Organization plans to file lawsuit against state after council reduction act passed
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Interdenominational Ministries Fellowship (IMF) plans to sue the state of Tennessee after legislation passed reducing the number of Metro Council members in Davidson County.
Reverend Davie Tucker Jr., the current president of IMF, says the organization is currently raising money to support filing this lawsuit. Tucker believes taking this issue to the federal court system is the best and right option for change.
“This is a fight worth having. If you’re going to do it, you’re going to have to put forth more effort than just passing the law,” Tucker said.
Tucker says the organization is in preparation of bringing the suit to a federal court for violation of the Voter Rights Act.
The Davidson County Clerk, Brenda Wynn, is concerned about the lack of minority representation. Her concern lies in the lack of representation the council could turn into with this law in place--an action she says would un-do all of the hard work African Americans put in decades ago.
“Sixty years ago, we got 40 members approved and the second time it went to the people for a vote they passed that. In 2015, we assessed again on whether or not we wanted 40 members on our council and sixty-two of the population said yes. We still want that,” Wynn said.
IMF has an expert to look at the current data like voting trends, population, and the demographic make-up of the county to determine whether they have a pathway to filing a lawsuit.
“As most people know, the voter’s rights act has been gutted over the decades to where even before we bring suit, we have to have an expert to access our system so our attorneys can look at the veracity of our argument, but it also has to be submitted with the lawsuit. So that’s where we are now trying to accumulate the funds necessary to get the lawsuit started,” Tucker said.
The organization believes minority representation matters and that changes to public policy should lie in the hands of the people.
“Right now, we have 10 people of color who serve in that council which is effectively 25% of the council and it’s also representative of our population. They represent about 25% of the population here in Davidson County,” said Wynn.
Their goal is to raise up to $50,000 to go towards the suit.
“Our hope is in the courts, that the courts will vindicate us and allow Nashville to govern itself,” said Tucker. For more information on how you can support their efforts, click here.
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