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Republicans Often Use Clerk Positions as Pulpits: That’s Why I’m Running for Shelby County Register of Deeds

Republicans Often Use Clerk Positions as Pulpits: That’s Why I’m Running for Shelby County Register of Deeds

 

Why I’m Running
By Adrienne Pakis-Gillon

 

I am running for Shelby County Register of Deeds because I want to be a voice for women in our county government where we are grossly underrepresented. As the Shelby County Register of Deeds I will use my MBA, work experience, and leadership to benefit the community. Republicans have held these clerk positions for years and often use them as pulpits to support agendas that marginalize or hurt many in our community, with life-long consequences. They lock up local funds for their party by leveraging these positions of power.

 

My candidacy is a continuation of my commitment to policies that provide opportunity, equality, and compassion for everyone. My personal mission statement is to be involved, to take a stand, and make a difference.

 

I have worked in state and local politics, non-profit charitable organizations and participated in disaster relief and neighborhood and school revitalization efforts. The work is never done.

 

Tennessee was the 36th and final state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women across the country the right to vote. I spent the last eight years working to make sure the Suffragists leaders who rallied in Nashville and the men in the legislature that supported them in 1920 are not forgotten. We must honor those who fought so hard for the precious right to vote. I have organized celebrations in Memphis and currently serve on the nine-member state wide board that placed a monument in Nashville honoring this historic event. We honor those women most, though, when we exercise that right and vote.

 

As a child who moved frequently, attending four different high schools, often with immigrant grandparents living with us, it was difficult to establish firm roots. At college I was able to become part of a community that encouraged me to take chances. I stepped up, volunteered, and ultimately held numerous leadership positions while making life-long friends. I also met my husband who I married the day after we graduated.

 

Our journey took us to graduate school, a couple of moves, and gave us two wonderful children. I worked at Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and in a family owned business for five years helping establish it from formation to dissolution when other opportunities arose. While I worked or took periods to be a stay at home mom, I continually volunteered and contributed my skills and abilities to my community.

 

To quote Hillary Clinton, “I view women’s rights as human rights.” They are fundamental. I am involved in every election up and down the ballot to elect progressive individuals to office. Regrettably, in spite of our state’s historic place in granting women the right to vote, Tennessee ranks 50th in voter turnout. Women are 50% plus of our state’s and county’s voting population. We are currently grossly underrepresented in the legislature and on local elected county wide positions. As a member of the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee, I worked hard in 2014 to defeat a Republican assault on women’s access to abortions which unfortunately passed. Stronger voting by women could make a difference and stop this erosion of our personal rights. We have to change these statistics. A woman’s right to vote is no accident. It was hard-fought. Women must be encouraged to go to the polls to support female candidates and candidates who prioritize women’s rights.

 

As the Register of Deeds in a diverse community, I will have another opportunity to enlighten voters about Tennessee’s unique history and why they should embrace the opportunity to vote. As an Emerge alumna, I hope I will encourage more women to run because if we aren’t on the ballot we can’t win. Finally, I hope by winning I will be an active, vocal voice in my community for positive progressive platforms supporting women while continuing to prove that women will provide excellent service for our citizens in the Register of Deeds Office.

 

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BIO:  As a lifelong volunteer, women’s rights advocate, and southerner who has been active in politics most of her life, Adrienne Pakis-Gillon realizes the importance of elected administrative positions and has therefore decided to run for office in Shelby County. With an MBA and work experience at a Fortune 500 company and small business along with decades of leadership volunteer experience in her community, Adrienne Pakis-Gillon is running for the position of Shelby County Register of Deeds.

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