Awareness of issues, candidates and the voting process in general is key to voter turnout. In such an important election year, voter education and awareness has been at the center of the JLN Advocacy Committee’s work this fall These members have worked tirelessly to increase awareness in regards to voting And they did it all virtually, due to current in-person event restrictions due toCOVID-19.
The Advocacy Committee provided two League-wide trainings for members, one on the history of women’s suffrage and a second on expanding voting access. The committee also offered a training on advocacy itself to leaders at a recentoint Council meeting. To educate all League members, the committee included various announcements in Tuesday News and social media that included information on candidates in Tennessee’s primary and general elections, voter registration information and deadlines and early voting details. The committee also promoted the anniversary of women’s suffrage and encouraged members to”Get Out The Vote.” JLN has many members who are new to Nashville, and this committee played a pivotal role in informing our members about the local voting process.
Advocacy Chair J.S. Bolton said, “For me, the Women’s Suffrage training was the most exciting thing we did this year for a couple of reasons. First of all, we got to see the strength of the JLN reputation when we reached out to guests. As a committee, we all watched the PBS documentary and reached out to the speakers from there, and every person we asked said yes! Second of all, given that so many JLN members are new to the Nashville area, it was fun to watch people get engaged and learn about Tennessee’s local history. This also tied to our excitement around educating the group at our second training about Tennessee voter access and specifics to the political structure in this state.”
The election may be over, but the committee’s work is not done. The Advocacy Committee will work to further champion our external priorities, including working with the Tennessee Advocacy and Public Awareness (TAPA) Committee. This group encompasses participation from other Junior Leagues across Tennessee including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Johnson City, Memphis and Murfreesboro. TAPA is planning a joint virtual “Day on the Hill” with the Tennessee State Legislature. They will also work closely with JLN agencies to advocate and research legislature in both the Tennessee State Legislature and Metro Nashville-Davidson County. This will include issues concerning human trafficking and early childhood literacy.
We appreciate all of the hard work the Advocacy Committee has dedicated to voting and working with the Tennessee Legislature this year. This important work has benefited Junior League Nashville and our partner agencies. Be on the lookout for more opportunities to become involved with this committee for future events and initiatives.
Author: Morgan Weinstock, Public Relations Committee