Video messages tell TEP members to prepare for non-discrimination ordinance


The Tennessee Equality Project has moved to YouTube as a new way to get messages out to its membership, with its first video message breaking news that the state-wide equality organization had been working behind the scenes in Nashville and Memphis to prepare for non-discrimination ordinances in those cities.

In a Labor Day video message, TEP President Christopher Sanders tells YouTube viewers what TEP is doing to work toward non-discrimination ordinances.

“In recent months we have seen signs of hope that it will be possible to advance non-discrimination ordnances in Memphis and Nashville for the governmental employees in those cities,” Sanders tells the YouTube audience. “TEP has been preparing for this moment in phases. In phase one we have received a grant from the equality federation that has given priority designation to Nashville and Memphis as cities were a non-discrimination ordinance is needed.”

Sanders went on to say that “in phase two, TEP PAC, our political action committee, has been active in interviewing and surveying candidates in local races so that we would have more allies in local government when the time for this effort to move forward.”

Sanders said to complete the phases “it will be critical that Nashville and Memphis voters turn out in large numbers so that our community can be well represented at polls."

After the elections, phase three of the campaign will begin. Sanders cautioned that it will take some time to seat the new council and elected officials and TEP would not be "rash to rush the non-discrimination campaigns."

“TEP is uniquely position to make a leading contribution in this effort,” he said.

This is the first time TEP has used video messaging to reach out to its membership. Sanders said he had been discussing it with community member David Glasgow and the two felt the Labor Day message was the perfect time to test the medium.

"David Glasgow and I had been discussing the possibilities of the medium. He was willing to set up the equipment and give it a try,” Sanders said. “We see it as a way of keeping up with the way many people are already receiving information. We hope that it allows us to reach more people more in a more engaging way. We particularly wanted to reach more of our members in Nashville and Memphis with this message about non-discrimination ordinances."

With more than 105 views in less than 12 hours, Sanders said he was pleased so far with the results.

"So far, the open rate for these emails is higher than usual, and that bodes well for further efforts,” he said.

TEP may use the medium for future messages, with other TEP board members contributing.

“I’ve encouraged other members of the board to work upcoming messages.” Sanders said. “I think it’s a good way for our members to get to know our leadership and more about our work."