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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Memphis Council runoff today, Rogero talks inclusion, Vanderbilt's non-discrimination policy up for consideration?

Memphis:  The long campaign season comes to an end in Memphis today with the runoff for City Council district 7 between Lee Harris, endorsed by TEP PAC, and Kemba Ford.  Both campaigns are predicting a "nail-biter," according to the Commercial Appeal. If you live in this district, please, get out and vote.  The Commercial Appeal link provides you links with information on polling locations and hours.

Knoxville:  On the other end of I-40, the Metro Pulse says Mayor-elect Madeline Rogero was talking inclusion shortly after her victory: 

In her victory speech to hundreds of cheering supporters at the Foundry Tuesday night, Rogero emphasized again the reach of her campaign. “Tonight we come together, as we did throughout this campaign, representing a broad and deep cross-section of Knoxville residents,” she said. “We ran a campaign of inclusiveness, from white collar to blue collar, from labor to management, from every neighborhood north, south, east, west, and downtown. We welcome people of all races and colors, gay and straight, people of all abilities, people from the youngest to the oldest.
“From the youngest to the oldest,” she continued, “from the richest to the poorest, because all of us are Knoxville. And Knoxville will only become greater if all of us are involved.”

These are words that I wish everyone in Tennessee would hear from his or her mayor and, frankly, from Governor Haslam.  Unfortunately, you can count on one hand the number of executives in the state who are comfortable saying something like Rogero did on election night.  But what a great message to come out of East Tennessee! And in the end, it's really an easy message to share once a candidate or elected official decides to cross the mark.

Vanderbilt:  It's been no secret that Right wing groups like the Congressional Prayer Caucus and the Family Action Council have been putting pressure on Vanderbilt over its decision to apply its non-discrimination policy to all officially recognized and funded campus organizations.  What I'm hearing from some employees is that they believe that the Board of Trust, which is meeting this week, may consider scaling back the application of the policy.  If they do, it will be a step back and then the bad publicity will really begin. 

We have taken the step of urging people to contact Vanderbilt and offer support for the policy.  You can do so at this link

Another busy week for our work for equality in all three grand divisions of Tennessee!

-Chris Sanders

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