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Published by Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment 2nd Quarter 2020

SOCM Members remain resilient during these uncertain times

SOCM Board Members Decide to Hold Remote Annual Meeting • Brief Update on
INSIDE

RECLAIM • Community Organizer Shares His SOCM Story • FULL OF IT: Poem Transcript
• SOCM in the Lens • SOCM Member Shares His COVID-19 Story • SOCM Members and
Friends Celebrate a Big Victory • TVEDM Coalition Works to Prevent Utility Shut Offs
TABLE OF CONTENTS A Publication of Statewide Organizing
for Community eMpowerment
2020 Annual Meeting – Page 3
SOCM Staff
SOCM Stories – Pages 4-7, 12 Ann League, Executive Director
ann@socm.org
SOCM in the Lens – Page 8-11 Adam Hughes, Community Organizer
Environmental Justice – Page 13 adam@socm.org

Caroline Ford, Community Organizer


Energy Justice – Page 14 caroline@socm.org

Linda Cowan
Raise Your Voice, Vote – Page 15 Operations - Finance - Development
linda@socm.org

• • • • • • •

Main Office – Knoxville


Board Members 865-249-7488

Erica Davis, President Middle TN Office


615-900-5552
Tiara-Lady Wilson, Vice President
Leith Patton, Secretary
Patricia Hawkins, Treasurer
SOCM is a member-run organization that
Gail Ford, Cumberland County Chapter Rep encourages civic involvement and collective
Joycelene Johns, Mary County Chapter Rep action so that the people of Tennessee have a
greater voice in determining their future. The
Doug Hudgens, Roaring River Chapter Rep mission of SOCM is to empower Tennesseans
to protect, defend, and improve the quality
TBD - Davidson County Chapter Rep
of life in their communities across the state.
TBD - Jackson Chapter Rep SOCM is working for social, economic,
and environmental justice for all. We are
TBD - Rutherford County Chapter Rep
committed to the journey of becoming an
April Jarocki, At-large Delegate anti-racist organization. Recognizing our
interdependence, SOCM is committed to
Jean Cheely, At-large Delegate
overcoming social and institutional racism and
embracing our diverse cultures.

You can reach us at 865-249-7488 or info@


socm.org. The mailing address for the main
office is 2507 Mineral Springs Avenue, Suite D,
Pictured on the cover from top to bottom, left to right, Knoxville, TN 37917.
are Tirra Hargrow, Casey Self, Lauren Buss, Mary Tipler,
Morgan Pennington (with Bodie), and Erica Davis. Our website – socm.org
2020 ANNUAL MEETING
SOCM Board Members Decide to Hold Remote Annual Meeting
So far this year has seen an unprecedented and take advantage of the many online video platforms
ongoing threat from Covid-19. The Pandemic has and opportunities that can be utilized to make an
affected the way SOCM members gather, plan, and online meeting a great experience for all. There will
work on issues important to their chapters and be workshops, discussions, and opportunities for
Tennessee. catching up with other SOCM members. There will
be updates about the issues chapters continue to
If this year was passing as past years have passed, address and what different strategies and resources
the SOCM Annual meeting would be held at a chapters are using to push their work forward and
state park or other venue where SOCM members continue to make a positive impact.
would gather to share updates about their chapters
and the amazing work going on across the state. The video platform will enable members to attend
Members would participate in fun games and from the safety of their homes or if some members
presentations and learn about issues affecting their feel comfortable with small groups, they may host a
fellow SOCM members. Traditionally, the Annual chapter “Watch Party” where several members can
meeting is an enjoyable event where we build and participate in the Annual Meeting while sharing a
strengthen our work and build relationships with computer.
other SOCM members and families. This year we
will strive to maintain that tradition, but the SOCM The Annual Meeting Agenda is not yet set in stone.
Annual Meeting is going to look a little different as it A draft schedule could include two, hour-long
goes online. workshops starting at 9am (central) followed by
a lunch break, then two more workshops in the
The 2020 Annual Meeting will be a remote meeting afternoon with a debrief and discussion to conclude
held via video. A remote Annual Meeting is a safe, the first day. The second day would start with
inexpensive, and easily accessible alternative to SOCM business at 1pm (central) followed by group
an in person event. SOCM has never held an event discussion and forum; the meeting could close with
like this before, but staff and members will work to a guest speaker.

