Senator Mark Norris - District 32 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:10:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Senator Norris receives coveted Champion of Life Science Award from Life Science Tennessee http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/23/senator-norris-receives-coveted-champion-of-life-science-award-from-life-science-tennessee/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/23/senator-norris-receives-coveted-champion-of-life-science-award-from-life-science-tennessee/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:08:06 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5773

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has received the Champion of Life Science Award from Life Science Tennessee for his work to “create more high-tech jobs, commercialize more technology and make a difference in the overall health of Tennesseans and people throughout the globe.” The coveted award was presented to Norris at the group’s annual conference in Nashville on Wednesday.

“Your support of companies and organizations such as St. Jude, Memphis Bioworks, UTHSC, the vast medical device industry in Memphis, as well as your support advocating for better health care, and capital formation programs for Tennessee’s emerging technologies has made a difference and allowed the life science industry to grow in Tennessee over the past several years,” said Life Science Tennessee Executive Director, Abby Trotter, in a letter to Norris announcing the award.

Norris serves on the Tennessee Workforce Development Board, and is a Director of Launch TN and the Memphis Research Consortium.

Life Science Tennessee is a statewide, non-profit, member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee through advocacy, partnerships and alignment with economic and workforce development. Members include companies, universities, research institutions, government and economic development groups, and other industry associations involved in discovery and application of life sciences products and related services to improve the health and well-being of people throughout the world.

“I am very honored to receive this award from this distinguished group,” said Senator Norris. “The Life Sciences are vital to economic development, entrepreneurship and well being in Tennessee. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

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Senator Norris to perform with nation’s most elite high school musicians http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/17/senator-norris-to-perform-with-nations-most-elite-high-school-musicians/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/17/senator-norris-to-perform-with-nations-most-elite-high-school-musicians/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:58:18 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5759

Thirty-three Tennessee students to participate in NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles

NASVHILLE, Tenn. — Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) will perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage with the nation’s most elite high school musicians, as he narrates a musical tribute to the spirit of President Ronald Reagan for the All-National Honor Ensembles. The October 29th event will mark the first time the 40th U.S. President’s words have been on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in over 30 years

The concert will highlight the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) “Music Education Orchestrates Success” conference in Nashville which begins on October 26. Senator Norris is Chairman of the Council of State Governments, a bipartisan professional association serving all three branches of government in 50 states and Puerto Rico.

“It is a tremendous honor to perform with these incredibly talented students,” said Senator Norris. “These students represent ‘the best of the best’ musicians in the United States and I am very honored to have a role in this concert.”

Norris will narrate “The Shining City,” comprised of excerpts from the speeches and writings of President Reagan, as NAfME’s National Honor Band performs. Composer Mark Camphouse, who is the Professor of Music and Conductor of the Wind Symphony at George Mason University, will conduct the band. President Reagan last appeared at the Grand Ole Opry on September 13, 1984, when he spoke at a birthday celebration for country music legend Roy Acuff.

“These are big shoes to fill,” added Norris. “But, I know that the music will help fill those shoes. As President Reagan said: “Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”

The 670 students performing in the All-National Honor Ensembles were chosen from approximately 2.5 million contenders nationwide at local, district and state music festivals. It consists of a concert band, orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble Thirty-three of the students are from Tennessee. In addition to Camphouse, the students will perform under the direction of Gerald Schwarz, Edith Copley and Robert Baca, all of whom have received top honors in their field.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is the largest fine arts education organization in the country with nearly 60,000 members nationwide. October marks National Arts and Humanities Month. After the concert, Norris will address the annual meeting of the Tennessee Arts Commission at Montgomery Bell State Park.

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Senator Norris to speak to multi-city Sexual Assault Kit Summit http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/16/senator-norris-to-speak-to-multi-city-sexual-assault-kit-summit/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/16/senator-norris-to-speak-to-multi-city-sexual-assault-kit-summit/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:06:12 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5767 NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 16, 2014 – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) will speak to a multi-city summit on Monday, October 20 regarding governmental efforts to end the rape kit backlog in pursuit of justice for victims and survivors. The 2014 Sexual Assault Kit Summit, hosted by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, will be held in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mayor A.C. Wharton will also participate in a panel discussion to share information regarding the City of Memphis’ recent efforts to alleviate the backlog.

“I am very pleased to see cities coming together to share information about what is working and how we can overcome the challenges faced to get these kits tested,” said Sen. Norris. “DNA evidence has revolutionized the way we apprehend and prosecute rape cases, with the courts recognizing the validity of these tests. We have made major steps in the right direction over the past year so justice can be served, but we have much more work to do. This summit is very helpful in exchanging information so that we can be successful in prosecuting the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”

Norris sponsored major legislation this year requiring all law enforcement agencies or departments charged with the maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault kits to generate a report to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation based on that inventory by July 1, 2014. That report showed 44 police agencies in Tennessee had a combined total of 9,062 untested rape kits statewide.

