A Season of Community

Summertime means different things for different people, but for most of us, it’s a different pace whether we ourselves are on vacation or we’re taking care of everyone else who is. In the summertime, we’re more inclined to go out of doors and we see our neighbors regularly, whether from the porch, the playground or the community pool.

10 Things Every American Should Know

What makes us Americans? What rights and principles do we all share? 

Thirty years ago, E.D. Hirsch activated civic conversations throughout America with his book Cultural Literacy. He argued that every American should have a grasp of fundamental information about our country. Hirsch listed 5,000 names, facts, phrases, dates and cultural references that he believed represented a reasonable core of knowledge that all Americans should possess.

Support Voter Participation and Oppose Voter Purges

Every American should be able to cast a ballot easily and securely.

When laws take ballots away from citizens, it weakens our democracy. When states use vulnerable voting systems, it weakens our democracy. There is a real risk that the current president may refuse to honor the outcome of the next election.

Support Automatic Voter Registration

Automatic voter registration (AVR) is an innovative policy that streamlines the way Americans register to vote. AVR makes two simple, yet transformative, changes to the way our country has traditionally registered voters.  First, AVR makes voter registration “opt-out” instead of “opt-in”—eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote or have their existing registration information updated, unless they affirmatively decline.

GROW UP

We’re so excited to join Nashville Story Garden again at The Cordelle this time for GROW UP a pop-up original short play festival on Thursday, May 23rd with our friends Open Table Nashville. Get there early for cocktails from J Jackson Mobile Mixologist and snacks from Get Tamales and come see us for your voter registration and civic matchmaking needs.

Empower Citizens Returning to Society with the Right to Vote

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin introduced on Tuesday the Democracy Restoration Act (or DRA), which would restore federal voting rights to Americans who are not in prison but are nevertheless denied the right to vote because of prior criminal convictions. The Senate bill follows the historic passage of the For the People Act in the House of Representatives last month, which included a similar provision to restore voting rights.

The Big Payback

Tennessee is the Volunteer State and we’re proud to be part of such an amazing community of artivists, advocates, doers, makers, world changers! On Thursday, May 2 we all have the opportunity to come together and celebrate the incredible work being done by supporting organizations we love through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s The Big Payback, a 24-hour, online giving event created to increase philanthropy in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee.

Support a Clear Path to Citizenship

“Dreamers, who came here as children, and TPS holders, who were given legal status because of safety concerns in their home countries, have made big investments in this nation as workers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers,” said John Feinblatt, president of New American Economy. “Congress needs to pass the Dream Act and SECURE Act, which would create a path for these Americans to continue contributing to their adopted home.”

New research from New American Economy finds that DACA-eligible immigrants and TPS holders:

Are productive members of the workforce: In 2017, 93 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants and 94 percent of TPS beneficiaries were employed.

Save Voter Registration

Last week, Tennessee House lawmakers approved a voter suppression bill that would criminalize voter registration efforts. After rolling the vote twice (thanks to those of you who showed up Mon and Wed), this Thursday, April 25 the Senate will vote on the bill. Make your voice heard — RALLY Thursday April 25 at 8am at the Tennessee State Capitol, Senate Chambers, Floor 2. 

Support Those Denied the Right to Due Process

On April 16, 2019, Attorney General William Barr issued a decision in Matter of M-S- in which he determined that asylum seekers who establish a credible fear of persecution and will be placed in removal proceedings are not eligible for an individualized determination of their custody status before the immigration court.

Support Reliable and Verifiable Election Systems

In the wake of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the US electoral system, experts warn the nation is just as exposed as it was in 2016, raising new concerns about the 2020 presidential election. More than two years after intelligence agencies exposed Moscow’s efforts to exploit weaknesses in the US democratic system, technology companies and state governments have yet to come to terms with a foreign power’s meddling in domestic affairs of state.

Walk In Love Saturday April 20

“No matter how fierce the adversary, no matter how organized the opposition, no matter how powerful the resistance, nothing can stop the movement of a disciplined, determined people motivated by justice. So, let’s keep moving.” – Congressman John Lewis.

Honoring the legacy of Z. Alexander Looby, James Lawson, Diane Nash, John Lewis, Kelly Miller Smith, C.T.