INTERVIEW with WOMEN’S MARCH TN organizers – march this Saturday in Murfreesboro! 👣🚶‍♀️

WOMEN’S MARCH TN Organizers Francie Hunt, Darlene Leong, and Brandon Thomas join Holler co-founder Justin Kanew to talk about the Women’s March THIS SATURDAY IN MURFREESBORO. 
“We can’t win without Rutherford County… we need to shake things up.”
Listen to our PODCAST ON  ITUNES.

FULL INTERVIEW (CLIP BELOW):

“LEGISLATIVE COVER-UP” – Sen. Kerry Roberts & TN GOP Ignore Scathing Prison Audit

Despite a SHOCKING AUDIT & WITNESS TESTIMONY revealing TN’S PRISONS/CORE CIVIC misreport deaths/abuse, mistreat inmates – Core Civic donation recipient Sen. Kerry Roberts & the TN GOP vote to do nothing, extend the Dept 4 years.

Watch the HIGHLIGHTS:

HIGHLIGHTS: THE TN GOP’s ANTI-LGBT ADOPTION BILL

WATCH Senator Paul Rose’s bill to permit taxpayer-funded discrimination pass the Senate, making TN a less welcoming place that doesn’t put the best interests of kids first.

Governor Lee will sign it despite having an LGBT sibling. 🏳️‍🌈

Governor Lee To Sign Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill That Targets His Own Sister

You’ve probably heard that yesterday the TN Senate started off the legislative session by passing a bill which targets LGBT people and allows state-supported adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people.

The bill will now head to Governor Lee’s desk, and Lee has said he will sign it.

What you may not know is Governor Lee’s own sister is married to a woman, and therefore is a part of the LGBT community targeted by his party’s bill.

Here’s @ScoopNashville’s tweet about Cynthia Lee’s wedding:

And here’s Cynthia Lee with Bill’s wife Maria outside his campaign headquarters in Franklin:

Tennessee is #1 in medical bankruptcies, #2 in rural hospital closures, gets an “F” in education funding, and has the maternal mortality rate of a third world country… yet this is what the TN GOP and Bill Lee are focused on?

Here’s how they voted — GREEN means they voted for the bill. Red against.

Cynthia and her wife deserve to be treated just like everyone else in America, and should not be targeted and made to feel less than by our laws.

This adoption bill is especially ugly because it would have the effect of robbing loving homes from children who might otherwise not be able to find one.

If you agree Governor Lee should VETO THIS BILL, Holler at him HERE.

 

INTERVIEW: KEEL HUNT – Tennessean Columnist & Former Special Asst. to Lamar Alexander

Holler co-founder Justin Kanew interviews KEEL HUNT, Tennessean columnist and former Special Assistant to Lamar Alexander who recently spoke out about the need to speak up in the time of Trump in this poignant column: “I’m Done Being Quiet”.
PODCAST on iTunes. (13 mins)
CLIP:  “I think it’s fear that leads to silence.”
Full FACEBOOK LIVE interview.

VIDEO: Rep. Gloria Johnson Says Extend Paid Leave to ALL Working Tennesseans

Democratic legislators Rep. Gloria Johnson & State Senator Sara Kyle had a bill last session to bring paid family leave to all Tennesseans, but were LAUGHED OUT OF COMMITTEE by Republican reps Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. & Rep. Clark Boyd.

Now Governor Lee has announced he’ll be extending it to all state employees, although he did NOT have paid leave for employees at his own company.

WATCH Gloria Johnson say all employees should enjoy paid leave, which is required by almost every other country in the world.

White “Office of Minority Health Disparities” Board Rejects Grant For “Too Raw” Instagram Post?

Kristin Mejia-Green’s application for a $10,000 grant to help address Tennessee’s maternal mortality crisis was recently rejected by the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination, allegedly on the basis of an Instagram post found to be “offensive” and “lacking inclusivity” by an all- or mostly-white committee, according to an Instagram video Mejia-Green made recently.

A health crisis is raging in Tennessee on many levels, but particularly when it comes to maternal mortality in the black community. Even Republican representative Ryan Williams recently said Tennessee is “like a third world country” when it comes to maternal mortality, comparing us to Ecuador.

To help address the issue among African-American mothers in Tennessee Kristin Mejia-Green applied for a $10,000 grant she planned to use to train and build “birth teams” around black mothers – “a birth doula, a post-partem doula, and a laceration counselor” – because, she says, “Every time we’re talking about post-partem and breastfeeding a little too late.”

Mejia-Green points to Tennessee’s own statistics and numbers, as well as ideas coming from the maternal and infant mortality report, to underscore the fact that her ideas and suggested trainings come right from the state’s own research.

A recent report showing “85% of maternal deaths in Tennessee were preventable” backs up what she’s saying.

It’s also worth noting many of the deaths happened because the mothers were cut off from health insurance sooner than they should have been, mainly because Tennessee is one of just a handful of states that tragically has not yet expanded Medicaid, and as a result loses over $1 BILLION each year.

