MURFREESBORO, August 11, 2016– As we look towards the general election in November, we will be faced with a myriad of choices from the state to the federal level. Rep. Bryan Terry has previously presented his process for finding solutions to problems. He describes it as a businesslike approach that works for business, medicine, government, and even family decisions. It involves four steps: premise, goals, options, and feasibility of the options to meet the goals.
The premise is the underlying assumption that must be true in order for the goals, options, and ultimately solutions to be valid. For a state representative race like District 48, the premise is that your vote matters and that it matters who represents the district. In 2014, a state representative race in Knoxville was decided by around 40 votes. The Fourth District congressional race in 2014 was decided by a similar amount. Every vote does matter, and can shape the direction of a community, the state, or the nation if the elected official works for you and the district.
Self governance is exercising your individual liberty, personal responsibility, and civic authority to control instituted government. As one of but a handful of self governance trained elected officials nationwide, Rep. Bryan Terry not only has to tools to help citizens make an impact on government, he has the track record of doing so. From working on issues with individuals, to high school and college students, to community groups, he has helped everyday citizens craft laws, change governmental rules, and raise awareness in areas such as education, health care, the judicial system, and our landfill.
Mishelle Perkins, a co-founder of the Center for Self Governance, which is a nationwide educational organization to instruct citizens on how to impact government, stated, “It’s remarkable to see what an engaged, active, and informed legislator like Dr. Bryan Terry can do in a short period of time. He’s earned the reputation as a thinker and a doer, and quickly earned the trust of the community, other legislators, and statewide groups, as well.”
While most freshmen lawmakers lay back and follow the pack, Rep. Terry took the lead on several issues that earned him not only praise, but a line of citizens, community leaders, and groups looking to him to carry legislation in 2017. In just his first year, Rep. Terry earned the title of Legislator of the Year from the Tennessee Academy of Pediatrics for passing a provider credentialing bill that increased patient access and decreased costs for patients statewide. The bill had failed for the previous ten years; yet, Dr. Terry was able to obtain unanimous support. Additionally, for his work in helping new legislators, Dr. Terry was elected as the Republican Chairman of the Bipartisan Freshman Caucus. As such, he spearheaded an effort to increase bipartisan support of positive legislation for Tennessee.
“What is frustrating for constituents and voters is that many candidates, like my opponent, run on partisanship, divisive and false rhetoric, and the tired playbook of empty political promises without an actual plan. I’ve put my background and training into action and results for the district,” stated Rep. Terry. “Prior to my election, I described to the district my principles, the process, and the plan of action to work with citizens. Together, we’ve made a difference for our district and the state,” explained Rep. Terry
During his first term, Rep. Terry worked with Central Magnet students and co-sponsored legislation on their behalf. They were the only high school students to have a legislator work with them in this manner. Additionally, he co-sponsored the Racial Profiling Prevention Act by advocating for MTSU students. He worked with individual citizens on issues like textbook adoption, validity of teacher evaluations, child custody proceedings, and bringing awareness of achievement of women in business to name a few.
On behalf of the county with unanimous support of the county commission, Dr. Terry sponsored legislation to allow Rutherford County to try a pilot program for convenient voting centers. The program will save the county over $25,000 each election. But perhaps the most significant achievement for the county was when Rep. Terry worked with both Middlepoint Landfill and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to allow him to attend random landfill inspections. He is the only legislator in the state to ever do this for his district.
“Either you control government or government controls you. You can take part in the process or let the process take you apart. When we vote and become involved, together, we can make a difference,” proclaimed Rep. Bryan Terry. “I’m looking forward to working with more citizens next session to help make our lives, our district, and our state even better.”