On Monday, Republicans in the Tennessee state House kicked off the second week of trying to silence the voices of those demanding commonsense gun safety legislation. It began with Republican Speaker Cameron Sexton using his position to silence state Rep. Justin Jones. After Democratic lawmakers walked out in protest, state Rep. Gloria Johnson, who has butted heads with Republican legislators before, tweeted out a video excoriating Sexton for his outrageous actions. Watch the two videos compiled on YouTube below:
Johnson noted that Sexton called Jones “out of order” twice before holding a vote to silence him. “However, another member, a Republican, was also called out of order twice tonight,” she said in the video. “No vote was taken to silence that member for the rest of the night.” Johnson added that before Jones was silenced, he had told members he planned on calling for a vote of no confidence in Sexton. In a second video, Johnson said that tomorrow was another day, then turned her fire on Sexton
So we won't know who's going to get silenced. But anybody can make that motion. Absolutely anybody. And I just have to apologize again to the Covenant families who were there who were kicked out of the gallery, because we have a speaker that's terrified, absolutely terrified, of our First Amendment rights to free speech.
He's losing control. He doesn't know how to maintain order. And he's got a whole bunch of folks living inside his head, preventing him from doing the work of the people. And to the families that want to see something done about gun violence, we'll keep fighting for you.
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Republicans began this special session on gun violence last week by using their supermajority to create rules allowing them to silence opposition both in the gallery and on the floor. The following day, they kicked out Covenant elementary school mothers as well as other gun safety advocates on the thinnest of infractions. But gun violence won’t go away if nothing is done, no matter how many fascistic maneuvers Republicans make.
Tennesseans want commonsense gun safety laws. And a video posted to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, by the user tennessee_mom provides a good example of what happens when you try to silence people fighting to save children from gun violence.
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Everyone always talks about redistricting, but what is it like to actually do it? Oregon political consultant Kari Chisholm joins us on this week’s episode of “The Downballot” to discuss his experience as a member of Portland’s new Independent District Commission, a panel of citizens tasked with creating the city’s first-ever map for its city council. Kari explains why Portland wanted to switch from at-large elections to a district-based system, how new multimember districts could boost diversity on the council, and the commission’s surprisingly effective efforts to divide the city into four equal districts while heeding community input.