Sanders to continue as TEP president

Christopher Sanders will continue as president of the state’s leading equality watch organization, the Tennessee Equality Project, after a vote by the board of directors at its annual meeting.

Held on Saturday May 12 at St. Ann’s in East Nashville, the annual meeting consisted of reports from the officers, as well as an update from TEP lobbyist Jenny Ford. More than 15 people were present for the meeting.

Other officers elected include Stephen Henry, vice president; Jeremy Davis, treasurer; Lisa Beavers, secretary and Marisa Richmond, at-large board member on the executive committee.

Continuing on the board are Lisa Beavers, Stephen Henry, Brandon Hutchison, Chris Nelson, John Snyders and Marisa Richmond. Former president and founding board member Randy Cox announced that he was stepping down from the board.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work with this board and proud to have been a part of this great organization,” Cox said.

John Snyders, outgoing treasurer, reported that the Vote No on 1 Campaign had raised just under $160,000 to fight the constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex marriage in Tennessee. He said of that money, $50,000 came from grants and $32,000 was raised from 25 house parties.

Snyders said TEP typically operates on a yearly budget between “$50,000 and $60,000.”

In her lobbyist report Jenny Ford said the TEP Foundation license plate bill would not be moved out of committee and she would wait until next year’s legislative session to see if it could be moved forward.

She also said it had been a successful legislative year for the GLBT community and that “our efforts and pressure have kept bad legislation from coming up.”

President Sanders noted in his report to the board that the first half of last year was spent concentrating on the Vote No on 1 Campaign. He said other TEP sponsored events, which included Lobbying 101; TEP Day on the Hill and other state-wide initiatives took up the last half of the year.

“It’s our goal in the future to concentrate on getting positive GLBT legislation passed,” Sanders said.

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