I live in the great state of Tennessee, and have been a progressive liberal my entire adult life. I have problems here much like anyone else as the state does not protect gay and lesbian employees from discrimination. Last October I started a job working for a subsidiary of the state of Tennessee. As it is grant funded it could end at anytime, although we expected that it would last for at least 2-3 more years. In this economy I took what I could get. Everything was going great and February came and we were told that the governor had not cut our budget so we were safe for another year. We celebrated, were happy, and all in all just glad to have jobs. Then everything changed.
I showed up to work the day after our contract was renewed and was told that we were in fact closing June 30th (end of the fiscal year) because the governor had eliminated our entire program from the budget. Some of my co-workers had been employed with this organization for years and I believe we were doing great work to help a severely under served and exploited group. Obviously, the governor in no way agreed with us.
For the past few months I have been looking for a job and found one last week. I currently hold a Masters Degree in Sociology and after 5 months of job searching I was hired at a five dollar pay cut. My spouse and I will be able to survive, but that's not the problem. The problem is that we are living in a world where the government is slashing public sector jobs all across Tennessee (and the rest of the U.S.) with no concern for the lives of the people that are impacted.
It is our duty as progressives to fight back against this tyranny in Tennessee. While Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan have been the center of the fight we are fighting in Tennessee as well. 207 individuals lost their job with my organization. The state only hired 40 of them on in different departments. I know at least three people in my office that have not found permanent work when our contract ends. The governor here is just as guilty for union-busting (he busted the teacher's unions just like in Wisconsin) government gutting (I'm a prime example), and right wing social engineering (revised Don't Say Gay, prohibiting cities from creating anti-discrimination laws, etc...) Help us fight and don't forget about the South.