Speak Your Truth: Locals host forum to encourage voting; will provide carpools on Election Day


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Local voting advocates hosted a Speak Your Truth forum, a bipartisan effort to encourage community members to partake in local, state and national elections.

The hosts of Sunday night’s event at Founders Park included Rue London and Kemp Faneto, two community members who aim to stimulate higher voter turnout.

The forum was inclusive to all no matter political affiliation and strived to show solidarity within the community.

News Channel 11 spoke with Faneto, who also serves as an active member in the New Panthers Initiative. He said that he helped host Sunday night’s forum in hopes of inspiring others to participate in the voting process.

“This event was an all-inclusive event; we’re not here to share our political views at all by any means,” Faneto said. “We are definitely here to encourage everybody to vote no matter who you are voting for.”

The young advocate urges voters to factcheck candidates before submitting votes.

“I encourage everybody strongly to factcheck whoever you are listening to — any candidate on any platform,” Faneto said. “I encourage you guys to factcheck these people — even if you know them personally. Factcheck these people, and make sure that they are coming and meeting the needs of your individual person.

“Me, preferably, I would say for the people.”

Faneto revealed that carpools will be available on Election Day for those who want to cast a vote but might not have the resources to do so.

“We will be giving rides to the polls as well for anybody who does not have a vehicle or is not able to drive themselves,” Faneto said. “Please reach out to us on Facebook, which would be the New Panther Initiative on Facebook; reach out to us.

“Polls are going to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., so we will be available all day that day.”

Others present at the Speak Your Truth forum included several candidates for the Johnson City Commission: Kyle Beagle, Jeff Clark, and Alona Norwood.

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