A RUNDOWN OF RECENT PRESS RELEASES AND ARTICLES FROM THE CAMPAIGN
Immigrants Deserve Justice
"We need to establish a principle that families should be kept together, that children should be treated humanely, and that everyone deserves justice."
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Zero Tolerance: Separation at the Border
In April, President Trump's Administration instituted a zero-tolerance immigration policy, where migrants captured at the border are detained and criminally prosecuted. Any children who accompany those captured are also detained, and separated from their families. The policy aimed to deter parents from attempting to cross over with their children. The Executive Director of Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors Wade Munday, joins OpenLine to discuss the border crisis.
How family separation affects tennessee
"Families from other countries, whether they're here lawfully or not, particularly students, are very scared. There's a great deal of fear underlying the tension that's going on in the country. The overwhelming sadness is what we hear the most of."
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Concern over Immigration Tactics Hits Tennessee Families
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- — The immigration crisis on Capitol Hill and at the U.S./Mexico border is reaching families in Tennessee -- causing concern and new uncertainty about the future of families.
President Donald Trump said in a speech on Tuesday that while he does not like seeing families broken apart, separating children from their parents is necessary to prosecute the parents for attempting to cross the border illegally.
Albert Bender who is an indigenous citizen and friends with many immigrant families says he is now worried about the future of legal immigrants who have lived in Tennessee for years.
We never thought of them having any problems in terms of the legality of them being here until they expressed their anxiety to us," said Bender who is planning a 4 p.m. Thursday protest at the Homeland Security office downtown off Rosa Parks Blvd.
"This is an all people's issue. It's not just an issue for one nationality."
Wade Munday who is the Executive Director of Tennessee Justice for Neighbors oversees the legal issues of immigrants across the mid-state. When hundreds of young students with deceased parents were relocated to live with family in Tennessee, Munday helped with their relocation.
He says customs and immigration agents have made his job immensely more difficult as they have started to ask for answers and justifications to questions not previously required.
"Families from other countries, whether they're here lawfully or not, particularly students, are very scared," Munday said. "There's a great deal of fear underlying the tension that's going on in the country."
The Trump administration is enforcing a policy endorsed by some U.S. border agents in 2014. They hypothesized that ramping up criminal prosecutions and separating families at the border would deter people from attempting to cross. That idea was shelved by the Obama administration, but the Trump administration adopted it as part of their zero tolerance policies.
In a survey of Tennesseans opinions Tuesday, several shared frustration at the crisis calling it inhumane, unfair or even un-American. Others specified they supported legal immigration -- accepting ills that come from that. Most all pined for a middle-ground solution more appropriate for enforcing laws and not destroying families.
"That overwhelming sadness is what we hear the most of," Munday said.
What's Next for transit
“I think Nashville is now going to have to propose some alternative to clean up the congestion ... that will then dovetail with what local county mayors and other regional transportation planning authorities are hoping to accomplish for the broader region of Middle Tennessee.”
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State Senate Candidates Wade Munday and Kerry Roberts Discuss Mass Transit
In the wake of Nashville’s failed transit referendum, state Sen. Kerry Roberts is “exploring” legislation enabling surrounding counties to participate in future mass transit referendums and to allow multiple proposals for voters to consider.
“I do feel strongly it needs to be done regionally,” says Roberts, a Springfield Republican.
He contends the Nashville transit plan, which fell by a 64-36 margin in a May 1 referendum, would have created transit “corridors to nowhere” while costing some $9.8 billion, including long-term operation and maintenance.
But even though he felt it was a bad plan, Roberts says he could support a “common-sense” regional proposal for Nashville and surrounding counties involving light rail, buses and other modes of transportation. Roberts also represents Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman and Humphreys counties in the 25th Senate District.
