The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators kicks off its statewide tour this week, with the last of four stops scheduled in Memphis on June 16 as part of the Juneteenth Weekend.

The tour begins Thursday (June 2) in Knoxville. It continues to Chattanooga (June 3) and then Nashville (June 6) before the Memphis visit. There are plans to add more tour stops for July.

Each of the tour’s stops features a town hall meeting.

The purpose of the tour is to hear from citizens across the state while discussing new laws and bills pushed by Black Caucus members. 

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (Courtesy photo)

“We are very excited to get to the people, said State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, who chairs the caucus and represents District 98 in Memphis. “Each stop gives us an opportunity to listen, discuss and be responsive to citizens of our state.”

In an exchange with The New Tri-State Defender, Parkinson fielded this question:

TSD: Are there any examples that reflect the results/benefits of previous such tours, particularly regarding things heard/learned from citizens?

Rep. Parkinson: There are. The push for online voter registration came from citizen input at a previous town hall meeting some years back. Legislation was introduced and we have online voter registration today. 

Additionally, it is important for us to educate the public on our efforts and accomplishments over the past two years of the 112th general assembly. We’ve passed over 45 pieces of legislation as a Caucus many of which were within our agenda of health, education and putting money back into the households of the people we serve.


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