A special legislative session on public safety is coming on August 21, 2023 and the 2024 legislative session begins in January. We are already preparing comprehensive campaign efforts for these critical moments. There are many opportunities for partner organizations to participate and individuals to volunteer.
STATE LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
Consultation for Partner Organizations: This year over 350 organizations, small businesses, and congregations signed our statement against discriminatory bills. If your organization, small business, or congregation would like to find ways to engage in legislative advocacy, we can consult with you and provide options that fit your mission, time, and specialties. Contact us at [email protected] .
Legislative Roundtable: During the legislative session, we will offer a roundtable discussion every two weeks for community organizations so we that we can hear from national partners, get insight from people affected by state legislation, and discuss ways organizations can engage with legislative advocacy. If you are interested in helping build this resource, contact us at [email protected] .
Balcony Brigade and Committee Caucus: We need more people to attend key legislative committee meetings and to be in the Senate and House galleries when important votes are taking place. Being present allows people to LEARN the process, WITNESS what is happening to our Democracy, and ENGAGE in deeper advocacy. If you would like to sign up, go to this link. For a quick video on the initiative, go to this link. This initiative offers many opportunities for partner organizations to co-host individual events in the Capitol or in the Cordell Hull Building. If your organization is interested, contact TEP Nashville Co-Chairs Dahron Johnson and Brian Sullivan at [email protected] and [email protected] or fill out the form linked above.
Media Engagement: News media outlets are frequently interested in talking to people affected by discriminatory state legislation. If you would like to be available to speak to the media, contact Brian Sullivan at [email protected] . In addition, we are exploring media training courses as we get closer to the fall. If you are interested in getting on the list for training, contact Brian.
Regional Committee Expansion: To protect the LGBTQ community in Tennessee, we need to grow our existing regional committees and form new ones throughout the state. To connect with an existing regional committee near you or help form one, contact us at [email protected] so we can help get you matched.
2024 Advancing Equality Day on the Hill: Advancing Equality Day on the Hill - Part 1 will take place on February 13, 2024 in the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville. RSVP at the link. TEP Knox, Anderson, and Blount County Chair Aly Chapman and TEP Shelby County Chair Shahin Samiei will be considering modifications to the event to accommodate those traveling from great distances. We are also working with partner organizations on events surrounding Advancing Equality Day on the Hill. There are opportunities for partner organizations to produce connected events. If your organization is interested in proposing an event, reach out at [email protected] .
District Captain Recruitment: District Captains are Tennessee residents who meet with their own state legislators to advocate for the LGBTQ community. Those meetings might take place at legislative offices in the Cordell Hull Building or closer to home at a local coffee shop or other convenient place. TEP will help you learn how to set up for the meeting and help you prepare for the meeting with a brief. If you feel called to this role, contact us at [email protected] .
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADVOCACY
Local Government Discrimination Watch: With authoritarianism and anti-LGBTQ policymaking growing at the state level, it will spill over into local governments (city councils, city commissions, boards of aldermen, county commissions, and school boards) around the state. We need volunteers who can monitor the meeting agenda of local government bodies around the state and help us develop responses to discriminatory proposals. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, fill out the quick form at this link.
Speak Out For Democracy: Democracy is under threat in Tennessee. The expulsion of Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson struck at representation, which is the very foundation of democracy. In addition, the Legislature continues to usurp the authority of local governments in ways that disadvantage the diverse communities of our state. We invite you to speak out for democracy during the public comment period at a meeting of your local government. More information on this project will be available soon, but if you are interested, contact us at [email protected] .