And with an eye to regional transit, he is studying legislation – if re-elected this fall – hitting four areas:
Allowing smaller counties, such as Robertson, not included in the 2017 IMPROVE Act to hold referendums enabling them to raise revenue for mass transit. Such a move could allow Davidson’s “halo” counties to participate in a regional mass transit referendum. Placing multiple options on a regional referendum so voters who don’t like one plan can choose an alternative. Requiring an in-depth financial impact report on regional mass transit plans. Restricting local governments from hiring lobbyists to work on a mass transit plan.“You’ve got to have a bona fide financial analysis of the plans because the consequence of being wrong is staggering,” Roberts says, noting mass transit projects across the nation are “notorious” for costing more than expected.
Davidson County’s transit plan was to cost about $5.8 billion, plus another $4 billion for operations and maintenance. It would have raised the county sales tax, hotel tax and several other revenue streams.
advertisement Democrat Wade Munday, who is running for the 25th District seat, points out Roberts voted against the 2017 IMPROVE Act, which so far has brought about $30 million for bridge projects into rural parts of the district. Munday says he would have voted for the IMPROVE Act, including a three-year gas tax increase to fund road and bridge improvements, offset by reductions in the grocery, Hall income and business taxes.
“That basic infrastructure upkeep is necessary in order to keep our traffic flowing in the rural areas. So while mass transit is appealing, I think I probably come across a little more like a small government state Senate candidate in this scenario because I think we’ve got a limited role to play,” says Munday, executive director of Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, which helps victims of human trafficking, war and domestic violence.
Still, the Democratic challenger says he would oppose proposing referendums for Davidson and the surrounding counties, instead letting local governments decide what works well for them and encouraging them to follow Nashville’s lead.
A coalition of county mayors in the region is studying infrastructure needs, along with transportation organizations.
“I think Nashville is now going to have to propose some alternative to clean up the congestion that’s happening around the interstates and the city core that will then dovetail with what local county mayors and other regional transportation planning authorities are hoping to accomplish for the broader region in Middle Tennessee,” Munday says.
Munday Offers Solution to Voting Registration Problem
“Our campaign is giving a voice to the under-represented, and a vast majority of Tennesseans, especially those in rural areas like my district, should not be purged and barred access to the ballot box. We are opening the doors of our office to any Tennessean who would like to register to vote. We are here from 8am-8pm, and we will have resources available.”
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Supreme Court Decision Places Unnecessary Burden on Voters Across Tennessee
SPRINGFIELD - The recent Supreme Court ruling allowing states to purge inactive voters is another step backwards for increasing active citizenship in Tennessee, which ranks 40th in voter registration and last in voter turnout. Friends of Wade Munday announced that the campaign office will be open for 12 hours a day in downtown Springfield to register voters in District 25.
“Our campaign is giving a voice to the under-represented, and a vast majority of Tennesseans, especially those in rural areas like my district, should not be purged and barred access to the ballot box,” Munday said. “We are opening the doors of our office to any Tennessean who would like to register to vote. We are here from 8am-8pm, and we will have resources available.”
Tennessee’s poor voter turnout has been an issue in the state for years, upsetting government leaders on both sides of the aisle. State Senator Jim Cooper is quoted in the Tennessean saying that Tennessee has the potential to be in the top-half of the nation in terms of turnout and registration. Munday hopes that he can help his state realize its potential.
“I am proud to be from Tennessee, and it distresses me to see that we lag behind other states in civic participation.” Munday continued, “I believe that with better leadership and new leaders we can change the narrative of voter participation in our state and get back on the right track.”
Letter to the Director of Metro Schools
"As leaders who work closely with New American families of all backgrounds, we request a role in the search and selection of his replacement. Our English Learner students deserve the very best leadership possible for the program; one with experience working in an urban school system with students from many countries and with varied backgrounds, and a track record of innovative and successful leadership in an ESL program."
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21-member coalition asks for a role in Nashville schools' selection of a new EL director
A 21-member coalition wants a role in selecting Metro Nashville Public Schools' next English Language Learner department director, a call that comes about two weeks after the district's EL director resigned.
The coalition of mostly immigrant-serving organizations said in a Tuesday letter to Director of Schools Shawn Joseph that the next EL director should have experience serving immigrant students.
It also says Joseph should create a panel of community members to help interview and select the next director, much like how the district selects principals.
