WCDP Calls the Public to Join our Efforts
Yesterday, the Republican supermajority in the Tennessee State House announced its intent to wrap up the legislative session in a single week. Speaker Sexton wants to expedite the approval of all the GOP’s bills. Notably, none of these bills address the need for significant action on sensible gun safety laws in Tennessee. Yet, they include the Slate of Hate legislation attacking the LGBTQ+ community.
The Washington County Democratic Party (WCDP) condemns in the strongest terms the Republican Party’s increasingly authoritarian practices. Not only are Republicans passing laws that remove freedoms from Tennesseans, but their legislative methods curtail debate, silence the opposition, and voters’ voices, and manipulate rules in violation of the rule of law and ethical expectations for elected officials.
“Tennessee Republicans are doubling down on wielding their supermajority power to punish members of the minority party and avoid taking action on imminent threats in our communities!” said Sylvain Bruni, Chair of WCDP. “The expulsions of Representatives Justin Jones (D-Nashville) and Justin Pearson (D-Memphis), and the failed attempt to further expel Representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) earlier this month were Part 1 of an agenda to prevent any meaningful change. This week, we saw the start of Part 2 of this unprecedented attack on democracy in Tennessee. Speaker Sexton continues an agenda of retribution against those he disagrees with, casting aside the will of hundreds of thousands of voters in the state.”
The expulsions of Rep. Jones and Rep. Pearson were dubiously motivated resolutions against their speaking up on the House floor in the aftermath of the Covenant School shooting on March 27. Rep. Johnson barely survived her expulsion by one vote. As demonstrated in the proceedings, Representatives Johnson, Jones, and Pearson broke no permanent rule. They merely infringed on decorum for 30 seconds when they approached the well without recognition. Ultimately, Rep. Jones and Rep. Pearson re-joined the House Legislature this past week following re-designations by their local county boards.
“Instead of working on common sense gun laws to keep our children and communities safer, Republicans choose to punish those who voice their constituents’ concerns and prevent any meaningful, bipartisan discourse and debate on the issue,” Bruni added. “Kids are dying in our schools, and Speaker Sexton wants business as usual. That is not good enough!”
Democrats in Washington County support a free and fair democracy where voters can elect representatives to be their voice without the threat of being silenced or expelled. We recognize that the Republican supermajority has weaponized technicalities and control of the agenda to reprimand minority voices and uphold the status quo, instead of embracing a full and honest debate about reasonable gun laws.
To show that democracy in Tennessee will not die under our watch, WCDP invites the public to join our efforts and our teams actively working on these issues. Interested individuals may sign-up online at https://wctndp.org/join. Now more than ever, our voices need to be heard.