NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As the “Tennessee Three” fought to keep their seats in the State House, Tequila Johnson was there watching the outcome.
“Most of us on the ground predicted that the two black men would be the ones to be expelled,” she said.
As Rep. Gloria Johnson (D—Knoxville) barely kept her seat, former Reps. Justin Jones (D—Nashville) and Justin Pearson (D—Memphis) were officially expelled by their colleagues.
“When it comes to acts of democracy, I expect our state to be resistant because that’s what they’ve done,” said Tequila Johnson.
Clifton Harris is still working to process what happened yesterday.
“It is a sad day for the State of Tennessee,” he said. “I have a lot of sad feelings and turmoil.”
Tequila Johnson is the executive director of The Equity Alliance, while Harris is the president and CEO of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee.
Both leaders are working to focus their energy on what happens next.
“I have to believe this — what has happened will cause people to stand up and fight for change,” said Harris.
Both leaders hope these expulsions will shine a brighter light on the need to vote.
“If we had the right people up there elected to serve us then we wouldn’t have to go up there and protest gun violence because the people serving us would make sure that the things we care about are in place,” said Tequila Johnson.
Right now, all eyes are on Tennessee, but both Harris and Tequila Johnson believe a shift is coming because of it.
“We’re going to make change in Tennessee that’s going to have an impact on not just the South, not just the country, but the world,” said Tequila Johnson.
Both organizations say they are going to continue focusing their efforts on making sure people are well informed about issues and the voting process.