RECLAIM Act Passes the House as part of H.R. 2: The Moving Forward Act
The following information is taken from a Press Anderson, Scott, and Claiborne counties.
Release by Dana Kuhnline, RECLAIM Campaign
Coordinator. Passed on July 1, this bill could mean a SOCM Member DJ Coker says, “I’m happy that
large boost of funds for Tennessee mine clean up. Congress has passed the RECLAIM Act through the
House. This is an important step toward cleaning up
The RECLAIM Act would invest $1 billion in projects abandoned mines and water pollution in East TN and
that clean up abandoned coal mines and their making my community a safer place to live and for
polluted waters. Tennessee has an estimated $46 people to engage in outdoor recreation.”
million in unfunded Abandoned Mine Lands sites
waiting for clean up. These bills together could bring The RECLAIM Act and reauthorization of the
in $20 million dollars to Tennessee over five years. abandoned mine reclamation fee was recently
Campbell County has the highest concentration of endorsed by over 100 organizations across the
these abandoned coal sites, followed by Fentress, United States in a letter to congressional leadership.

3
SOCM STORIES
Community Organizer, Adam Hughes, Shares His SOCM Story
This pandemic has made life difficult for so many
people, and we on the SOCM staff are no exception.
Though I feel fortunate, even a little guilty, that I
don’t have to risk my health in crowded workplaces,
my job has certainly gotten difficult over the past
few months. Shifting my work to home can leave
me feeling directionless – a community organizer
without a community, an activist worried that any
action spreads more risk than it contains.

I worry about many of the decisions I make. Should


I have attended the event that felt too risky? Should
I have skipped the community meeting that felt
too important? I’m grateful to work with a staff
and a membership that’s been supportive and Katie Myers and Adam Hughes
flexible in unprecedented times. My belief in the
power of SOCM members to make change, and my I first interacted with SOCM members during a
appreciation for having so many of you in my life, tabling event in Knoxville’s Market Square, when
have never been greater. Our work, leading our members Franz and Drocella solicited me to sign up
communities to strive for justice, has never seemed to work with the Knoxville Chapter. I also attend a
more urgent. And as we evolve our strategies to meeting of the E3 Committee at the SOCM office,
emphasize safety without sacrificing our power, I and began supporting the amazing community-
reflect on my SOCM story, and how this organization building work in the Clearfork Valley under the
helped me develop the tools to meet the challenges guidance of members Carol and Vickie. I didn’t
of the moment. expect the opportunity to grow my involvement
as a staff member to come so quickly – in fact, for
I came to SOCM not long after coming to Tennessee, my first two months, I was doing part-time duty
moving to Knoxville from Connecticut in 2014 after as an after-care staffer at a primary school while
spending a few months in West Virginia. There, I I prepared to step up into the East Tennessee
had been living in the small town of Whitesville, Organizer position. These months became a crash
helping to deliver water to neighborhoods in course in SOCM’s organizing practice and history,
Charleston and smaller mountain communities after and I owe so much to the members who helped
a chemical spill in the Elk River polluted the water make my transition smooth.
supply of hundreds of thousands of people. I’d
also worked with groups like Hands Off Appalachia I’ve seen a lot in the intervening five-and-a-
and Mountain Justice to oppose new surface mine half years, and I hope I’ve proven worthy of the
permits and the funding of mountaintop removal responsibility you’ve given me. Among my
coal mining. However, I’d never quite understood proudest moments as a SOCM organizer are:
the role that community organizing could play in
environmental justice campaigns, and I was filled   •Helping to coordinate turnout for four public
more with dedication to strongly held principles hearings in four days in four different counties in
than with well-considered strategies to affect social the successful push to have over 70,000 acres of
change. ridgelines declared Unsuitable for Mining in 2016.
4
SOCM STORIES
  •Soliciting feedback from the Knoxville Todd Waterman
community on our community investment needs, staying safe while
then supporting members who helped to negotiate canvassing about the
the largest community benefits plan ever signed by coal ash landfill.
a bank in 2019.
community has
  •Lobbying to pass the Broadband Accessibility
been positive,
Act in 2017, then helping to establish the Southern
and we’re
Connected Communities Project in 2018 to expand
gathering ideas
internet access in rural East Tennessee counties.
for a second
  •Representing SOCM members as part of a edition. Our only snag was having to update the
delegation that met with Obama Administration newsletter mid-distribution with news of our victory
staffers at the White House in 2016 to talk about the in getting the landfill permit application pulled!
importance of cleaning up abandoned mine lands
and investing in Appalachian communities. Our Cumberland Chapter members resumed
face-to-face meetings with an outdoor, physically
  •Earlier this month, seeing TVA withdraw a permit distanced meeting at Cumberland Mountain State
for a new coal ash landfill that I’d been working with Park. Patti shared with us how she pressured her
community members to oppose for over a year. pastor to address systemic racism during a sermon,
inspiring us to prepare an article for the local
The work looks different now. Trips and big newspaper encouraging other faith leaders to do
community meetings are out, and video conference the same. We’re also hopeful that exciting updates
calls are in. We’ve had to adjust the tactics we use about our long-running campaigns to establish
to influence decision-makers. Murders of unarmed accessible weatherization programs and to support
black people by police officers have sparked a locally-run effort for community solar in Pleasant
waves of passionate protest and challenged us to Hill will be ready to share soon.
foreground anti-white supremacist politics and
affirm that Black Lives Matter in all of our work. And Knoxville Chapter members took advantage of
SOCM members have innovated and continued the city council’s decision to hold virtual meetings
important campaigns for social, economic, and by testifying from their own homes about the
environmental justice. Continued on Page 7