Joseph, in an email reply to the coalition, said he's appointed an interim and the district will need to assess next steps after the school year begins. Joseph also invited the coalition to meet with himself and district leaders.
"We want to be on the record that it is an important position in the district," said Councilman Fabian Bedne, who emailed the letter to Joseph. "We think we can really help with that process. We don’t want to be hardship or nuisance, we want to be part of the solution. We want to ensure the best possible program is in place and candidate is hired."
Nashville has a large and growing immigrant population, with almost 19 percent of the district's 86,000 students considered English learning, according to the most recent state numbers.
Bedne said the letter from the 21-member coalition wants to acknowledge the growing population and their unique needs. IT includes signatures from directors of organizations such as Conexion Americas, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and the Islamic Center of Nashville.
"As leaders who work closely with New American families of all backgrounds, we request a role in the search and selection of his replacement," the letter reads. "Our English Learner students deserve the very best leadership possible for the program; one with experience working in an urban school system with students from many countries and with varied backgrounds, and a track record of innovative and successful leadership in an ESL program."
Kevin Stacy, who has overseen the EL department since 2014, will vacate his post on June 29, according to his May 24 resignation letter. He said in the letter that he has taken another position in another county.
Joseph has appointed Molly Stovall, who served under Stacy, as the department's interim executive director
"She is very capable (and) will continue to keep our ELL program strong," Joseph said in the letter. "We felt it was important to not have this critical vacancy as we prepare for next year."
Paragon Mills Elementary School principal Joi Austria will serve under Stovall as an interim, Joseph said in the email.
"We will assess our needs after the school year begins to determine next steps with these vacancies," Joseph says in the email to Bedne.
The 21-coalition members:
- Kasar Abdulla, Valor Collegiate Academy chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer
- Cristina Allen, Caliente Consulting president
- Fabian Bedne, Metro Council Member, District 31, and the Hispanic Family Foundation director
- Father Boutros Boutros, St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church
- Ramon Cisneros, Millenium Marketing president and CEO and La Campana Newspaper publisher
- Manuel A. Delgado, La Tradición Music and Delgado Guitars owner
- Ana Escobar, attorney
- Juan Excarfuller, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital program manager
- Rashed Fakhruddin, Islamic Center of Nashville president
- Marcela Gomez, Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce president and chair
- Mohamed Hassan, Salahadeen Center director
- Nawzad Hawrami, Somali-American Community of Greater Nashville board chair
- Mina Johnson, Metro Council Member, District 23
- Vanessa Lazón, Mayor's Office Director of the Office of New Americans
- Wade Munday, Justice for Our Neighbors executive director
- Avi Poster, Coalition for Education About Immigration co-chair and founder
- Gini Pupo-Walker, Conexión Américas senior director of education policy and programs
- Zulfat Suara, American Muslim Advisory Council Board of Directors chair
- Mo Silvera, Tennessee Foreign Language Institute English Programs director
- Stephanie Teatro, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition co-executive director
- Gatluak Ter Thach, Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) founder and CEO
Anti-Sanctuary City Bill
“The legislators who sponsored this bill don’t have a clue about our nation’s immigration laws or the immigrants who risk their safety to inform police of violent criminals in their neighborhoods. Not only does this bill undermine police and detectives on the ground, but it puts their departments at risk of civil lawsuits. By and large, local departments do a great job to pursue criminals and put them behind bars. This law will only make that work more difficult in under-resourced neighborhoods.”
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Roberts and Republican Supermajority Clueless about Immigration and Informants
Anti-Sanctuary City Law Drives Informants Underground and Thwarts Criminal Investigations
SPRINGFIELD – Wade Munday condemned Senator Kerry Roberts, the Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Haslam today over the so-called anti-sanctuary city bill as it becomes law. He pointed out that the party of “law and order” is undermining our officers on the streets, scaring away their informants, and threatening public safety.
“The legislators who sponsored this bill don’t have a clue about our nation’s immigration laws or the immigrants who risk their safety to inform police of violent criminals in their neighborhoods.” Munday continued, “Not only does this bill undermine police and detectives on the ground, but it puts their departments at risk of civil lawsuits.”
