Over the last week, we’ve had a good reminder of why we all need government to work. With temperatures plunging, we’ve seen local officials, nonprofit leaders, and citizens partner to help those in need.
Nashville rose to the occasion. Our police and fire departments have done amazing work to ensure that those in Nashville’s homeless community were directed to shelters. Scores of non-profits like Room In the Inn, houses of worship, and volunteers answered the call to help those in need – and much of that work was made possible through government support or funding.
That’s because in times of emergency, we recognize the need to come together and help each other.
It’s easy to remember the plight of our homeless neighbors when it’s 3 degrees outside. But as we start the New Year and the 108th General Assembly convenes next week, let’s recommit ourselves to our fellow Tennesseans even when emergencies are over. It is time for us to get past the political gamesmanship and division and get to work on the things that matter.
While the impact of poverty is clearest with our homeless community, nearly 1 in 5 Tennesseans and 1 in 4 Tennessee children lives in poverty. Even more are struggling to get by or having trouble getting ahead. Our government can’t and shouldn’t try to solve everyone’s problems for them. But too often, our state government is making things worse.
- Tennessee has refused to expand Medicaid, which is not only leaving hundreds of thousands needlessly uninsured, but also is hurting our local economy.
- Tennessee is one of five states without a minimum wage law, relying on the federal minimum wage that amounts to $290 for a 40-hour week.
- Our state government also provides one of the lowest levels of support for public schools in the nation.
These decisions have consequences for our citizens and for our communities the whole year round.
My campaign for the State Senate is focused on changing the direction of the legislature because its work matters. Its decisions affect millions of businesses, families, and individuals – and we need to start making better decisions as a state. Please reply and send me your ideas. In the coming months, I look forward to hearing from you, listening to your ideas, and seeking your support.
Together, we can do better.