Cumberland Chapter Meeting – Pictured below are Don Clark, Leslie


In Claxton, SOCM members have partnered with Gulick, John Massey, Patti Lewis, Jean Cheely, and Gail Ford.
allied organizations and community members to
form the Bull Run Community Group. While our
early organizing was based on large community
meetings, we’ve had to find ways to keep pres-
suring TVA for proper coal ash storage that don’t
rely on crowds or much face-to-face contact.
Together, we wrote, printed, and distributed the
first edition of a newsletter with updates on the
proposed new coal ash landfill, opportunities for
air and soil testing, and suggestions for contact-
ing utilities to ask them to suspend shutoffs
during the pandemic. The feedback from the
5
SOCM STORIES
Poem Transcript: “Full of It” By Zepher Barber
GEOGRAPHICALLY: the yard
Have you heard of the when after 5 minutes outside they come back in breathing
hill where dump trucks hard?
congregate The youth in the area aren’t informed of the disaster
To a site that’s been they’re too busy focused on getting a bachelors or masters.
the subject of constant It is estimated that the landfill has between 5 and 8 years left
debate? (FAQ)
33 counties in middle To continue operating. Then hopefully it will rest.
Tennessee People are being punished for living,
Send their residential and penalized and poisoned by the patience they’re giving.
Zepher Barber commercial waste As a society we bury our problems down deep
and debris And pay sanitation workers to solve them for cheap.
To Mt. Trashmore a.k.a. the Middle Point Landfill.
It sits north of Murfreesboro as a massive hill With global temperatures increasing
207 acres are being used for trash disposal. (Horner) Our trash left curbside keeps reeking.
By Republic Services, a company that’s more than local. Leftovers becoming hazardous for cars and people,
They operate in 40 states + Puerto Rico. Bringing vector-borne diseases and other evil.
And pose as a business whose mindset is now eco. As residents seek refuge in other locations,
The Middle Point Landfill is one of their 189 facilities Properties will suffer as well as workplaces.
(Republic Services)
that brings in 3,700 tons of waste daily to be remedied POLITICALLY:
(FAQ)
Municipalities in the state are rightfully defensive
ENVIRONMENTALLY: Moving garbage on the highway would be immensely
Atop a 7ft layer of sand, clay, and plastic liner expensive.
That recently leaked leachate into our waterways as a We’d increase our carbon footprint significantly
shocking headliner. If we had to hire trucks to move our trash physically
Gas and liquid collections were installed retroactively so Miles and miles away to another facility
anything could happen (Horner 12) That sees our area’s waste as a liability.
The community can only hope that TDEC’s regulations It doesn’t benefit host counties to undertake our trash
won’t slacken. When, if we had our own, we’d fill it up fast.
Republic burns the dirty methane gas that escapes from the
heap The community benefits from having a local landfill in
instead of cleaning the reusable gas because the price isn’t several ways
cheap. currently there’s no-cost trash disposal and predictable pick-
Republic uses a plastic-gravel cover that doesn’t do much to up days.
conceal Local government has been a slow-moving train,
the stench that pollutes the displeased community of Walter Exploring new prospects that could generate economic gain.
Hill. (Horner 3) Our county commission wants to shut it all down. (Broden)
yet allows new developers to clutter up our town.
SOCIALLY: Everything considered, 280 thousand residents need a place
The landfill, to some, makes living less livable, to throw away (FAQ)
And for that reason, its existence is unforgivable. But the future of that place remains shrouded in grey.
Some residents claim Republic’s a menace to the community
That buried citizens in everyone’s filth CULTURALLY:
