February 20-26, 2021
Your MEMBER ONLY email on all things the Chamber worked on this week and what you need to know to
get the most out of your membership.Thank you for being a member.
During this time of national crisis, when information and connections are so important, the Weekly Wrap-Up will be made available to members and non-members. We are here for you and in this together.
There are weeks that it seems like there is so much to tell you and update you on, this was definitely one of those weeks. The LGBT Chamber - ADVOCATES, EDUCATES, and CONNECTS and there is a lot of information in all those areas this week, for all of the many types of MEMBERS we serve. (Hope you are seeing the connection of color to the email sections below ;-)
The Weekly is a day late because we needed it to make sure we had all things covered and we were consumed with advocacy. We got our ACTION ALERT out yesterday and we hope you read that and took action. We need everyone to do what they can and share those actions.
Also on the advocacy front, it is clear that transgender people are under attack at all levels of our society. The way that trans people were attacked in the debate over the Equality Act, to the way the first Senate-confirmed trans person was questioned in her nomination hearing. I urge everyone to pay attention to this and speak out when you see it, educate others on how this is not acceptable and how it is discriminatory. It may start with you thinking about the issue and talking to a trans person or a group like the Chamber, to educate yourself on the issue. Education is the first step in change.
Another chance for education and something that should give us hope is that the Equality Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and I am still hopeful that it will pass the Senate and be signed into law. This gives us the chance to point out the protections the bill gives LGBT people, protections most people think we already have. That is a great way to have a conversation with them and explain why it is so needed.
On the education front, there was a ton of information this week surrounding COVID-19 recovery. From changes to the policies that businesses can operate under, to the relief they can receive. There is more information below, please make sure you are aware and let us know if we can help.
On the connection front, there are a number of events to take advantage of and keep making and growing your professional network and stay engaged. I so enjoyed talking with the Souther Word on their Write With Pride program. These youth poets are so brave and talented, it was the recharge I needed this week.
I hope you are taking time for yourself and staying healthy. Connect with us in any way, and thank you for your membership. One last ask, please engage on our open letter and do your part to keep Tennessee a welcoming and inclusive place. No matter what happens in the weeks ahead, we at the LGBT Chamber will be doing so.
SEND A FEW THANK-YOUS
It is so important that we thank legislators when they do the right thing and support them. We are asking you to thank three people that did that this week.
- Sen. Raumesh Akbari laid out very strong questions and arguments about the anti-transgender student-athlete bill this week in the Senate Education Committee. We hope you watched the hearing (40:19) and heard her passionate and thoughtful closing argument against the bill.
- Rep. Eddie Mannis wrote a letter to the members of the House Education Administration Committee and then released it to the media, opposing the bill. You can read a complete story on this from the Knoxville News and the reaction he has received. WPLN also covered it. We thank Rep. Mannis, a Republican, for speaking out for the LGBT community with his fellow republican colleagues. Actions like this show the importance of representation.
- Rep. Torrey Harris visited the members of the Education Administration Committee prior to the vote and made the case for them to vote against the bill. Again, Harris, an LGBT Representative shows the importance of having LGBT people serving in the legislature where they can speak directly with their fellow colleagues.
Please take a minute to thank them for their work against HB3/SB228, you can send them quick emails at
EQUALITY ACT PASSES IN THE HOUSE
The Nashville LGBT Chamber applauds the U.S. House of Representatives' quick passage Thursday of the Equality Act, a landmark federal law that would protect LGBTQ Americans in virtually all areas of daily life.
The bill, passed with a 224-206 bipartisan vote, would amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly ban LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, education, credit, jury service and other areas, and explicitly extend sex discrimination protections to public accommodations and federally-funded programs.
Read our statement here.
Thank you to our member AMAZON for their statement on passage before the vote. Once again corporate business is leading the way in equality matters.
#DeclineToSign: Stop the New Referendum Attack on Nashville
You may have received a postcard recently soliciting you to sign onto a petition about Davidson County’s budget and several tax issues. We strongly urge you to decline to sign it and wanted you to have some additional information:
- This petition is similar to the one that was presented in early fall and was found to be legally questionable. We opposed that referendum as well.
