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Pledge to help 3 friends register to vote

The 2020 election will carry historic consequences. From our local school board all the way to the presidency, every election is a chance to change the course of our community. But you can’t vote unless you’re registered. It all starts with registering to vote.

Here in Tennessee, it’s quick and easy to register online. If you haven’t registered yourself, or need to check your voter registration, head over to this website:

–>> Click here to register to vote.

If you’re registered and ready to vote, talk with three friends and make sure they’re registered too! We know that when people are unsure of something like voting, advice from friends can make all the difference. Good friends help friends vote. 

Take the pledge below and join your neighbors in our community that are helping people register.

Make a difference. Be a voter. And help three friends to register to vote!

[contact-form-7 id=”2936″ title=”Pledge to Register”]

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The 2019 Community Survey

Thanks for being a part of our community here in Lincoln County!

We want to hear from you – will you take our 2019 Community Survey? Your feedback is important — having a strong community starts with all of us making our voices heard.

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Action

We need your help with the fair!

Thanks for everyone that’s signed up to work the Lincoln County Fair Booth so far. We were able to fill out about half of the slots so far.

If you haven’t signed up yet, we need your help. Here’s the remaining slots that we have open:

  • Friday September 13th – 4pm to 8pm
  • Saturday September 14th – 4pm to 8pm

For our fair project to be most effective, it’s crucial that we fill these remaining slots. If you can work any of those times, sign up using the form below. 

Feel free to pick as many times as you’d like to work the booth. Some people pick one – others pick several. It’s entirely up to you!

As our way of saying thanks, everyone who works a time slot will get a free t-shirt along with tickets to the fair itself. So please – if you’re able to help out, sign up for one of those remaining open spots!

[contact-form-7 id=”2901″ title=”Event Signup”]

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Train the Trainer

The Tennessee Democratic Party, together with the DNC and ASDC Best Practices Institute, are excited to announce the launch of our 2019 Train the Trainer Volume 2 (T3 v.2) Webinar Training Program!

T3 v.2 is a free three-week, six-part webinar course, covering several important aspects of grassroots campaigning. This program seeks to expand the skills of progressive activists and volunteers, by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country.

The T3 v.2 program will build upon the skills taught in our Spring T3 series, however, you are not required to have completed the Spring T3 program in order to participate in our Fall T3 v.2 program. Register for T3 v.2 today, and help us take our country back in 2020!

Click Here to Register

T3 v.2 trainings are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm Central Time, from September 24, through October 10. The deadline to register is Sunday, September 22 at 10:59pm Central Time.

Participants must complete all twelve sessions in order to receive certification. All training sessions will include a skills test to track retention and participation. Trainings will be recorded and made available following each session via a weekly wrap-up email, delivered on Fridays.

Make sure to sign up here!

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Action

Stand for Rural Healthcare Tour

Lack of affordable health coverage and emergency medical services is undoubtedly the greatest threat to the rural Tennessee way of life. Join us on the TNDP Stand For Rural Healthcare Tour as we hear from and amplify the stories of families who fall in the coverage gap and have been affected by hospital closures.

Dates and locations for the Stand For Rural Healthcare Tour are as follows:

Middle Tennessee
Coffee County: Saturday, August 3
Clay County: Monday, August 5
Fentress County: Tuesday, August 6

East Tennessee
Knox County: Thursday, August 8
Polk County: Friday, August 9
McMinn, Saturday, August 10
Marion, Monday, August 12
Hamblen County: Tuesday, August 13

West Tennessee
Gibson County: Thursday, August 15
Lauderdale County: Friday, August 16
Haywood County: Saturday, August 17
Fayette County: Sunday, August 18
McNairy County: Monday, August 19
Carroll County: Tuesday, August 20

Find details and more information on these events at the TNDP.org website here.

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Action

The Rural Health Care Crisis

Hospital closures. The opioid epidemic. Medical debt crushing friends and neighbors in our communities. Hundreds of thousands of Tennessee families without access to health coverage.

Despite 63% of Tennesseans support for expanding Medicaid, our representatives won’t act. Rural communities like Lincoln County are in trouble all because our state representatives won’t bring Medicaid expansion up for a vote.

