Lost in all of the excitement that Tennessee voting rights advocates experienced when their efforts helped catapult the state to its best midterm election turnout rate since 1994, was that not every state lawmaker was happy about it. That reality hit home recently with the introduction in the Tennessee Legislature of two new bills that threaten to impose significant criminal and civil penalties if errors are found on submitted voter registration forms.
We get your discouragement with the current political system – we’re discouraged too. In fact, that’s why we started BriteHeart – to bring some hope and joy to the process. We all have to recognize that we have some responsibility for the dysfunctionality of our government. It only works with us!
“Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea To the open arms of the sea Lonely rivers sigh, ‘Wait for me, wait for me’ I’ll be coming home, wait for me.”
These words written by Hy Zaret and sung by countless performers since the publishing of ‘Unchained Melody’ in 1955 were originally attributed to a lovesick fellow who hasn’t seen his lover in a “long, lonely time.” But in the artistic hands of celebrated filmmaker Eugene Jarecki and powerfully voiced by Elvis Presley just months before his death, they provide a fitting metaphor for both the trajectory of Elvis’ life since the 1950s to his early end and that of the American Dream, as we know it today.
Voting Rights are Fundamental in Our Democracy
· Democracy cannot succeed unless every man and woman’s right to vote is protected. BriteHeart is committed to protecting and insuring the sanctity of the vote. · We are against partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics of every stripe whose only purpose is to steal short term political victories at the expense of the long-term health of our democracy.
The 2018 midterm election season proved to be fertile ground for civic engagement and cause for optimism about the future of our democracy. Record numbers of voters headed to the polls and voted like the selection of a president was on the line, as opposed to the sleepy response midterm elections usually elicit.
Hello, my name is Kate Tucker and I’m co-founder and creative director of BriteHeart. This summer I was invited by Citizen University, a non-partisan civic engagement organization, to attend Civic Seminary in Seattle. There I was given the charge to lead two Civic Saturday’s in my home state. Last week we had Civic Saturday in Nashville and I’m so glad to be here with you in Cookeville this weekend.
Hello, my name is Kate Tucker and I’m co-founder and creative director of BriteHeart. This summer I was invited by Citizen University to attend Civic Seminary in Seattle. There I was given the charge to lead two Civic Saturday’s in my home state. So here I am, giving a civic sermon for the first time.
At BriteHeart, we take our non-partisan mission to register voters seriously. Very seriously. While each of us has our own particular political interests and favorite candidates, we all agree on one thing: the more citizens that are civically engaged and vote, the better off our democracy and our country will be.
Tennessee is 50th in voting and 40th in voter registration. BriteHeart is determined to help citizens see the relevancy of their vote and get to the polls this November 6th, so that we can turn these dreadful statistics around. To that end, we decided to take a look at the most popular excuses people used, according to Pew Research, to NOT vote in 2016 and see if they hold up in retrospect.
“Step right up, don’t be bashful and feast your eyes upon the President’s Reality Show, a made for TV spectacle live from the White House. It’s meant to distract one and all with entertaining side shows and putdowns while the real story, the dismantling of America’s democratic institutions, and long held notions of fair play, continues behind the costume changes,” the carnival barker howls.
When Tennesseans go to the polls to cast their ballots in today’s primary elections, it would be nice if they had the security of knowing that their votes were secure from hackers, but they don’t. President Trump hasn’t even fully acknowledged the proven Russian election meddling that occurred during the 2016 election.
The country we all grew up in is being challenged to prove itself. Women know this gig. Women live this gig. Perhaps that is why so many are running for office when the stakes are high. “Backward and in heels,” as they say. The truth is while giving due respect to the “Me too movement” which I totally support – this is not a female specific problem.