while the company shrugs with immunity. Landfills are a reflection of our greedy activity,
Residents question how they’re supposed to let kids play in Taking on the consequences of our collective passivity.
6
SOCM STORIES
We toss our trash in a bin and leave it by the curb for The world waits for no one.
collection The truth is already known.
In the process facilitating our own deflection You must be the one to
Of responsibility. We use the internet as a utility Defend your home.
Clicking to buy, shipping to try on items we only wear once
cramming them into our closets, leaving them there for Though now we choose
months. To consume with vivacity
Our consumption, Our construction, Our corruption, What will our expense be
causes us to demolish rather than repolish, When we meet maximum capacity?
Bulldoze instead of restore those, Works Cited:
And wreck it before we correct it. • “About Us.” Republic Services, www.republicservices.com/about-us.
•Broden , Scott. “Middle Point Landfill Expansion Plans Killed by Rutherford
When the trash piles up are we all out of luck? County Commission.” Google, Google, 16 Apr. 2018, www.google.com/amp/s/
Will we allow companies to exploit more land just to make a amp.dnj.com/amp/520078002.
quick buck? •FAQ. BFI Waste Systems of Tennessee LLC, middlepointlandfill.com/
Like the Grinch, when will our hearts grow three sizes faq/. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.
account for our actions and make compromises? •Horner, Katelynn. “One Man’s Trash can be Everyone’s Burden: A
Case Study Analysis of Rutherford County’s Waste Status” 2018. Middle
Will we spend our days in caves like Fraggle Rock
Tennessee State University. https://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/bitstream/
Stumbling through sewage in our daily walk? handle/mtsu/5742/Horner%2C%20Katelynn%20-%20One%20Man’s%20
Or be forced to go green like Oscar Grouch Trash%20can%20be%20Everyone’s%20Burden%20A%20Case%20
And justify our bad attitudes as we slouch on the couch? Study%20Analysis%20of%20Rutherford%20County’s%20Waste%20Status.
pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Our future is on the line. •Safety at Middle Point Landfill. BFI Waste Systems of Tennessee LLC,
middlepointlandfill.com/safety. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.
You cannot stall and say,
•Snider, Adam. “Rutherford County Considers Options as Landfill Fills
“These problems aren’t mine.” Up.” WKRN News 2, 24 Oct. 2019, www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/
We’ll solve them another day.” rutherford-county-considers-options-as-landfill-fills-up/.

Adam’s Story . . . Continued from Page 5 Economics (TNACE) group, which has moved to video
conference meetings for the time being. We continue
need for affordable housing funding in the budget. to work on building legislative support for the RECLAIM
Members have also taken support roles in Black Lives Act and for strengthening the Black Lung Disability Trust
Matter protests and followed the lead of amazing young Fund, as well as a number of local projects.
organizers in planning and marching with thousands
of Knoxvillians calling for meaningful reform of the Throughout the state, SOCM members have shown
Knoxville Police Department. We’re planning new ways resilience in the face of COVID-19. Remaining dedicated
to address city leaders about how they can use the to your communities, and to our commonly held
Community Reinvestment Act to encourage local banks principles, will maintain our focus during this difficult
toward more responsible lending. time. We share a SOCM story 48 years in the making, and
though this chapter is not what we would hope for, what
In the Clearfork Valley, SOCM members participate has bound us together for almost a half-century will
through the Tennessee Appalachian Community keep us working together for a better Tennessee.

