elected Office:
*Candidates must meet the General Qualifications under T.C.A. § 8-18-101
*Candidates must be a resident of the State of Tennessee for one (1) year.
*Candidates must be a resident of the city at least six (6) months preceding the
date of the election.
*Candidates for Mayor must be at least twenty five (25) years of age.
*Candidates for Ward Alderman must be a resident of the ward at least sixty (60) days preceding the date of the election.
(Tonight!) June 16 @ 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM - Juneteenth Sneaker Gala at Liberty Hall in the Factory. Formal Attire! By Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition.
June 17 @ 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Juneteenth is another opportunity to honor and celebrate some fellow humans! Downtown Franklin. Not formal attire, unless you just want to dress up.
June 19 - Juneteenth Celebration with the African American Heritage Society, open to the public
June 22 @ 7 PM - WCDP Executive Committee Meeting, via Zoom. RSVP at the site.
June 24 @ 3-5 PM - District 3 (Spring Hill) Dems Get Together! Please contact the organizer for the location.
July 10 @ 12 CST - So You Want to Run For Office, a workshop presented by the NDTC.
July 15 - Save the Date! African American Heritage Society's Annual TE Murdich Scholarship Prom Night, Embassy Suites Cool Springs
July 18 @ 7 PM Zoom - PFLAG presents Reading Rainbow! Contact PFLAG to find out the Zoom link and more about the wonderful reading material: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde.
July 20 - Filing Deadline for candidates in the nonpartisan Franklin Municipal elections. Community service doesn't have to be political! Current Alderman at Large are Gabriel Hanson, Clyde Barnhill, Ann Peterson, and Brandy Blanton and the current Mayor is Ken Moore. FAQs can be found here.
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.
Yours in solidarity,