June Newsletter

Important and Timely Mayor/Council Election Forum
Monday, June 10 – 6-9 p.m.
Plaza Mariachi, 3955 Nolensville Pike

The Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable is a proud co-sponsor of an election forum being organized by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC). Mayoral and Council-At-Large candidates will share their thoughts on a variety of key issues, particularly those that impact new arrivals. Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable members are invited and encouraged to attend; please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1245317782311905/.


A Few Other Bits and Pieces

Dreamers 

The U. S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to protect Dreamers and establish a path to citizenship for more than two million undocumented immigrants. The Democratic-led chamber passed The Dream and Promise Act – the most significant, promising and inclusive step forward in many years. House members joined supporters in the gallery cheering “Sí se puede!” when the tally reached the adoption mark. If passed in the Senate, this bill would permanently protect Dreamers (undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children) and others from deportation. This is a huge step forward … as advocates have been trying to pass elements of this bill for the better part of two decades. Passage comes at an important juncture as the Trump Administration continues to slash family-based immigration and set impossible standards for low-income families seeking safety and freedom in the United States. Of critical importance, this bill serves as a standard against which any future immigration legislation must be measured. Unfortunately, while the House has shown the country that paying attention to the millions of immigrants who work, pay taxes, and have built their lives here is a high priority, the Senate has not. And given that the White House and GOP Senate leadership stand in opposition, it is unlikely that this bill will be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. If, or when, it does we will call on you to raise your voices loudly, most notably with Sen. Lamar Alexander who has previously shown some empathy for Dreamers.

Medicaid Block Grant Proposal 

As clearly explained in a Washington Post editorial, Tennessee is in deep trouble. Governor Lee has 180 days to submit the Medicaid block grant proposal to the Federal Government. If he does, and it is accepted, it will lead to Tennessee having to cut health benefits, reduce eligibility, or raise taxes. Please help us make sure Gov. Lee is hearing from his constituents by taking just two minutes to tell him that Tennessee needs to move forward on healthcare, not backward. It will take just two minutes to raise you voice with ours and tell Gov. Lee not to apply for a Medicaid Block grant. It will take just a minute or two to do this here.

Over 128,000 Children Have Lost Access to Care

Years of gains in covering children have been erased and the number of uninsured children continues to rise. The number of children without health insurance has risen in the past two years in large part due to Tennessee’s dramatic reduction in Tenncare coverage of children. Health care is vitally important for children. We know when kids are covered they are more likely to succeed in school and in life. If you know a family who has lost TennCare or CoverKids coverage for their child, they can call the Tennessee Justice Center at 1-844-479-KIDS (5437) for free assistance.

Women’s Reproductive Freedom

Our Roundtable remains committed to protecting women’s reproductive freedom. Over the last several months, states around the nation have enacted extreme anti-abortion bills. Though Alabama’s new law is the most extreme so far, other states, such as Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi (with Tennessee on the horizon), have adopted or are close to adopting bills that effectively ban abortion through “heartbeat” and other similarly restrictive laws. Our Roundtable is deeply concerned about the growing effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and limit women’s reproductive health care access. In the months ahead we will closely monitor this situation and take action with others when needed.

Metro Budget

During a public hearing at Tuesday night’s Metro Council meeting, citizens voiced support for the adoption of an alternative budget sponsored by Council Member At-Large Bob Mendes and Council Member Anthony Davis that includes a 52-cent increase to the property tax. The sponsors, and many others, believe that doing so will allow Metro to nearly double the funding proposed for Metro Schools and to avoid selling city assets to balance the budget. The Mayor’s budget, which does not include an increase, passed to third and final hearing on June 18. By law a budget, with or without a tax increase, has to be adopted by July 1. We suggest that you contact your Metro Council Member and the Council Members-at-Large and register your voice on the adoption of the Mayor’s budget or the alternative one proposed by Council Members Mendes and Davis.

We Remember Nashville – An Event of Interest 

A local group, We Remember Nashville, is working with the Equal Justice Initiative located in Montgomery, Al., to create a memorial in Nashville to remember those African Americans who were killed as the result of racial terror in Davidson County. A number of events are scheduled for the week of June 18, 2019, including and educational program on Tuesday, June 18, at the Public Library at 6 p.m. and the dedication of historical markers near the Metro Courthouse at noon on Wednesday, June 19. More information and tickets (free) are available here.