Have You Did you know that the Census helps determine funding for health clinics, fire
department, schools, and roads?
Completed
Go to www.2020census.gov (Spanish: www.2020census.gov/es) and complete
the Census? the Census today. Or Call : 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

7
SOCM IN THE LENS

Pictured are April Jarocki (see selfie, bottom right), Katie Myers, Ly
Madden, and Adam
Hughes working with
Southern Connected
Communities to help build
and install a wireless
antenna for community
internet access. (Photos
compliments of Katie
Meyers.)

8
SOCM IN THE LENS

Pictured, from left to right,


top to bottom, Eric Dixon, Jim
Sessions, Josh Smyser, Katie
Myers and Ly Madden, Renee
Hoyos, Ken Minault, and
Mike Armstrong were among
protesters at the International
Federation of Professional
and Technical Engineers
demostration held June 16th at
Cradle of Country Music Park in
Knoxville. (Photos compliments
of Brady Watson.)
9
SOCM IN THE LENS

MEMBERS, DONORS, & STAFF SHARE SELFIES: Pictured (Page 10) left to right, top to bottom, are Patricia Hawkins, Heleny Cook, Ann League,
Jean Cheely, Martha White, Brian Paddock, Joycelene Johns, June Rostan, Howard White, (Page 11) Drocella Mugorewera, Nora Limon, Scott
Martindale, DJ Coker, Millicent Black, Caroline Ford, and Linda Cowan.
10
SOCM IN THE LENS

Rutherford Chapter Members Launch EMPOWERMENT MONDAYS! – What’s Empowerment


Monday? It’s when members hold a livestream session with guests and discussion of topical
issues. Please join the Rutherford Chapter most Mondays on the Rutherford County SOCM
Facebook page at 6:30 p.m. central time. THANKS!

11
SOCM STORIES
SOCM Member Jeremy Aber Shares His Personal COVID-19 Story
During the end of Middle Tennessee State did a news story about us. A few other Middle
University’s spring break, I started to feel a tickle Tennessee newspapers picked up the MTSU story
in my throat. By the next day, it was clear that and ran it. Our hometown Kansas newspaper called
something was up, and by the day after that, I was up and interviewed Amy (the reporter was an old
officially sick. Since it was a Saturday, we went to a friend); she ended up with a large front-page color
local urgent care clinic where I was tested for the photo above the fold soon after. We also ended up
flu and strep, both of which were negative. Since being interviewed via Zoom for the Nashville ABC
it was mid-March, tests for COVID-19 were hard to affiliate, which was broadcast on the early morning
come by, and I didn’t get one. I went home with news program the next day.
a prescription for Xofluza. The following day, it
was clear that Amy was also coming down with I’d be lying if I said the media attention wasn’t
whatever I had. On Monday, she was able to visit our nice, but the whole experience had me thinking
primary care physician’s office to get tested. She also about how lucky we were, especially during the
got the Xofluza prescription. mandatory health department’s imposed two week
quarantine where we weren’t allowed to leave the
Our symptoms were far more serious than a typical house. Many people in that same time period had
flu or viral infection; beyond the sore throat and dry the virus just like us but weren’t able to get tested.
cough, we had high fevers, body aches and sensitive Now that tests are more readily available, it’s easier
skin, severe fatigue, and just generally felt terrible. to find out if you’re infected, but how many of
Amy was convinced that we had COVID-19, and the people who are sick are able to take off more
in a strange twist of fate, she saw a Facebook post than three weeks with no repercussions? Since I
about a Murfreesboro doctor doing COVID-19 tests teach at MTSU and Amy is finishing her PhD in the
who did house calls. A couple days later, there was MTSU English department, neither of us really had
a doctor standing in our dining room testing us. to be anywhere. MTSU had switched to an online
Because the tests were in such short supply, only teaching model to finish out the semester, so I was
Amy actually took it, since, as the doctor pointed able to easily work from home. We saw no gap or
out, we had the same symptoms and would have loss of income, and our state insurance has good
had the same thing since we were living together coverage, so we didn’t have to worry about health
and not quarantined from one another. After some care costs. Not to mention the fact that neither of us
delays with the lab, we got back the results: positive needed hospitalization! Most of the people who get
for COVID-19! infected will never receive any media attention.