Tennesseans are losing out on $3.8 million every day because our state legislators won’t expand Medicaid. That’s $3.8 million every day in federal funding going to other states when it could be directed to our hospitals and our communities. It’s money that could provide our neighbors with health coverage while bringing down our own insurance rates at the same time.

Call and email our state legislators. You can find their contact info here.Urge them to bring up a vote on expanding Medicaid.

While you’re at it, write a letter to our local newspaper – the Elk Valley Times. You can find the Letter to the Editor contact info here. Our legislators pay attention to what’s being published in local newspapers.

It’s the right thing to do to ensure our rural communities survive.

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Action

ESA School Voucher Bill Updates

Update (May 1st): The conference committee version passes the House 51-46. Despite scare local support and two local boards of education voicing opposition to the bill, both of our representatives – Marsh and Tillis – voted in favor of the ESA voucher legislation.

In the Senate, the bill passes 19-14 with Senator Reeves voting yes. From here, it goes to Governor Lee’s desk to be signed. After that, it’ll most likely be challenged in the courts for parts considered unconstitutional.


Original: After being deadlocked 49-49 on the ESA school voucher bill, our state House passed the voucher bill 50-48 thanks to Representative Jason Zachary, of Knoxville, flipping his original no vote to a yes vote. The Senate version of the bill passed 20-13.

For our own legislators, Senator Reeves along with Representatives Marsh and Tillis voted in favor of the voucher bill.

What’s Next

The voucher bill heads to conference committee next. Then it’ll be back before the House and the Senate for a final vote.

Here’s the issues legislators will focus on in the conference.

That means you should keep calling and emailing our reps!

Sen. Shane Reeves
Email: sen.shane.reeves@capitol.tn.gov
Phone: 615-741-1066

Rep. Pat Marsh
Email: rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov
Phone: (615) 741-6824

Rep. Rick Tillis
Email: rep.rick.tillis@capitol.tn.gov
Phone: (615) 741-4170

If you’ve never talked with your state legislators before, it can be difficult to know exactly what to say. Here’s a few of the common talking points I’ve seen from representatives that voted yes on the House version of the bill.

This legislation creates a pilot program for some of the worst schools and the poorest families that would affect only 2 to 4 counties in the state. These counties have 99% of the failing schools in our state.

Representatives from those 2-4 counties have overwhelmingly voiced opposition to vouchers. Most notably, Knoxville Rep. Jason Zachary only voted yes after he received promises of Knoxville being exempt from the ESA program.

For the representatives of the remaining Tennessee counties to force those 2-4 into voucher programs doesn’t seem like a conservative approach. Local school boards and governments know best what their students need. We’d be infuriated if a representative from Shelby county came into Lincoln County and tried to dictate how to operate our local schools. That’s in essence what we’re doing to those 2-4 counties.

78% of Tennesseans polled are in favor of some sort of ESAs.

This poll comes from American Federation for Children, a pro-voucher organization. A 2018 poll by the same group shows that Tennesseans were opposed to vouchers. A 2017 poll from the same group also shows a lack of majority support for vouchers.

The frustrating part of this AFC 2019 poll is the incredibly small sample size. It was conducted by telephone in a five day period from January 31 to February 4 by Mason-Dixon polling. Only 625 people participated. Our state population is north of 6 million so 625 participants is almost meaningless.

One last point on that poll – the Tennessee State Director of American Federation for Children, Shaka Mitchell, is a former regional director for Rocketship charter schools. We’re getting flawed ESA legislation trying to match up with a single seriously flawed poll. 

Many people from Lincoln County are pushing for us to at least give it a try.

Lincoln County is overwhelmingly against this ESA legislation. It’s received opposition from both Republicans and Democrats. It’s been opposed by both our county board of education as well as the city board of education. Both our county school director and city school director oppose it.

It does not take any money away from our District. This year we have in our budget $6.5 billion for K-12 education. We’re working hard to continue our commitment to support our District’s great public schools.

