Categories
Action

Defending Democracy From Home

Usually at this point in an election year, our volunteers are out knocking doors, meeting new people, and helping candidates campaign. This year, we’re all adjusting to working from home and developing new plans for the campaign work needed to win this fall.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten lots of emails and voicemails from people in our community asking how they can help during this new normal. We’ve put together this action guide so that you can make a difference in this election and continue to defend our democracy right from your home.

Check-In

Take some time to check in our your friends, family , neighbors, and co-workers. This could be with a phone call, an email, a Facebook message – even a letter. Find out how they’re doing during this time and if they need help with anything.

Complete the Census

The 2020 Census is happening right now. You can complete it online here. After you complete your census form, share that link with everyone you know so that everyone in our community is counted.

Register New Voters

Make a list of everyone you know and start working through it to find out if each person is registered to vote. If they’re not, help them register at GoVoteTN.com. It’s a quick and easy process. Registering new voters is one of the single most effective things any of us can do.

Expand Your Skills

The National Democratic Training Committee offers fantastic resources and training for local party volunteers. Now’s a great time to hone your skills as grassroots campaigning.

Donate to a Campaign

Find a few local and state candidates that you support and chip in money their way. It’s challenging to fundraise right now so every dollar you can donate goes a long ways.

Write Letters to the Editor

Do you think our local leaders are doing a good job? Think our state leaders could be doing better? Write a letter to the editor and share how you see things.

Share Resources and Information Online

Misinformation abounds in times of crisis, especially on Facebook and other social media apps. Use your platform to speak the truth and help others that follow you find good information. Keep in mind that positive and civil posts find more traction within the community. You can also share links to the websites and Facebook pages of candidates that you support.

Be Helpful

Above all – focus on being helpful in the coming months. As Democrats, we believe that communities work best when we work together for everyone. That’s how we’ll get through this virus pandemic – together.

Categories
News

Our Plan for COVID-19

A statement from our county party chair – Chase Clemons.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnoses continues to rise, I wanted to lay out how this affects our community and what you can be doing.

This is not the typical seasonal flu. With an estimated 3.5% mortality and a vaccine months away at best, this virus is not one we need to take lightly or minimize. For now, we can’t beat this virus through a vaccine or other medicine. But we can beat it through our collective actions.

That’s where you can help. It’s called flattening the curve.

Take precautions such as washing your hands, minimizing travel, and keeping social interactions to a minimum. Put off any non-essential travel. Check in on your neighbors. Contact our state reps and urge them to take the right precautions now rather than delaying.

After you read this update, look through this trusted source -> flattenthecurve.com. It’ll give you more background on the virus along with more actions you can take to help flatten the curve.

Lastly, all of our remaining local party committee meetings in March are cancelled. Those that are absolutely necessary will be held via conference call. Our April 4th public meeting stays on the calendar for now. We’ll make a call on April meetings closer to that time.

On the state level, the Tennessee Democratic Party is considering and working on different contingency plans for the TN04 Congressional District Convention set for March 21st. I’ll let you know as soon as I have more info on any changes being made.

In short – be informed and helpful to those around you. The next few months will be hard, especially for the most high-risk people in our community.

We’re in this together. Let’s look out for each other. It’s what Tennesseans do best.

Categories
News

2020 Lincoln County Convention

With our Tennessee presidential primary results in, we’re now ready for our County Convention.

Our Convention is set for this Saturday – March 7th – at 12pm Noon. Doors open for sign-in at 11am. We’ll meet in the auditorium at the Fayetteville Municipal Building.

Lincoln County has been allotted Nine Selectors per presidential candidate that receives 15% or more in the March 3rd Primary. If there are more than nine potential selectors per qualifying candidate, we’ll hold an election to elect the nine selectors for the Congressional Convention.

These selectors are who we send to our Congressional Convention to elect our delegates. The four delegates elected there will represent TN04 at the national convention in Milwaukee!

From our county, we’ve got one person running to be a delegate – Melissa Groce-Thomas. If you’d like to help her get elected for the national convention, make plans to be at the Municipal Building this Saturday. The more folks there, the better chance Melissa has at winning a delegate spot. 

We’ll see you on Saturday!

Categories
Essays

Creative Maladjustment

Note: In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re publishing a speech Mr. King gave at Western Michigan University December 18, 1963.

There are certain technical words within every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and cliches. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.

But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence.

But in a day when sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence, and the alternative to disarmament. The alternative to absolute suspension of nuclear tests. The alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation. This is why I welcome the recent test‐ban treaty.

In other words, I’m about convinced now that there is need for a new organization in our world. The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment‐‐men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” As maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to see that this nation would not survive half‐slave and half‐free. As maladjusted as Thomas Jefferson who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery would scratch across the pages of history words lifted to cosmic proportions, “We know these truths to be self‐evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights” that among these are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth who could say to the men and women of his day, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you. Pray for them that despitefully use you.” Through such maladjustment, I believe that we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice. My faith is that somehow this problem will be solved.

