Please contact ASAP Mayor Mark Luttrell and urge him to veto resolution #26, awarding a $115,000 contract to Memphis Planned Parenthood for the distribution of free condoms. His veto will send the issue back to the Board of Commissioners for reconsideration.
The mayor could sign the measure right away; consequently, we must contact him ASAP – be polite, no threats.
As a sample message (feel free to copy/paste):
I urge that you veto resolution #26 awarding a federal grant of $115,000 to Memphis Planned Parenthood for the distribution of free condoms. The federal grant should be awarded instead to the Shelby County Health Department, which is capable of more effectively and efficiently delivering the program to Shelby County residents.
The mayor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 901-222-2000.
If emailing, include your address, verifying you’re a resident of Shelby County.
Background on the issue:
- The board of commissioners voted Monday, February 6, by a vote of 7 to 5, to approve resolution #26, awarding the grant to Memphis Planned Parenthood. Commissioners Basar, Chism, Reaves, Roland, and Shafer voted against PP receiving the grant. Commissioner Billingsley recused himself because he is an employee of Methodist Le Bonheur. Commissioner Van turner should have recused himself as he is on the Board of PP. Please thank the commissioners who voted against PP.
- The funding is a federal grant under the Ryan White HIV/Aids Program; consequently, the program can only be challenged at the federal level.
- The grant is administered through the TN Department of Health and under a federal court order, blocking the withholding of funds for “extraneous considerations” – PP provides abortion services. If we oppose the grant going to PP because they perform abortions, we lose! Even should commissioners direct the funding to the Shelby County Health Dept. for other than abortion reasons, PP will challenge the decision with a lawsuit.
- Prior to the Monday vote, Commissioner Shafer unsuccessfully attempted to obtain help from the TN Department of Health and the TN attorney general.