In response to Tennessee House Republicans filing resolutions to expel three Democratic members for representing their voters in a peaceful gun safety rally, these community leaders have released the following statement:
In Tennessee, voters pick our leaders. Our leaders should not pick which voters to hear and which to silence.
But for the last decade, power-hungry, unaccountable politicians have been taking away our freedoms and silencing voters based on what we look like, where we live, or what we believe.
- First, it was our freedom to vote: closing polling locations, purging voters of color, criminalizing voter registration
- our freedom to decide if, when, and how we grow our families by denying Tennesseans access to full reproductive healthcare, including access to abortion;
- our freedom to see a doctor when we are sick by threatening doctors with jail time and fines for providing the care their patients need and denying Medicaid expansion;
- our freedom to let children be themselves by shaming and exploiting our children based on their genders for political gain;
- our freedom to let children learn by banning books and criminalizing teachers;
- our freedom of speech and right to protest by expelling representatives who govern in our name and interests;
- And now it is our freedom for to be safe in our schools and homes by refusing to pass common sense gun safety reforms
We will fight, and we will win: thousands turned out demanding action: white, black and brown, families, seniors, young people, from Memphis to Johnson City, rural, urban, all calling to protect our freedoms. Power-hungry politicians did what they’ve done all along divide us based on what we look like, where we come from, or what we believe to distract us from the problems they refuse to fix.
We are rejecting their attempts to divide us, and raising our voices together, demanding that our representatives govern in our name and in our interests.
Tennessee is a battleground for the future of Democracy in our country. Our state is the center of the radical-right power-hungry politicians' attacks on our freedoms. They're showing the direction they want to take the country and influencing the national debate over what kind of country we want to be. What we do and say in this moment shapes the type of country we can and must have.
And with your help, we will win and make Tennessee a place where people across our differences can make a better future:
Add your name to learn more about the coalitions leading the way.
Signing the petition will opt you in to learning more about - and from - local nonprofit organizations fighting for common-sense gun safety reforms and the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Tennesseans.