In spite of the difficulties of this hour, I am convinced that we have the resources to make the American Dream a reality. I am convinced of this because I believe Carlyle is right. “No lie can live forever.” I am convinced of this because I believe William Cullen Bryant is right. “Truth pressed to earth will rise again.” I am convinced of this because I think James Russell Lowell is right. “Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne; Yet that scaffold sways the future, And behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above His own.” Somehow with this faith, we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new life into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. This will be a great day. This will be the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God, Almighty, we are free at last!”

Read the full speech here.

Categories
Action

How to Contact our Tennessee Representatives

Our state representatives are back in Nashville today for the 2020 legislative session. They’ll introduce a variety of bills, debate new ideas, and ultimately send new laws to Governor Lee for approval.

We encourage you to contact our state representatives throughout the year but it’s especially important while they’re in session. The policies debated now will affect communities throughout Tennessee in the coming years. With votes happening every week for the next few months, it’s a prime time to make sure our representatives are speaking for us.

Here’s a list of our representatives for Lincoln County and how you can contact them:

Senator Shane Reeves

  • Phone: 615-741-1066
  • Email: sen.shane.reeves@capitol.tn.gov

Representative Rick Tillis 

  • Phone: 615-741-4170
  • Email: rep.rick.tillis@capitol.tn.gov

Representative Pat Marsh

  • Phone: 615-741-6824
  • Email: rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov

A few key things to remember with all of these contact methods:

  • 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.
  • Social media is easy to miss and/or ignore. Focus your efforts on calling or emailing rather than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Keep this contact info close at hand. Try to call or email each at least once a week. It’s the best way to make your voice heard by our state representatives!

Categories
News

2020 DNC Convention

Let’s Go to Milwaukee!

The Lincoln County Democratic Party is preparing now to select our Delegation to the 2020 Presidential Convention in Milwaukee, to be held the week of July 13, 2020.  If you’re a dedicated Democrat who wants to serve your community, county, district, and state, then we welcome you to run to be a delegate for your preferred candidate and join us as a 2020 Presidential Convention Delegate to take your part in history!

At the 2020 Convention, Tennessee will have 73 delegates. Four of those delegates will come from our Fourth Congressional District.

If you’d like to run to be a delegate:

  • File your Candidacy Declaration by 12pm Noon Central Time on February 20th. You can fill out that form online at the TNDP website here.
  • Vote in the March 3rd Democratic Primary.
  • Attend our County Convention on March 7th at 12pm Noon Central Time.
  • Attend our TN04 Congressional Convention on March 21st at 12pm Noon Central Time. It’s held at the Middle Tennessee State University Campus.

Each delegate funds their own way to the National Convention. Expenses are estimated to be between $3,000 and $5,000. We can help with your fundraising efforts but keep in mind that the TNDP, the DNC, nor our Lincoln County Democratic Party can pay for you to attend.

Lincoln County’s Delegate Selection Convention

Our Convention is held on Saturday March 7th at 12pm Noon. We’ll meet in the auditorium at the Fayetteville Municipal Building.

Lincoln County has been allotted Nine Selectors per presidential candidate that receives 15% or more in the March 3rd Primary. If there are more than nine potential selectors per qualifying candidate, we’ll hold an election to elect the nine selectors for the Congressional Convention.

TN04 Congressional Convention

Our TN04 Convention is held March 21st at 12pm Noon. It’s held at the Middle Tennessee State University Campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Elected Selectors from each county in TN04 will gather to elect the DNC delegates from our Congressional district. We’ve been allotted four delegates – two women and two men. The four delegates elected here will represent TN04 at the national convention in Milwaukee!

If you’ve got questions about the selection process or want to run to be a delegate, send us a message below!

[contact-form-7 id=”2803″ title=”General Contact”]

Categories
Editorials

Reducing Drug Costs

Congress recently passed HR3 – the Lower Drug Costs Now bill.

Here are 3 elements from this bill that will reduce drug costs for American’s:

  • The federal government would be allowed to negotiate drug prices for the 44 million Americans on Medicare. The federal government has been banned from negotiating drug prices since 2003. Lower drug prices negotiated would be available to commercial insurers.
  • Drug costs for folks on Medicare would be limited to $2000 per year.
  • Drug companies would be restricted from raising drug prices above the rate of inflation. The list price of 3,400 drugs increased in the first six months of 2019 by 17% in the USA. 

One good example of out of control drug prices in the USA is the cost of Insulin. Over 300 billion a year is spent on insulin in the USA per year. In the United States, insulin costs per patients have doubled from 2012 to 2016 going from $2864 to $5,075 per year well outpacing inflation. A vial of insulin in the USA today that costs $300 (10-day supply) without insurance costs $30 in Canada.

You would think the Senate would be eager to pass this legislation to reduce drug costs in the USA but you would be wrong. The reason given for opposition is that drug companies will reduce research on new drugs if unlimited profits are not allowed. 

