Faith, Community, Labor Organizations Urge Governor Lee To Grant Local Governments Flexibility

Monday, April 6, 2020

A statewide network of faith, community, and labor organizations on Monday morning issued an open letter calling on Governor Bill Lee to use the emergency powers outlined in Tennessee Code Ann. § 58-2-107 to suspend "overly restrictive state laws and delegate authority to local elected officials to take necessary actions to meet the needs of their communities."

From the letter:

“While the unprecedented crisis of the COVID-19 requires bold action from leaders at the state and national level, local governments have a critical role in addressing the unique impacts of the pandemic on their communities. Local governments need to have every tool in the toolbox available in this critical time. Over the last decade, more and more state laws have been passed that restrict the freedom of local governments on a range of issues. These laws are now limiting the ability of local governments to address the ever changing needs of their communities in this state of emergency.”

The full letter is available here

In the letter, our organizations request the suspension of specific state laws, including laws that limit the ability of local governments to ensure employees have access to paid sick time, expand eligibility for property tax freezes, and ensure immigrants feel safe interacting with local health departments. 

Signatories on the letter include:

Stand Up Nashville
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
The Equity Alliance
Memphis For All
Tennessee Justice Center
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205
A Better Balance
Chattanooga Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Central Labor Council of Memphis and West TN, AFL-CIO
Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle TN, AFL-CIO
Chattanooga in Action for Love, Equality and Benevolence (CALEB)
Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH): Economic Equity Task Force
Southeast Laborers’ District Council (LiUNA)
Workers Interfaith Network
Knoxville City Council Movement

"We are calling on local elected officials, individuals, and organizations across Tennessee to urge Governor Lee to grant local leaders the freedom to help working families with holistic solutions to this public health and economic crisis," said Austin Sauerbrei.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Georgia Has 11 More Coronavirus Deaths, 597 New Cases; Walker County Has 26 New Cases

Senator Alexander Says He Disagrees With President Trump's Decision To Terminate Membership With WHO


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BELL, REGINALD 69 W 27TH ST APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37408 Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous ... (click for more)

Georgia state health officials reported on Friday there have been 1,984 people in the state who have died from the coronavirus - 11 more since Thursday. The confirmed cases are now at 45,863 ... (click for more)

U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Friday released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to terminate the United States’ membership in the World Health Organization: ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BELL, REGINALD 69 W 27TH ST APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37408 Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BLACKWELL, PAIGE DESHAI 3212 DODSON AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37406 Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSS ... (click for more)

Georgia Has 11 More Coronavirus Deaths, 597 New Cases; Walker County Has 26 New Cases

Georgia state health officials reported on Friday there have been 1,984 people in the state who have died from the coronavirus - 11 more since Thursday. The confirmed cases are now at 45,863 - up from 45,266 - an increase of 597. Hospitalizations are at 7,914 - up 85 since Thursday. Whitfield County has nine new cases for a total of 3331, and still seven deaths. Officials ... (click for more)

Opinion

A New Low For Bureaucratic Dysfunction

Forced emissions testing – a new low for bureaucratic dysfunction. In our old way of living, there were two certainties: Death and taxes. In our new world, the government is giving some relief from taxes but has chosen to substitute vehicle emissions testing. Now the two certainties are death and emissions testing. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is sickening ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Erma Bombeck, surely one of the greatest newspaper columnists in our lifetime, once decreed, "When humor goes, there goes civilization." With a new spate of disappointing news this week, it is easy to see the sage Erma was right, and thus we welcome this week’s newest edition of The Saturday Funnies. As longtime readers are aware, the Funnies are a collection of the nameless missives ... (click for more)

Sports

Football Mocs Receive Votes In HeroSports.com Preseason Poll

The preseason prognostications have begun for the upcoming 2020 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision campaign. HeroSports.com released its first top-25, which included the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Mocs are listed among the nine teams who are also receiving votes in the online publication's poll. Chattanooga is coming off a 6-6 season under first-year head ... (click for more)

UTC Soccer Announces 2020 Schedule

The Chattanooga women’s soccer schedule features 10 home contests, including a first-time home match against Indiana State, and a road trip to Knoxville to take on Tennessee, head coach Gavin McKinney announced Wednesday. The soccer team will host the first on-campus event for the UTC athletics department. At this time, the Mocs’ preseason match against Tennessee Tech on August ... (click for more)