If I could go back and somehow prevent us from


This was a relief in some ways. We most likely have getting sick, I’d certainly do it; the experience
antibodies and will not be able to get it again for a was miserable. But at the same time, it was a
while, and it’s always good to know rather than have reminder of how lucky we are, and how everyone
to guess. At the same time, it brought a surprising deserves to live a life where their needs are met
amount of attention. Friends and family were often with compassion and respect. Unfortunately, that’s
horrified to find out, despite the fact that we had not the world we live in, and it’s why the work
a “mild” case and didn’t need to be hospitalized. that SOCM members do is so important. We may
It’s understandable, since the virus is quite serious not always be able to fix everything, but through
and is taking roughly 1000 lives a day in America fighting to improve our communities and our state,
now. Beyond acquaintances, we ended up being we help move toward that world. Stay safe and
interviewed multiple times by the media. MTSU healthy out there and be sure to wear your masks!
12
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
SOCM Members and Friends Celebrate a Big Victory inspite of COVID-19

Pictured are SOCM Members, Staff, Friends and Allies working


during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Video calls connected people
and canvassing was still possible and safely done to get
information out to residents. (Photos compliments of Todd
Waterman.)
13
ENERGY JUSTICE
TVEDM Coalition Works to Prevent Utility Shut Offs By Isabella Killius, SOCM Intern

In the era of COVID-19, the Tennessee Valley Energy from power. While a moratorium on utility shut-
Democracy Movement (TVEDM) has garnered offs has yet to be declared by the Governor, TVEDM
much momentum through its work to establish will continue to heavily advocate for this cause on
energy justice and safe, renewable, public systems statewide, regional, and federal levels.
of power. This coalition, which comprises various
organizations and groups (including SOCM), has In addition to targeting Governor Bill Lee and
organized virtual and in-person actions throughout national representatives, the movement has
the past few months geared towards preventing funneled significant time and energy into organizing
utility shut-offs and uplifting worker’s voices. This around injustices stemming from the Tennessee
movement has urged both the Governor and the Valley Authority. In the days leading up to the TVA
Tennessee Valley Authority Board Members to take Board Meeting on May 7th, TVDEM collected public
action as it continues to fight for a transition to comments related to democratic power and utility
democratically-run power in the Tennessee Valley. shut-offs during COVID-19 to submit to the Board.
Demands included the creation of a virtual listening
One of the first online actions put on by TVEDM session for ratepayers, reduction of wholesale power
was Workers and Environment Week, which started costs for local power companies, and a moratorium
on Earth Day (April 22nd) and wrapped up on on residential electricity shut-offs. Beyond work on
May Day (May 1). Members of TVEDM represented shut-off preventions, TVEDM has played a role in
the movement in several virtual events, including holding TVA accountable for its plans to outsource
Sunrise Knoxville’s Virtual Earth Day Rally and a film 205 union jobs based in Chattanooga and Knoxville.
screening of “From the Ashes” hosted by the Sierra On June 16th, Tennessee Valley residents, Energy
Club Harvey-Broome group. The Tennessee Valley Democracy Movement members, and employees
Energy Democracy Movement also uplifted the marched to the TVA headquarters in downtown
stories of people impacted by utility shut-offs in Knoxville, demanding that TVA keep jobs local and
light of the pandemic, many of whom were or still prioritize people over profit.
are without jobs and cannot afford basic needs such
as water, electricity, gas, and broadband services. Overall, the Tennessee Valley Energy Democracy
Members of TVEDM planned and executed a wide Movement has solidified its position as a coalition
range of actions centered around stopping utility dedicated to democratic energy reform in this
shut-offs. region. TVEDM will continue to advocate for a
shut-off moratorium as the pandemic ensues, and
On April 27th, the movement flooded the Governor’s members of the movement will play key roles in
livestream with comments and questions regarding keeping up the fight for energy, environmental, and
a moratorium on utility shut-offs, bringing attention labor justice. In the words of Brianna Knisley, a core
to energy injustices stemming from the spread of organizer with TVEDM, “Since the pandemic started,
the coronavirus. During the livestream, organizers the Tennessee Valley Energy Democracy Movement
with Sunrise Nashville and Franklin (both of which has been working on campaigns that respond to
are member groups in TVEDM) spearheaded a car the impacts of COVID-19. TVEDM has been elevating
honk-in outside the Tennessee Capitol Building awareness of utility shut offs in Tennessee and
amassing public visibility and support. Throughout calling for moratoriums at the state, regional and
April, the Tennessee Valley Energy Democracy national levels. It’s been inspiring to see participants
Movement also organized phone zaps to Governor of this project come together quickly and creatively
Lee’s office concerning shut-offs in Tennessee homes to organize actions and mobilize the grassroots
and restoration of service to anyone disconnected around these issues.”
14
 