The Major Cities Chiefs Association and the National Conference of Mayors condemned this sort of legislation earlier last year. The executive director of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association even expressed skepticism about the bill this year in committee hearings on the subject.
Munday concluded, “By and large, local departments do a great job to pursue criminals and put them behind bars. This law will only make that work more difficult in under-resourced neighborhoods.”
Wade munday qualifies for STATE SENATE DISTRICT 25
"Our campaign will focus on the things that change lives and our children's and grandchildren's lives - like supporting policies that attract businesses, promoting fairness in our communities, and staying away from the national political sideshow. At the end of the day, people want to know their state Senator is looking out for their best interests and not their political party or agenda. I know that I must represent my neighbors no matter what. It doesn't matter if they voted for President Trump or Senator Sanders - all politics is local."
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Wade Munday Qualifies to Run for State Senate District 25
Springfield - The campaign of Wade Munday for State Senate in District 25 announced that they have received word from all five counties - Robertson, Dickson, Cheatham, Hickman, and Humphreys - that the candidate has qualified to run for the seat currently held by incumbent state Senator Kerry Roberts.
"Our campaign team and volunteers have worked hard to build up this grassroots organization, and we are happy that we are going to be on the August and November ballots," said campaign Treasurer Martha Shepard.
"Our campaign will focus on the things that change lives and our children's and grandchildren's lives - like supporting policies that attract businesses, promoting fairness in our communities, and staying away from the national political sideshow," said Wade Munday.
"At the end of the day, people want to know their state Senator is looking out for their best interests and not their political party or agenda," he continued. "I know that I must represent my neighbors no matter what. It doesn't matter if they voted for President Trump or Senator Sanders - all politics is local."
Wade Munday is a lifelong Tennessean with deep roots in Robertson County. He is the Executive Director of Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry affiliated with the United Methodist Church. He has served on the board of directors for Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, Mary Parrish Center for Victims of Domestic Violence, and the Vanderbilt Alumni Advisory Board. He lives in historic downtown Springfield with his children Eleanor (4) and Ames (2).
Springfield Dem. challenging roberts in 25th
“Together, we can fight to make sure that our government gives back what it owes to the people who need it most — a good education for our kids, a job when they graduate, and just treatment for people regardless of where they live, who they love, or what they believe.”
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Springfield Dem challenging Roberts in 25th
A Springfield nonprofit leader and former Tennessee Democratic Party official has announced his candidacy for the state Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kerry Roberts, a Springfield Republican.
Wade Munday (pictured) touted his family’s Robertson County roots in a message sent to supporters Tuesday. District 25 includes Robertson, Cheatham, Dickson, Humphreys and Hickman counties, and Roberts won the seat in 2014 with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Munday is executive director of Nashville-based Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to immigrants. He previously worked for the state Democratic party and was its treasurer until January.
“Together, we can fight to make sure that our government gives back what it owes to the people who need it most — a good education for our kids, a job when they graduate, and just treatment for people regardless of where they live, who they love, or what they believe,” Munday said in his announcement.
Who’s in and who’s out for Duncan seat
U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. announced Monday he would not seek re-election after nearly 30 years in the position (his father had held it before him), and the Knoxville News Sentinel asked some of the rumored candidates if they planned to jump in the open race.
Term-limited Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will announce his plans Saturday. Chris Edmonds, a Baptist pastor in Maryville and the son of a World War II hero, said he’s considering a run.
Duncan’s sister, state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, will “never say never,” but isn’t considering a run at the moment, perhaps signaling an end to five-decade Duncan dynastic rule.
State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, is considering a run. State Reps. Bill Dunn and Jason Zachary, both Knoxville Republicans, aren’t running. Blount County Sheriff Jim Berrong and state Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, are both rumored to be eyeing a run, according to the News Sentinel.
On the Democratic side (the seat hasn’t been won by a Democrat since before the Civil War), one candidate had already announced his candidacy before Duncan’s decision: clinical psychologist Joshua Williams. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, whose term ends in 2019, is not running, and Tennessee Clean Water Network Executive Director Renee Hoyos is considering a run.