A shift in priorities and advocacy

This is TEP's email message from April 1.  If you are not receiving our emails, you can sign up at this link.

Just over a week ago as the COVID-19 crisis was growing, the Tennessee General Assembly quickly passed a budget and went into recess until June 1. Unlike Idaho, our legislature thankfully did not rush to pass anti-transgender bills.  But the bills in the Slate of Hate are not dead; they are waiting for us when and if the General Assembly reconvenes.

A shift in advocacy:  Given the state's slow response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have been devoting our time to making sure Tennessee's LGBTQ community and allies have good information on health, job, financial, food, and volunteer resources.  The first priority has to be that our community emerges from this crisis as healthy and as financially secure as possible.  Below are some of the projects we are pursuing.

Census Day:  April 1 is Census Day. We urge you to complete the Census, even though it is far less inclusive than we had hoped.

*Take a look at our video featuring Tennessee's LGBTQ community and why the Census is important.  #YouStillCount

*Then take the Census pledge at this link letting us know that you are participating in the Census.

COVID-19 information:  We have reached out to about 30 organizations serving Tennessee's LGBTQ community about sharing resources to help us get through this crisis. Many of our regional chairs have been sharing local information in TEP regional Facebook groups and we have been sharing statewide or multi-county information in this Facebook group. Please, join the group if you have not done so.  If you are with an organization that serves Tennessee's LGBTQ community, we would like to talk to you about sharing information. Be in touch at info@tnep.org .

Voter registration:  Tennessee still has two more elections coming up in August and November.  It is fortunate that we have online voter registration.  Please, help by sharing this online voter registration link with friends and on social media: https://proudvoter.org/partner/tep/ . You can also check your voter registration at that link.  In addition, we have been working with groups attempting to expand options for voting by mail in Tennessee so that we can all exercise our rights while protecting our health.

Other ways to help:  If you would like to volunteer, contact Jeremiah Dameron at volunteer@tnep.org .  If you would like to make a contribution to support our work, go to this link.  We are grateful for your support.

Chris Sanders

Executive Director
http://www.tnep.org/

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