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Legislators, Matthew Charles, and Advocates to Meet Wednesday in Nashville to Discuss New Bills that Will Restore Voting Rights to Tennesseans with Felony Convictions

NASHVILLE, TN – On Wednesday, February 13th, at 2:45 pm, lawmakers, Matthew Charles, advocates, and re-entry experts, will gather at the capitol complex in Nashville to discuss new bills (SB 589 / HB 547) that will streamline the rights restoration process to Tennesseans with felony convictions who have completed their sentences.

Press are requested to RSVP here.

The roundtable will feature the bill sponsors, State Senator Steven Dickerson (R-20) and State Representative Michael Curcio (R-69), alongside Matthew Charles, a formerly-incarcerated activist and recent guest of President Trump at the State of the Union, as well as a group of prominent advocates and prisoner re-entry experts. Over the course of the roundtable, participants will discuss the substance of the legislation, its potential to limit bureaucratic interference in the rights restoration process, and its impact on formerly incarcerated people living in Tennessee.

Currently, 320,000 Tennesseans with felony convictions, more than 8% of the state’s total voting age population, are disenfranchised by the onerous restoration process despite having already served their time and successfully completed their parole and/or probation.

The roundtable will be moderated by Colin Weaver, Director of State Affairs for Secure Democracy. Roundtable participants include:

  • Tennessee State Senator Steven Dickerson (R-20)

  • Tennessee State Representative Michael Curcio (R-69) (opening remarks)

  • Matthew Charles, formerly-incarcerated activist released from prison under the First Step Act; President Trump’s guest at the 2019 State of the Union Address

  • Tori Venable, State Director at Americans for Prosperity Tennessee

  • Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director of ACLU Tennessee

  • Tequila Johnson, Vice President of The Equity Alliance (opening remarks)

  • Bettie Kirkland, Executive Director of Project Return

The roundtable will be open to the press and the public.


Roundtable on Restoring Voting Rights to Tennesseans With Felony Convictions


Cordell Hull Building; 425 5th Avenue North; Nashville, TN 37243

Room information: Conference Room 5C, 5th Floor


2:45 - 3:30 pm, February 13th, 2019


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