REJECTION LETTER

Rejection Letter from Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination

Mejia-Green says she was surprised her grant was rejected, because she had spent months getting the application right, and she became even more devastated when she learned from a non-white employee of the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination that the rejection came after white decision-makers deemed too offensive a social media post depicting breastfeeding and talking about how black women used to help each other breastfeed during times of slavery.

Here’s the “offensive” post:

The caption reads:

Before we were stolen from our homeland and made to serve those incapable of serving themselves, we served each other. Before we were torn from our families to care for families that treated us as their pets, we raised each other’s babies. Breastfeeding wasn’t a one woman job. Toddlers belonged to the neighbors while mom recovered. The village made sure the village thrived. WHY DO WE NEED #BLACKBREASTFEEDINGWEEK?! Our magic is responsible for the health of the people in charge of the very systems created to dismantle our communities. We nursed the U.S. Now it’s time to nurse US! This week is about reclaiming our health and seeing our sisters in a light we don’t often see them in. Support matters. Representation matters. Our goal at Homeland Heart is to bring the village right to your living room. Need help?! Reach out. We got you, family ❤️ #blackbreastfeedingweek#homelandheart #ittakesavillage#supportchangeseverything#supportmatters#representationmatters #blackmoms

According to Mejia-Green, the person of color she contacted at the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination told her the post was found to be offensive by decision makers who “don’t look like us” – meaning are white.

In other words, despite the names of officials listed on the Office’s site, which appear to be mainly people of color, the actual decision-makers for Grants and money-related issues run through a white panel.

To confirm, we reached out to the Office of Minority Health Disparities to ask two questions:

1) Why was the post offensive?

2) Who makes the decisions?

This is the carefully-worded statement sent back to us by Elizabeth Hart, Associate Director of Communication at the TN Department of Health:

“The Tennessee Department of Health reviews grants throughout the year in several of our program areas, including the Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination. When evaluating applications from organizations requesting funding, we do conduct additional research on the organization with a focus on criteria including feasibility of the proposal, evidence base, the infrastructure of the organization and ability to implement the proposal and plans for sustainability of the proposed project. If an applicant’s proposal is not approved by the review committee, the applicant is encouraged to resubmit during the current or a future grant cycle.”

In other words, of the 2 questions we asked, they answered neither – nor did they choose to do so when we followed up.

As Kristin says:

“Oh the irony- the people making decision sat the Office of Minority Health Disparities Elimination, aren’t even minorities… there are other people in charge of who’s important enough to save.”

This is Elizabeth Hart’s contact info, if you’re interested in hollering at her: 615-741-3446 & Elizabeth.Hart@tn.gov

And to chip in and support Homeland Heart’s efforts to address maternal mortality among African-American mothers in Tennessee: HomelandHeartTN@Gmail.com & @HomelandHeartTn

Here’s their donate link.

Gov. Lee Appoints Retired Rep. Sanderson to Wine Board He Created… After Pro-Vouchers Vote

You may remember Rep. Bill Sanderson as the guy who stepped down under, ahem… controversial circumstances last year (as an anti-LGBT legislator with a gay son exposed for himself allegedly being a Grindr regular).

Sanderson said it was to go spend more time on his wine business, and had previously pushed through a bill that created a wine board with the goal of boosting the Tennessee wine industry, which he himself had a stake in.

As it turns out, Governor Lee has now just appointed Sanderson as one of the members of the wine board.

Must be nice!

In related news, Sanderson was one of the reps who voted for Lee’s controversial school vouchers legislation, which barely passed the TN house 50-48, needing every last vote after disgraced former speaker Casada held it open for 35 minutes. The vote is rumored to be subject of an FBI investigation.

There has also been controversy swirling around a $4 Million slush fund which may have been used to make promises to get votes for the vouchers, which Commissioner Rolfe moonwalked away from fast during last month’s budget hearings, saying Lee and Stuart McWhorter were responsible.

So Sanderson gets a Wine Board created to boost his own industry… then gets appointed to the board by Governor Lee… after voting for Lee’s public school-harming vouchers.

Were these guys elected to serve the citizens of Tennessee, or themselves?

VIDEO: Nashville Trump 2020 Co-Chair Comes Out AGAINST Private Prisons

On Fox Nashville’s Politics in Focus Sunday, Republican strategist and Trump 2020 Davidson County Co-Chair Rick Williams came out against private prisons, which flies in the face of Republican policy.

ALSO – Davidson Democrats black caucus chair Jasper Hendricks wondered aloud why private prisons get more per inmate than state-run prisons. A good question.

Tell your local reps it’s time to stop letting people profit off of the incarceration of human beings, especially at the border. President Trump has increased the investment in private prisons tremendously, as has the state of Tennessee under Governor Bill Lee.

VIDEO: “A Historical Day” #MoveTheKKKBust

“December 18th, 2019 was a historical day.”

Pastor Williamson of Strong Tower Bible Church tells his congregation about delivering 50,000 signatures to get the KKK GRAND WIZARD BUST removed from our Capitol with Pastor Kevin Riggs, and chairman Stuart Mcwhorter committing to discuss it by February. 🙌🏻🙌🏾🇺🇸