Recently about 475 friends of TEP (people who are on one of our lists) filled out a 10-question survey. Note: Some people seem to have answered twice in some questions. Here are a few of the questions with answers and my thoughts:
Q: Are you registered to vote in Tennessee?
A: 90.7% or 430 respondents said YES; 9.5% or 45 respondents said NO.
A few are still registered to vote where they lived previously or they are college students, but it's a high percentage of members of our community and allies who registered to vote here in Tennessee.
Q: Have you ever given money to a political campaign?
A: 63.7% or 302 said YES; 36.5% or 173 said NO.
Q: Have you ever volunteered in a political campaign?
A: 46.2% or 219 said YES; 54.2% or 257 said NO.
This is good news. Not only is the GLBT community registered to vote, but the majority are interested in supporting candidates financially and about half are willing to volunteer. Further questions on the size of contributions and the amount and kind of volunteering would be interesting. But it all points to the fact that our community understands the importance of electing supportive candidates.
Q: Have you ever emailed, called, or visited a member of the Tennessee General Assembly about a piece of legislation or an issue?
A: 69.2% or 328 said YES; 31.0% or 147 said NO.
Q: With adequate lobbying and citizen support, do you think your city or county government would be ready for non-discrimination legislation (or further non-discrimination legislation) in the next 2 years?
A: 72.8% or 313 said YES; 27.2% or 117 said NO.
Members of our community are clearly not afraid of or unaware of how to reach out to their elected officials. The results may also mean that we've made it easier for them to do so over the last few years. What is striking is the fact that an overwhelming majority of our community lives in a community that they believe could move forward with non-discrimination legislation in the next 2 years. That bodes well for citizen support efforts in moving legislation at the local and state level. We're ready to fight for advances.
Here's a sampling of where the respondents came from (cities with 5 or more)
No surprise about the concentration in urban areas or in Middle TN. The distribution also tracks well with the locations in which we have County committees with the exception of Chattanooga. Murfreesboro's numbers are striking. A potential powerhouse for equality needs to be nurtured there.