The Tennessee Title VI Compliance Commission was scheduled to meet in Nashville at the Legislative Plaza on August 7, 2006. No official business could be conducted because the Commission did not have a quorum of members in attendance. The Commission was scheduled to meet in Clarksville in September of 2005. That meeting failed also due to the lack of a quorum.
There were a number of individuals from Clarksville that attended the meeting with high hopes of being able to present issues related to Title VI and hear some possible solutions. Sadly their hopes were dashed because the official meeting had to be canceled.
Pastor Jerry Jerkins of Clarksville, one of the Commissioners that does attend the meetings regularly, voiced his concern with the possibility of submitting his resignation. The Commission Director, Dr. John Birdsong, could not explain why the absent commissioners chose not to attend the meeting. Some of the members present questioned whether or not the Governor was aware of the failure of the Commission. A suggestion was made to have the Commissioners request an audience with the Governor. However, since there was no quorum a motion could not be submitted for a vote.
It was extremely disheartening to be in attendance at the two meetings Dr. Cook mentions in this post. There were people who had traveled great distances, without any hope of compensation, to register their complaints and seek redress. The repeated failure of the Commission to have a quorum denied these citizens their right of direct appeal to their government. That is a founding principle of our government. Yet, thru bureaucratic missteps and political semantics, the citizens have been effectively blocked from having government address their concerns while wrongful practices continue unchecked and unabated.
Can there really be any wonder why apathy reins rampant in our communities? Why we lose our young people to destructive criminal endeavors? Yet there are those brave few determined souls who continue to press on. They desire to see the elusive American Ideal made real, here in Clarksville, in Tennessee and across these United States. We should pray they succeed, and soon.