What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple.
This is our new home base for everything happening locally. If it’s going to affect you and others in our community, you’ll find out about it here.
As you look around the new site, you’ll see information on the party, updates on what’s happening, and ways to get more involved.
If you’re not active in our local party yet, now’s a great time to get involved! We’re building a community organizing team focused on making Lincoln County better for everyone. That includes people that knock on doors, call our politicians, and even run for office – people just like you who will continue to grow our community for the next generation.
Browse around a bit and explore the site. And let us know what you think! Send us a message with your thoughts and feedback.
We’re glad you stopped by and look forward to building a better community right here in Lincoln County!
In the last election cycle, the Tennessee Black Voter Project registered close to 90,000 new voters here in Tennessee.
In response, the Republican-controlled Tennessee House voted to make us the first state to criminalize voter registration efforts.
Marian Ott, president of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, put it best:
This bill (SB971/HB1079) now heads to the Senate for their consideration. Now is the time for action – contact our state senator Shane Reeves.
Call his office at 615-741-1066 or email email@example.com.
Send letters to:
425 5th Avenue North
Suite 752 Cordell Hull Bldg..
Nashville, TN 37243
Ask Senator Reeves to vote no against this bill unless changes are made based around the League of Women Voters recommendations here!
Getting Involved in Local Politics
Talking politics can be tough. You may feel like you don’t have enough information to speak up. Maybe you don’t have enough time between work, family, sports, and yet another potluck of some variety. Or you may feel like it’s nothing but bitter old people sniping at each other for some sliver of what they think is power.
I’m not here to cast blame or shame on anyone that would rather avoid political discussions. I’ve been in those shoes and understand that view. For far too many years, I wanted nothing to do with our local government. I didn’t pick up a paper or watch community meetings much less talk politics.
That time abstaining from being part of our community discourse led to one stark realization. If you don’t show up and engage in that conversation, nothing changes.
With election season underway, now’s the perfect time to start speaking up. It’s time to talk with and listen to other people about the future of our community in Fayetteville and Lincoln County.
To help all of us step into that conversation, here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Show kindness, respect, and civility to everyone that you talk to. Don’t automatically assume their viewpoint or intentions. Community discourse requires thoughtful, open, and civilized debate. That happens best when we’re human to each other. Speak persuasively, not abrasively.
Focus on the issues.
How we spend taxpayer dollars in the budget is much more important than what outfit you saw an elected official / candidate wearing. Even if you don’t particularly like a certain community leader, you can still work with them to find answers to the issues and problems facing our town.
Check and verify what you hear.
Our elected officials and candidates want to talk with you. Use that opportunity to find the truth rather than passing on what your cousin’s brother’s friend overheard in the grocery store or what you saw being shared around on Facebook.
Not sure where to start when verifying a piece of information? Check with the person it’s about. If you hear something that you’re not sure is true about the mayor, call their office. If you hear something that doesn’t sound right about the sewer, call your commissioner. Our elected officials work for us and part of their job is answering our questions.
Don’t give up on the conversation.
Talking about some issues can be difficult. It can be messy. But stick through the awkwardness and difficulty to reach the other side.
Side note on this one – that doesn’t mean continue the conversation if the other person is verbally abusive, insulting, or intentionally offensive. If they’re not interested in a productive conversation, it’s fine to walk away.
Conversations are great but they’re step one in moving our community forward. Step two is to register to vote and to make sure all of your family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else you know is registered. GoVoteTN is a great website where you can check to see if you’re registered.
After you’re registered, make sure to vote! In the elections this fall, we’re picking people to fill everything from them mayors’ offices to commissioners to alderman to the school board and more. Those elected seats are four-year terms so the people we choose will lead our community for the next four years.
Voting is quick, it’s easy, and it’s important. Every vote matters, especially in local elections that are won in the double-digit vote margins.
Ask the Tough Questions
With every election, it’s a challenge to know who to vote for. Flashy political ads obscure what candidates really think. Debates give us poll-tested answers that set up three-second sound bites. You’ll probably never even meet the candidates personally.
At our local level, that all changes. You might not have a ton of history or media coverage to know a person. But you’ll have an opportunity to meet and talk with the candidate. And that’s important! For new candidates especially, you’re relying on conversations with that person.
Talking politics like this is tough. But it’s important when picking our community leaders and deciding our future. Knowing what questions to ask is key here.
When talking with local leaders, I often ask for questions that we should be asking. Here’s a handy list compiled from those answers.
Why are you running?
Sounds like a simple one, right? But you’d be surprised at how many candidates can’t answer that question. If they’re running for public office, they should give you an answer on why.
What to listen for: Are they running to tackle a specific problem? Or maybe they believe their past experience will be beneficial? Steer clear of the candidates that can’t answer this in a clear and concise way.
What’s your vision for our community? Where do you see Fayetteville and Lincoln County in the next 5, 10, and 15 years?
Community leaders lay out the future for our community. A candidate should have a few key points in this answer that work together and lay out their vision.
What to listen for: Are they focused solely on the next few years and don’t mention past that? We need leaders that can look beyond the next budget cycle. Their vision should get you excited about them as a person and where they see our town headed.
Do you think our main street and downtown are healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?
With city elections, candidates have an even closer connection to our downtown. We want candidates that are thinking about the current state of downtown.
What to listen for: Start first with how you think things are going. What do you see when you walk around downtown? What do you see going right or wrong on main street? Then think through some ways that the community could improve that part of town. Those ideas are what you’ll want to listen for when the candidate answers.
What neighborhood do you live in? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?
All of our elected officials live in the county limits. But there’s lots of areas to our community.
What to listen for: Does the candidate seem familiar with the whole community? Or are their answers focused on only specific areas? A candidate that focuses only on specific areas might not see the big picture and how our town fits together.
If elected, what three steps would you take to put our community on a firmer financial footing?
Local finances tie directly into your pocket-book. Are lots of businesses and residents leaving the city? Look for cuts in public services and increases in taxes. Is business booming with people flocking to live in the city limits? That means more tax revenue collected so more services and less taxes.
What to listen for: Vague answers show unfamiliarity with the topic. Concrete, actionable, and affordable steps show what the candidate’s really thinking.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?
One of the biggest asks I hear from community leaders is for residents to get more involved. This is a two-way street – we should be more involved and candidates should have ideas on engaging more people.
What to listen for: Pay close attention to how a candidate will engage with people who can’t always make it to a board meeting, i.e. folks that work multiple jobs, parents that don’t have childcare options, etc.
New TNDP LEAD 2020 Podcast
In 2019 and 2020, there is only one way forward for all those who share our values: we must join together with people from all walks of life to fight for our future. The LEAD 2020: TNDP Podcast will address the party’s path forward into 2020 and how regular people can get involved and create change from city hall to the White House.