Drug companies are major contributors to political campaigns which might be a better explanation of the opposition. Most drug companies spend more on advertisement than research. In 2018 drug companies spent 6.5 billion advertising and 27.5 million on lobbying. One out of every three dollars spent on drug research was paid for by taxpayers. 

The bill would redirect savings from drug costs into research to develop new drugs in an effort to address this concern. You can’t significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs without reducing profits of big pharma. 

On the campaign trail candidate, President Trump promised to save hundreds of billions by standing up to the pharmaceutical industry by saying he would “negotiate like crazy” to bring down prescription drug prices. Now is his chance to act. 

I plan on encouraging our Senators Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander to support this bill and President Trump’s campaign promise. If you want to see lower drug prices in the USA you might want to consider doing the same. 

— R. Jason Goodman

Categories
News

The Guiding Star of Our Endeavors

Note: In our observance of Christmas and the holiday season, we’re publishing President John F. Kennedy’s speech from the lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree at the Pageant of Peace ceremonies on the Ellipse. On that cold winter day in December 1962, President Kennedy reminded us of the Christmas message that has been the guiding star of our nation’s endeavors.

With the lighting of this tree, which is an old ceremony in Washington and one which has been among the most important responsibilities of a good many Presidents of the United States, we initiate, in a formal way, the Christmas Season.
We mark the festival of Christmas which is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization. For nearly 2,000 years the message of Christmas, the message of peace and good will towards all men, has been the guiding star of our endeavors.

This morning I had a meeting at the White House which included some of our representatives from far off countries in Africa and Asia. They were returning to their posts for the Christmas holidays. Talking with them afterwards, I was struck by the fact that in the far off continents Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, as well as Christians, pause from their labors on the 25th day of December to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

There could be no more striking proof that Christmas is truly the universal holiday of all men. It is the day when all of us dedicate our thoughts to others; when all are reminded that mercy and compassion are the enduring virtues; when all show, by small deeds and large and by acts, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

It is the day when we remind ourselves that man can and must live in peace with his neighbors and that it is the peacemakers who are truly blessed.

In this year of 1962 we greet each other at Christmas with some special sense of the blessings of peace. This has been a year of peril when the peace has been sorely threatened. But it has been a year when peril was faced and when reason ruled.

As a result, we may talk, at this Christmas, just a little bit more confidently of peace on earth, good will to men. As a result, the hopes of the American people are perhaps a little higher. We have much yet to do. We still need to ask that God bless everyone. But yet I think we can enter this season of good will with more than usual joy in our hearts.

And I think all of us extend a special word of gratitude and appreciation to those who serve the United States abroad; to the one million men in uniform who will celebrate this Christmas away from their homes; to those hundreds of young men and women and some older men and women who serve in far off countries in our Peace Corps; to the members of the Foreign Service; to those who work in the various information services, AID agencies, and others who work for us abroad who will celebrate this December 25th thousands of miles from us at sea, on land, and in the air, but with us.

It is to them that we offer the best of Christmases and to all of you I send my very best wishes for a blessed and happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Categories
News

No One is Above the Law

Last night, the House of Representatives voted for only the third time in history to impeach the President of the United States. This vote shows that no one is above the law — not even the president. 

As expected, our own Representative Scott DesJarlais voted with other Republicans to provide cover for the President’s corrupt actions. This is yet another vote from Representative DesJarlais in a long line of votes where he has failed our district. His decision to put party over people shows that it’s time for him to be voted out of office in 2020.

What does this impeachment mean going forward?

The President isn’t removed from office yet. Impeachment sets up the trial held in the Senate. Around 20 Republicans would need to vote with Democrats to reach the 2/3 threshold needed for removing the President from office. 

Now is the time to call our Senators – Alexander Lamar and Marsha Blackburn – and let them know your thoughts. You can find their contact info here.

We don’t know how the Senate trial will turn out. But we do know that 2020 is a pivotal election for our democracy. If the Senate doesn’t remove the President from office, we’ll do it ourselves through the ballot box in November. 

To do that, we’ll need everyone out organizing and working like never before. That means knocking doors, making calls, sending postcards, and more. This election will be close – one where every inch of ground gained matters. 

Stay focused on 2020. Don’t listen to those that say we can’t turn out Democratic voters in a rural Southern community. Let’s put in the work to defend our democracy just as our House of Representatives did last night. 

Categories
Action

Stop the Block

Do you have a few free minutes today? Send a comment opposing block grants for TennCare.

Tennessee is the first state to ask the federal government to convert its current Medicaid program (called TennCare) into a block grant. You can read more about the proposal here.

The block grant is a political gimmick, not a serious answer to Tennesseans’ real health concerns. Our urgent healthcare needs deserve serious attention and real action from political leaders. The block grant will only worsen these crises by encouraging the state to take TennCare funds out of the health care system

The federal comment period on this proposal is open from November 27, 2019 through December 27, 2019.

–​>> Click here to leave a comment.

Comments are the best way to stop this harmful policy. It’s quick and easy to share your own experience with TennCare and how a block grant would drastically hurt the program.

If you can take a few minutes to submit a comment there, it’ll make a world of difference!