Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gratitude for some departing Metro Council Members

We don't know what's going to happen on Election Day yet, but we do know that some Council Members will not be returning either because of term limits or because they chose not to run for their seat again.

I want to single out five of them for a word of thanks:

Greg Adkins: Councilman Adkins represents District 26 and served a term as pro tem of the body. Though he had to recuse himself from the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance votes because of a conflict of interest, he supported the 2009 non-discrimination ordinance. His knowledge of state government no doubt came in handy on many occasions during his term. I am grateful for his support for equality.

Erik Cole: Councilman Cole represents District 7 and was masterful in word and strategy on the floor of the Council during debates. A sponsor of the 2009 non-discrimination ordinance, he led the fight against a substitute ordinance by amending it to include gender identity. His action saved the day. He was also a supporter of the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance. In Erik's case, I have to say "Damned term limits" and that I hope he'll seek office in the future.

Jamie Hollin: Councilman Hollin represents District 5 and pound-for-pound packs more fight than just about any elected official in the state. There is no telling the number of hours he spent as a sponsor working for the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance and fighting against HB600. The battle for CAN DO was always uphill, but Jamie made sure we ran. Even if he doesn't ever seek office again, I know he'll continue to be an ally, as we've seen from his encouragement to the students protesting the Don't Say Gay bill.

Mike Jameson: Councilman Jameson represents District 6 and really stood up for his constituents as sponsor of the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance and as a sponsor of the 2009 non-discrimination ordinance. Mike made it very easy for TEP to support CAN DO because he considered us a partner in helping pass the bill. His communication style allowed us to adjust strategy at several points as discussion of the bill developed. As a plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB600, he continues the fight for equality.

Kristine LaLonde: Councilwoman LaLonde represents District 18 and has been an ally from way back. Before she was even considering a Council bid, she reached out to our community and sought ways to be involved. And I'll never forget that after TEP PAC endorsed David Glasgow for the seat she now holds, she reached out again during the race and personally reiterated her commitment. As a Council Member, she followed through, signing on as a sponsor of the non-discrimination ordinance and supporting CAN DO. She has also worked on the inside at Belmont to bring change to the university's policies for a more inclusive environment.

On behalf of the Tennessee Equality Project, I want to thank them all for their support of equality during a critical time in Tennessee's history and for their service to Metro Nashville. History will look back on this Metro Council as one of the most important and they helped make it one of the most progressive ever.

Chris Sanders

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