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Kat’s Blog: Winning One Battle at a Time

TN House Bill 407 went before the house committee on Wednesday.

In summary, the bill which was proposed by House Rep. Doggett and Senator Hensley sought two amendments to the current registrant residency restriction law.

First, it sought to increase from 1,000ft to 2,000ft, the current residency restrictions for registrants.  Second, it asked to mandate that no registrant whose victim was a minor, shall knowingly reside or conduct an overnight visit at a residence in which a minor resides or is present.

For weeks before this committee meeting myself and others furiously sent emails pleading our case, the already devastatingly punitive registrant restrictions, to all the senators and house representatives. I didn’t expect many replies, I’d been told that if you’re outside their district and can’t offer them a vote, you probably wouldn’t get any response.

But I did get responses.  Not a lot compared to the enormous amount of emails I’d sent, but enough replies, some “form replies” and some personal responses that made me think some people are actually beginning to hear us.

The House Rep. that sponsored the bill had their legal assistant respond. When I had first requested research info on their bill they were happy to provide it, but when they deduced that I was a registry advocate rather than someone wanting to write a story on how great their amendments would be for public safety, well,  the emails became a bit “snarky ”.  One particular email indicated there was not much they could do for me since I hadn’t provided them with fact sources.

Challenge accepted.

I sent them a plethora of resources and links to facts and statistics, state and federal, journals, references and just about anything else I thought they should read.  I requested one thing from them, that they do their research on BOTH sides of the issue before proposing bills such as this.  After all, their job is to represent “the people”, all the people, not just those that agree with them.

The bill went to committee.  Time ran over, it was continued till the following week.

Did you ever watch these committee meetings?  The bills the representatives and senators consider “important” seem to take up the entire meeting, time is spent discussing them and their constituents are invited to speak.  Bills such as HB 407 are held till the last few minutes of the meeting when time is running out and the bills are voted on in a flash.

HB 407 was quickly addressed.

Miraculously, the residency restriction amendment from 1000 ft to 2000ft was returned back to 1000ft. There was no discussion of how or why the change, it just happened and that’s good enough for me.

The second part of the bill, registrants residing in the same home with minors, was sent to the full judiciary committee for vote the following week.

So there’s a lot more work to do, more emails to send. (By the way, the legal assistant with the snarky emails got back to me after I sent her the reference info and with a much more “pleasant” tone she actually thanked me for sending the links to resources. She said she planned to share them with the representative.) Maybe she will, maybe she won’t, but at least the attitude was better.

Fighting this battle is exhausting and so often it seems like it gets us nowhere.

But Wednesday, in TN, one small battle was won.

 Was it was worth all of the effort?

Wars are won one battle at a time.     


Join the discussion

  1. Mp

    Thank you for what you do and thank you for sharing. So many people, people you will never know, are so very grateful to you.

    • dph

      Ditto! Mp, ditto
      (Katy you need to be on Payroll)
      Searching for Tennessee’s action(TN)

  2. Anonymous

    That was friggin Amazing. A lot of time, work & the facts!!! Incredible

  3. AJ

    Regardless of anything that happens with the legislation, you’ve educated more people via the reports and studies you supplied. That alone can–and I believe will–start to make a difference. It chips away at the false belief and narrative, and once that seed of truth is planted, it grows. For all we know, the legislative assistant has mentioned it to some friends or coworkers, who then get educated, etc.

    Well done.

  4. Facts should matter

    We need moonshots. Not small victories here and there. All these small “wins” will just be eventually stymied and squandered by lawmakers with “loophole” fixes.

    • TS


      In reference to those moon shots you so direly want and are over the moon for, the moon shots did not happen automatically but with little victories first and foremost. Once all the little victories were able to come together, they were able to make a successful moonshot which then repeated itself before the program was finally ended.

      You want to stymie the loophole closing efforts? Get involved and ensure the information is in place to stymie those loophole closing efforts.

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      Typical defeatist attitude

  5. Joe123

    Great work!!

  6. Worried in Wisconsin

    Nicely done.

    It is possible to have victories, small and large, when just one person undertakes a campaign on a proposal.

    I do the same thing here in Wisconsin when a related proposal is made. I start with the person introducing the bill, then work on the co-sponsors, then the committee members. Sometimes I have success, sometimes not. But, I’ve seen more than one bill die on the vine shortly after sending out the relevant facts that counter the myths being proposed.

  7. Jack

    Why not just tell them that’s been tried already in California? Tell them about how Sharon Runner died so mysteriously after it got ruled unconstitutional too.

  8. Harry

    The best weapon that RCs have are the truth. It can take a long time for truth to push back against rooted lies. I would like to see an organization like ACSOL to develop and simple and attractive pamphlet with the facts that is known to use us, so I can print it off and drop off or pin it up on every public bulletin board.

  9. James

    Keep fighting the good fight Kat! I’m encouraged by your tireless efforts to educate these politicians in your state.

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