Put the People First

Inspired by the Moral Mondays movement led by our North Carolina neighbors, Put the People First is a coalition effort of worker, community, civil rights, student, and faith groups in Tennessee. We have come together to call on Governor Haslam and his elite allies to change their current, off-the-rails trajectory and make the interests of working people their top priority. The sad fact is that Governor Haslam, the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, and their elite allies, have abandoned everyday people, and pursued an agenda that favors huge corporations and the super wealthy. Our coalition’s response is simple: put the people first.

Over 350 of us gathered together at the Capitol on March 11, 2014 to send this message. As we wrote in a letter we jointly delivered to Gov. Haslam, "Our coalition has come together because ours is a different vision of Tennessee – one where there are good jobs, that pay us decently and provide benefits; where our kids have access to free, quality, equal public education that's directed by teachers, not corporate lobbyists; and where all of us can participate."

Our efforts are continuing, through the daily and weekly actions of coalition partners and individual members, and with “Put the People First” statewide actions in cities and towns across Tennessee on May Day. We are building this movement in Tennessee, connected with a growing, vibrant social movement across the South. Our efforts will continue until all Tennesseans have access to secure living wage jobs, real public education at all levels, and the ability for all of us to participate with our democratic rights to organize, protest, bargain and vote freely.

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