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Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators

Legislative Plaza  Suite 26  Nashville, Tennessee 37243
(615) 741-1997 Office  (615) 253-0361 Fax

Rep. Brenda Gilmore
Chairman, Nashville

January 5, 2017

Rep. Raumesh Akbari
Vice Chairman, Memphis
Sen. Lee Harris
Secretary, Memphis
Rep. Johnnie Turner
Treasurer, Memphis
Rep. JoAnne Favors
Parliamentarian,
Chattanooga
Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr.
Chaplain, Nashville
Rep. Antonio Parkinson
Sergeant at Arms,
Memphis
Rep. Larry Miller
Memphis
Sen. Thelma Harper
Nashville
Rep. Barbara Cooper
Memphis
Rep. John DeBerry
Memphis
Rep. G.A. Hardaway
Memphis
Rep. Joe Towns
Memphis
Rep. Karen Camper
Memphis
Rep. Johnny Shaw
Bolivar

The Honorable Bill Haslam
1st Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243
Dear Governor Haslam:
Raquel Hatter’s imminent resignation as Commissioner of Human
Services leaves your 20+ cabinet with only one commissioner who is not
white and none who are African American.
As you are aware, the leadership of your cabinet should be diverse
and reflect the broad range of all that Tennessee has to offer. This is
important because, among other reasons, the vast majority of the
individuals in your cabinet will not retire when your tenure comes to an
end. Instead, many of them will continue to serve in leadership capacities
for years to come. Your cabinet produces future leaders in this state.
Furthermore, this is not only about diversity. It’s also about
making sure that the very best and most skilled individuals are in service
in state government. I’m sure you will agree that you want the best talent
in leadership positions in Tennessee. The Tennessee Black Caucus
believes—and we hope that you would agree—that it is not possible that
you have the best talent available, if you have no African Americans in
your cabinet.
The Tennessee Black Caucus stands ready to assist you in
identifying talent if you should need our help. For instance, I have
conferred with Sen. Lee Harris and we are ready to produce a list of
qualified, talented individuals who you may consider for the most recent
opening. If it would be helpful, we are also willing to continue to produce
options should any other important vacancies materialize.

Rep. Rick Staples
Knoxville
Sen. Reggie Tate
Memphis

TBCSL
“A STATE NETWORK FOR POLITICAL EQUALITY”

Sincerely,

Brenda Gilmore
Chair Tennessee Black Caucus State Legislators

CC:

Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Glen Casada, Leader
Ryan Williams, Caucus Chairman
Craig Fitzhugh, Leader
Mike Stewart, Caucus Chairman
Ron Ramsey, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate
Mark Norris, Leader
Bill Ketron, Caucus Chairman
Lee Harris, Leader
Jeff Yarbro, Caucus Chairman

TBCSL
“A STATE NETWORK FOR POLITICAL EQUALITY”