“What About Us?” is a discussion about policies that impact rural Tennesseans. We dive into a variety of topics like healthcare, small businesses, employment, education, and the environment. Tennessee is 93% rural with over 1.5 million residents, but resources and attention are often directed to urban areas. The rural way of life is valuable and we want to preserve it.

Medical Marijuana in Tennessee

Host Sandra Rice and Candidate Jarvus Turnley for State House District 66 talk about legalizing medical marijuana.  A Vanderbilt study reports that 80% of Tennesseans support it and 33 states already do but the GOP General Assembly balks. They also review CBD and THC as well as efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession and criminal justice reform.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

How a Former Railway is Helping Ecotourism in Rural Tennessee

Executive Director of the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance Patrick Dean discusses the amazing success of this multi-use former rail bed.  Currently stretching across the Cumberland plateau from Sewanee to Tracy City, it is a perfect example of ecotourism. It conserves the natural environment also has improved the welfare of local people.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

Rural Democrats with Anne Ferrell Quillen

Anne Ferrell Quillen is the President of the recently formed and awesome TNDP rural caucus.  Although rural areas are represented by elected officials, they don’t seem to have us in mind when they vote with the GOP supermajority. Expanding Medicaid for rural hospitals, funding for public schools and infrastructure, and developing economic opportunities for our businesses, communities and way of life are all essential issues for rural Tennessee. We do make up 93% of the state. Let’s elect some homegrown candidates to make some change.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

The Electoral College with Dr. Andrea Hatcher

Who chooses the President, the people, or the Electoral College?  “It’s complicated,” says Sandra Rice’s guest Dr. Andrea Hatcher, professor of politics and pre-law at The University of the South.  The founders would be surprised that we are still using this system despite its flaws and threat to democracy.  Would the popular vote be a more equitable way?  How could this be changed? Please vote.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

Distressed Rural Counties with Carol Abney

Carol Abney, candidate for TN House District 38, knows about distressed counties and closed rural hospitals. Fentress and 3 other TN counties were removed from the bottom 10% of economic performers across the country but 2 more in this district remain on the list.  A licensed CPA, Carol discusses the tax burdens, limited resources, inaccessible medical care, and lack of job opportunities that keep rural residents distressed.  The TN Rural Initiative provides” window dressing” when real financial support from the state government is needed.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

Why All Dems Support Medicaid Expansion with Sheila Younglove

Senate Candidate District 16, Sheila Younglove, joins us again to answer the question: Why Medicaid Expansion is supported by every Democrat running for state office. It is because it is outrageous that affordable health care for thousands of Tennesseans has barely been discussed in the General Assembly since Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee was rejected in committee in 2014. With the pandemic, an estimated 750,000 Tennesseans could become uninsured! It is unlikely that the 3rd legislative session will even consider adopting Medicaid Expansion as have 38 states.  We really need some change in our state government. Vote wisely.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

Schools Reopening during COVID19 with Civil Miller-Watkins

Civil Miller-Watkins is running for State Senate District 26  and joins host Sandra Rice to discuss TN’s plan for students to return to school amid a pandemic. She is a mother of 8, a current school board member, and is very familiar with homeschooling and virtual learning. The lack of state plans for managing COVID19 and school reopening as well as a lack of broadband in all rural areas makes learning more difficult in Tennessee.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

INTRODUCING “What About Us?” by Sandra Rice

The first episode of “What About Us?” as part of The Tennessee Holler Podcast Network is LIVE!

What About Us? is a discussion about policies that impact rural Tennesseans. We dive into a variety of topics like healthcare, small businesses, employment, education and the environment. Tennessee is 93% rural with over 1.5 million residents, but resources and attention are often directed to urban areas. The rural way of life is valuable and we want to preserve it. We hope you’ll join us, and that you’ll keep thinking about us out here in rural Tennessee.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.