Tennessee ranks 50th in voter turnout and 40th in voter registration among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In our inaugural year, we will focus on collaborating with organizations throughout Tennessee to engage citizens in government through increased voter registration, voter turnout and other forms of civic engagement.
According to recent census data, 93% of Tennessee is classified as rural. In approximately 70 counties, at least 50% of the population resides on land designated as rural. Tennessee’s rural landscape allows for an abundance of natural resources. It is imperative to preserve and conserve these natural resources while creating economic opportunity for residents living outside of urban centers.
The Deane Foundation believes healthcare is a basic human right, yet according to recent census data, nearly 12% of Tennesseans are uninsured. Additionally, limited or non-existent access to healthcare disproportionately affects lower income residents, which perpetuates social disparities and economic inequality. A key focus for the Deane Foundation is to expand access to healthcare for all residents of the state and ensure our citizens are receiving care that contributes to a healthy life regardless of socioeconomic status. Since every right comes with responsibility, the Deane Foundation is also focused on ensuring Tennesseans have the tools and means to take responsibility for their own health.
Equal opportunity, freedom from violence, and domestic security are basic human rights in a developed society. However, significant racial, gender and wealth gaps persist in Tennessee. We and others across the political spectrum find that current structures contribute to growing economic inequity and, in particular, that our criminal justice system criminalizes poverty and exacerbates economic equity. With a focus on criminal justice, historical justice and juvenile justice reform, The Deane Foundation will work to address social inequity with the hope of restoring equal opportunity for all Tennesseans.