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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Early Voting In Nashville Starts Today: Here’s What You Need To Know

You can beat the rush and vote early in Nashville’s mayoral election today through Saturday, July 27. Initially, early voting will take place at only one location, the Howard Office Building. But on July 19, early voting expands to a total of 11 locations across Davidson County.

Via: The Tennessean

The Brennan Center For Justice 2019 Voting Laws Roundup

With most legislatures closed, it’s clear that major positive reforms were enacted. But a handful of states made it more difficult to vote. Overall, 46 states have introduced or carried over 688 bills expanding access compared to 29 states that have introduced or carried over at least 87 bills restricting voting access.

Via: Brennan Center For Justice

Good News

Wins, Good Works, Heroines and Heroes

Wins

Trump Drops Citizenship Question, Orders Count From Existing Records

Just a week after insisting that he was “absolutely moving forward,” President Donald Trump abandoned his effort to insert a citizenship question into next year’s census. He directed federal agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases instead.

Via: RealClearPolitics

Wins

Why The Future Is Bright For 100% Clean Energy

A city in Texas with oil derricks on its license plates. A Kansas town devastated by a tornado. An isolated Alaskan island, known for its huge bears. What do they have in common? All are in red states, yet their electricity is generated from 100 percent renewable energy sources. And in all three places, the switch from fossil fuels to clean energy was found to be more economical and their leaders claim power bills are lower after the switch.

Via: WhoWhatWhy

Off the Cuff

Op-Ed from our Managing Editor

Legislators Should Make Voting Easier In Tennessee, Not Harder

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.

Bookshelf

Wanna talk books? Join us on Goodreads. Here’s what we’re reading right now.

The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality – Ganesh Sitaraman and Anne L Alstott

A solution to inequalities wherever we look–in health care, secure retirement, education–is as close as the public library. Or the post office, community pool, or local elementary school. Public options–reasonably priced government-provided services that coexist with private options–are all around us, ready to increase opportunity, expand freedom, and reawaken civic engagement if we will only let them.

Via: Goodreads

How To Read The Constitution–And Why – Kimberly Wehle

Legal expert Kimberly Wehle spells out in clear, simple, and common sense terms what is in the Constitution, and most importantly, what it means. In compelling terms, she describes how the Constitution’s protections are eroding-not only in express terms but by virtue of the many legal and social norms that no longer shore up its legitimacy-and why every American needs to heed to this red flag moment in our democracy.

Via: Goodreads

Become America: Civic Sermons On Love, Responsibility, And Democracy – Eric Liu

What does it mean to be an engaged American in today’s divided political landscape, and how do we restore hope in our country? In a collection of “civic sermons” delivered at gatherings around the nation, popular advocate for active citizenship Eric Liu takes on these thorny questions and provides inspiration and solace in a time of anger, fear, and dismay over the state of the Union.

Via: Goodreads

How Change Happens – Cass R. Sunstein

The different ways that social change happens, from unleashing to nudging to social cascades.How does social change happen? When do social movements take off? Sexual harassment was once something that women had to endure; now a movement has risen up against it. In this book, with the help of behavioral economics, psychology, and other fields, Cass Sunstein casts a bright new light on how change happens.

Via: Goodreads

Big Screen

What we’re watching.

When They See Us

When They See Us is director/writer/producer Ava DuVernay’s searing, four-part drama about five black and Latino boys who were railroaded into falsely confessing to the most notorious gang rape in New York City history.

In combating the prejudice and rush to judgment of the original event, When They See Us is a mostly sympathetic retelling.

Jukebox

BriteHeart Beats. Follow us on Spotify.

Western Stars

“The 13 tracks of Western Stars encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope,” reads the press release Springsteen’s first album of new, original songs since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. “[The] record is influenced by Southern California pop music of the Seventies” he told Variety in December.