Leaders of Color Supports the Tennessee Three

April 5, 2023

What’s Going On: 

In Tennessee, Republican legislators with a supermajority in the legislature have completed the first steps to expel Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson after they participated in anti-gun violence protests following the deadly shooting at a Tennessee school in March. 

For participating in peaceful protest, Reps. Johnson, Jones and Pearson have been accused of “disorderly behavior” and have been stripped of their committee assignments. Republicans have requested, and received, an expedited vote to remove these members. The resolutions against the three Democratic legislators were filed by Republican Reps. Bud Hulsey, Gino Bulso and Andrew Farmer.

What it Means:

The Republican members of the Tennessee legislature are working to expel these members even though they were elected by Tennessee voters. Republicans can leverage their supermajority to vote as a caucus to remove these members. The vote is expected on Thursday, April 6. 

Gun violence disproportionately affects young people of color in our schools and in our communities. We know that reducing gun violence is a key part of protecting our youth so they can live to succeed in school and in life. 

Leaders of Color stands strongly in support of Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for speaking up for our kids

Now What:

We are engaging with our fellows and alumni in Tennessee to take action right now to support Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson - three Tennessean legislators who are being punished for speaking on the House floor on behalf of their constituents.  Together, we are contacting Speaker Sexton, Rep. Farmer, Rep. Bulso, Rep. Hulsey, Leader Lamberth, and Chairman Faison to stop the expulsion. We are also organizing to make calls to representatives to let them know we are against this expulsion action.

If you'd like to join us, here's how you can help:

  • Send an email to Speaker Sexton, Rep. Farmer, Rep. Bulso, Rep. Hulsey, Leader Lamberth, and Chairman Faison to stop the expulsion. A draft email and email addresses for these representatives are located here
  • Call your representative to let them know you are against this expulsion action. The directory of Tennessee state legislators’ phone numbers is here.

Together, the undersigned Leaders of Color are standing up to this attack on democracy.

Maria Oceja 

Training and Recruitment Manager

Leaders of Color - Memphis

Sheleah Harris 

Memphis-Shelby County Schools, District 5 

Leaders of Color - Memphis, Class of 2018

Frank Johnson

Memphis-Shelby County Schools, District 7

Leaders of Color - Memphis, Class of 2020

Charlie Caswell 

Shelby County Commissioner, District 6 

Leaders of Color - Memphis, Class of 2022

Britney Thornton 

Shelby County Commissioner, District 10 

Leaders of Color - Memphis, Class of 2020

Ramdat Singh

District Leader-81st Assembly District

Leaders of Color - New York, Class of 2022

Vanessa Caston LaFleur

Louisiana St. Rep District 101

Leaders of Color - Louisiana, Class of 2022

Joyce M. Doyle

ANC Commissioner 8C02 

Leaders of Color - Washington D.C., Class of 2022

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