Education is the silver bullet. Better education leads to better jobs, more stable families, and improves every area of the community. It reduces unemployment in communities, reduces dependence on public assistance programs, reduces crime, improves public health, and increases civic engagement. If we want a better community – a better Lincoln County – we need to focus our resources on public schools instead of redirecting that money elsewhere.

Again, it’s a pilot program. Let’s see if it works.  If not, we can stop it.

ESAs and school vouchers aren’t pilot programs any longer. They’ve been around long enough, tested in enough states, and researched enough to know the results.

Education professor Martin Carnoy analyzed 25 years of research and found that voucher programs do not significantly improve test scores. Professor Carnoy says vouchers distract from proven policies and programs with proven impact on test scores and graduation rates.

Here’s that research.

A few other things to keep in mind:

  • Be polite and direct. This isn’t a time to wander around the point. Their time is valuable just like your time is.
  • Be prepared. Do your homework and know what you’re talking about. Have the issue outlined along with various ideas for solutions.
  • Don’t go it alone. Talk with friends, family, and others in the community about the issue you’re trying to raise. Have them contact public officials with you.
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Action

We Need More People Involved

In this year’s General Assembly, state legislators considered a slate of hateful legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ community. Legislators introduced 12 different bills with plans to ban gay marriage, allow adoption agencies to decline placing children with LGBTQ parents, and more.

After seeing these anti-LGBTQ bills moving through the General Assembly, businesses like Amazon, Hilton, Lyft, the Tennessee Titans, Nike, and Warby Parker wrote an open letter to Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Glen Casada opposing the legislation.

“Put simply, these bills do not reflect the values of our companies. We are disappointed to see the legislature consider discriminatory legislation. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for our employees and their families, bad for our customers and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.”

In response, Speaker Casada said, “Tennessee provides a fertile ground for them to make money and be prosperous. And that’s what they should do. They should take care of their stockholders and not get so much involved in politics.”

“Don’t get so much involved in politics.”

It’s an old refrain from politicians looking to maintain their grasp on power. We see it when teachers share their experience with school vouchers and are told to stick to teaching. We see it when students advocate for gun safety and are dismissed with vague sayings of being too young. I never imagined that a pro-corporation Republican would tell businesses to “not get so much involved in politics” but even that line has now been crossed.

The reason politicians use the “don’t get involved” refrain is simple – if you’re paying attention, it can impact their chances of re-election. The more attention paid to the bad actions a politician takes, the more voters and especially donors start to notice. “Don’t get involved” really means “don’t take away my power”. And politicians who pass hateful legislation deserve to lose every bit of power they have.

We’re at a defining moment in history. That’s why Democratic parties across Tennessee work so hard at registering voters, running candidates, and getting everyone involved in politics at every level.

For our government to work best, we need more people involved in politics, not less.

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Action

Rally at the Capitol Against School Vouchers

Lots of folks have been asking how they can best voice their opinion on vouchers to make sure our legislators hear. You’ve been calling. You’ve been emailing. And now – you can rally!

On Monday April 29th at 12 noon, all those who stand for a quality public education for all Tennessee children and against vouchers are gathering at the state capitol in Nashville for a rally. We’re going to let our legislators know we are against vouchers in Tennessee.

If you need a carpool, message Mesha Twyman at 931-993-7145.

If you’d rather meet us in Nashville, we’ll meet at 12:00 noon in front of the Cordell Hull Building (425 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37243) and go through security. Then we’ll march down floors 4,5,6,7 at Cordell Hull and head over to fill the TN Capitol.

We’ll fill the balconies at the Capitol in session, and those of us outside the chamber will do chants all through session!

This is our last chance to show them how much this matters to us. So if you can make it, please be there!

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Action

Want an easy way to help out? Host a house party!

If you’re looking for an easy way to help out the Lincoln County Democrats, consider hosting a house party!

Hosting a house party is a great way to bring new people on board and get them excited about our local Democratic party. Some of the best ideas come from these settings. These types of informal events really get things going, especially in off-election years like 2019.

Hosting is easy. We’ll help you every step of the way. And you’ll be taking that next step in making our community better for everyone.

Ready to host one? Send us a message so we can make it happen!