It’s a waste of resources and time regarding issues affecting our city and a distraction from our city’s recovery efforts from last year’s tornado, downtown bombing, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.
- A study of the city’s budget in which it was discovered that the city’s expenses were largely in line with peer cities, while the city’s revenue was insufficient. This has been further exacerbated by COVID-19.
- If the items on the petition are approved at referendum, the city will face a deficit of $332 million and will require cuts that impact our quality of life (specifically the city’s educators, public health and safety, cuts to police officers, firefighters, first responders and trash pickup). Marginalized communities will feel these impacts at an even higher level.
We are committed to keeping Nashville the great place it is to work, live, and play.
We encourage you to share this information with your networks who may have an interest. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us.
Mayor John Cooper announced modifications to Phase 3 will begin on Monday, March 1, as long as mask wearing and social distancing remain in place. Modifications related to the hospitality industry are detailed below.
Maximum event size attendance increases to 1,000 people from 500 people, dependent on the risks associated with the event (such as whether alcohol is served) and application approval.
Event applications are not required for outdoor events with 25 or fewer people; indoor limit remains at 8 with no application.
Bars and Restaurants
- No service after 12am; all persons off premises by 1am.
- Capacity increases to a maximum of up to 125 per floor, as long as social distancing can be maintained. Current capacity has been 50 percent up to 100 per floor.
- Bar counters may seat guests maintaining social distancing between parties, up from the current capacity of 50 percent.
- Maximum party size remains at 8 per table.
Museums and Attractions
- Tour sizes increase to the number of participants that can be safely socially distanced, up from current 50 percent capacity. Indoor facilities must keep patrons socially distanced.
- Smaller vehicles like pedal taverns must maintain social distancing and mask wearing; they are currently restricted to two groups of 8 people.
- Larger vehicles licensed by the state will have their capacity increased to 12 people.
- Outdoor gathering size increases to 25 people from 8; indoor limit remains 8.
SAFE TRAVELS DESTINATION
Nashville has been named a Safe Travels destination by the World Travel & Tourism Council, making it one of only two destinations in the United States to achieve the designation. As cases continue to drop and vaccination doses are distributed, we expect momentum for our industry and city to continue. Read more here.
VACCINATION ROLLOUT UPDATE
Tennessee moved to the next phase of COVID vaccinations this week, adding teachers, child car workers, and those aged 65 and older. However, individual counties, including Davidson, are moving a different pace. Learn more here.
Want to find a vaccine near you? Use the Vaccine Finder.
NEW PPP AND SBA INFORMATION
The Biden administration will give the country's smallest employers two weeks of exclusive access to emergency loans, in a bid to target aid to minority-owned businesses and other companies that have struggled the most to obtain the funds during the pandemic.
SBA is also offering low-interest federal loans for business and home owners who were affected by the Nashville Christmas bombing.
Review the email we sent earlier this week here.
THIS WEEK'S CHAMBER EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
We hosted two great educational events this week as part of the Rainbow Connection Series: Classroom Connect and Benefit Connect.
Thank you to our board member Dez Stephens of Radiant Health Institute for presenting "The Accidental Activist" on Thursday.
Lauren also hosted our inaugural "Benefit Connect: Maximizing Your Membership".
If you missed either of these programs, you can watch the recording of Classroom Connect and Benefit Connect.
Do you have time and talent to dedicate to the Nashville LGBT Chamber? Consider becoming a VOLUNTEER for one of our working committees! You can find more information here. Get connected!
WHAT WE DID
- We attended our member Southern Word's Write with Pride Lift Off event.
- We also attended NGLCC's "Progress, Partnership & Perseverance: A Celebration of Black LGBT Entrepreneurs & Leaders.
We are so happy to partner with our members for events. Do you have an upcoming event? Make sure you add it our Community Calendar. Log into the member portal for directions.
MEMBER BENEFIT CHECK IN
The ability to post Banner Ads is a valuable benefit for our business members. These website adverstisement include a clickable image to the landing page of your choice.
Ready to upload your Banner Ad? Fill out this form now.
Reach out to Lauren if you have any questions!