-ELECTION DAY-​. 
AUGUST 6, 2020 

.​-EARLY VOTING-​. 
JULY 17 - AUGUST 1 
-ABSENTEE BALLOTS-​. 
REQUEST DEADLINE 
JULY 30, 2020 
ABSENTEE BALLOTS DUE 
AUGUST 6, 2020 
 

.​-ABSENTEE BALLOTS & COVID-19-​. 


 
AS OF JUNE 4, 2020 A
​ LL REGISTERED VOTER IN TENNESSEE ARE 
ELIGIBLE TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT​ IF THEY DO NOT WISH TO VOTE 
IN PERSON BECAUSE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. VOTERS WILL ALSO 
HAVE THE OPTION TO VOTE IN-PERSON DURING EARLY VOTING OR ON 
ELECTION DAY. 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT GOVOTETN.COM

---------------------------------------------------------

DON’T FORGET THE NOVEMBER ELECTION!​. 

-ELECTION DAY-​.  -REGISTER TO VOTE-​. 


NOVEMBER 3, 2020 
REGISTRATION DEADLINE 
.​-EARLY VOTING-​. 
OCTOBER 5, 2020 
OCTOBER 14 - 29 
-ABSENTEE BALLOTS-​.  TURNING 18 BEFORE THE ELECTION? 
YOU CAN STILL REGISTER! 
REQUESTS START 
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MEMBERSHIP Knoxville, TN 37917
MEETING

OCTOBER 3-4
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A Statement from SOCM’s Board Officers: “Black Lives Matter”


The Executive Officers of SOCM are united in solidarity We would like to take this opportunity to bring attention
with the communities that are engaging in collective to just a few of the organizations working tirelessly in the
action in order to highlight the vast racial disparities that fight against racism. We encourage everyone to support
non-white, especially Black, people encounter every day. their work and, if you have the means, donate.
We believe people have the right to raise their voices
in determining their futures by ending police brutality. Black Lives Matter • The Bail Project •
We believe our marginalized neighbors should not have Campaign Zero • NAACP Legal Defense Fund •
to fear for their lives in their own communities or any Appalachian Community Fund • ACLU •
community. We believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER! Color of Change • Fair Fight
In solidarity,
As leaders on the SOCM Board, we pledge to equip and
encourage our members to engage in anti-racism work.
We will work to make it our priority to support and
take direction from anti-racist groups across the state.
We encourage our supporters to hold us accountable
as we endeavor to help combat white supremacy and
collaborate with Black leaders to eradicate the racism
inherent to our institutions, especially our own.

We are more committed than ever to fight to achieve


social, economic, and environmental justice for all Erica Davis Tiara-Lady Patricia Leith Patton
Tennesseans, rooting our work in a commitment to President Wilson Hawkins Secretary
intersectional approaches and justice for all. Vice President Treasurer