He also passed major legislation this year to repeal the statute of limitations for rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child and aggravated rape of a child, as long as law enforcement or the district attorney general has been notified within three years of the offense. The new law pertains to acts committed on or after July 1, 2014 or offenses committed prior to that date, as long as the statute of limitations has not expired.

“DNA evidence is not only helpful in identifying perpetrators in unsolved cases, but also prevents future assaults by prosecuting rapists early in their criminal careers,” Norris added. “It is a very effective tool in getting these criminals off the streets.”

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Senator Norris Urges Local Collaboratives to Apply for LEAP Grants as Oct. 15 Intent Deadline Approaches http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/09/senator-norris-urges-local-collaboratives-to-apply-for-leap-grants-as-oct-15-intent-deadline-approaches/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/09/senator-norris-urges-local-collaboratives-to-apply-for-leap-grants-as-oct-15-intent-deadline-approaches/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:52:42 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5749 Innovative program provides cooperative effort between government, education and manufacturing in training skilled workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) today urged local collaboratives to apply for the state’s new Labor Education and Alignment Program (LEAP) grants which are focused on enabling students in Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and community colleges to participate in technical training developed with input from area employers. The innovative program, sponsored by Norris, provides for cooperative efforts between government, education and businesses to fill the skills gaps in the local workforce pool, while increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees.

The notice of intent for applicants to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to compete for grants of up to $1 million is due no later than Wednesday, October 15.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for communities to provide workers with the skills they need to get a job and advance in the workplace,” said Leader Norris. “The cooperative training then counts as part of an approved curriculum toward a meaningful certificate or degree, enabling Tennesseans to simultaneously work, earn and learn.”

Qualifying collaboratives are defined as a partnership that includes at least three counties. The applicants must represent a partnership consisting of the following entities:

• A local economic development agency, chamber of commerce or workforce board;
• A community college or college of applied technology;
• The local K-12 school district; or
• Two or more local employers with a demonstrated shortage of skilled workers

Major metropolitan areas with a population greater than 170,000 may apply as a single applicant; however, priority will be given to those proposals that incorporate additional county partners.

“Tennessee employers keep asking for job candidates with the requisite skills needed in today’s technologically-advanced workplace,” added Norris. “The LEAP grants provide a collaborative effort to accomplish this, while giving our state and local economic development leaders a huge boost as they recruit new jobs to Tennessee. It is a win-win for everyone, especially the students or workers who participate in the program.”

The grant program is funded by a $10 million appropriation in the 2014-15 state budget also sponsored by Norris. A selection committee consisting of representatives from higher education, the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Labor will review the proposals and select those that most clearly address the needs of current employers or serve as a catalyst to recruit new manufacturing industries to the state. Final proposals must be received by November 17. The RFP application can be found at: http://www.tn.gov/thec/

“Overall, these grants will serve to attract advanced manufacturing, strengthen our economy, and improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans. I hope to see many proposals submitted,” Norris concluded.

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Leader Norris calls for States to Support Freedom from Federal Regulation without Representation http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/01/leader-norris-calls-for-states-to-support-freedom-from-federal-regulation-without-representation/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/10/01/leader-norris-calls-for-states-to-support-freedom-from-federal-regulation-without-representation/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:23:16 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5741 “Federal government continues to make rules from bake sales to barnyards which affect our personal liberties”

MOBILE, AL — Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) called for states to support freedom from federal “regulation without representation” at a meeting of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) in Mobile, Alabama yesterday. Norris, who is Chairman of the national Council of State Governments (CSG) and a member of SSEB, addressed the group at their 54th Annual Meeting.

Norris is an advocate for “Regulation Freedom” calling upon Congress to require that, whenever one quarter of the members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation, a majority vote of the House and Senate is required to adopt such regulation.

“Empowering Congress to act is a valuable strategy in limiting government abuse,” said Sen. Norris. “I believe it is the responsibility of the states to provide the inducement to act. Regulation Freedom should be on the tip of every tongue every time we talk to a Congressman.”

Norris is now joined by 150 other state legislators, including House and Senate Speakers, who also support Regulation Freedom.

“Unfunded mandates and regulations cost taxpayers between $44 and $62 billion each year,” said Norris citing a recent report from the Office of Management and Budget.

Last year, Norris formed a Federalism Task Force within CSG which advocated this year for passage of HR 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) who received CSG’s coveted Guardian of Federalism Award this year. It passed the House of Representatives in February but awaits action in the Senate.

The Southern States Energy Board also adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Norris in opposition to a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rule to redefine “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would impair state authority over water within their boundaries, significantly increasing the cost and regulatory requirements for state and local governments. The resolution called on the EPA and Corps to defer adoption of any redefinition of the waters under the proposed rule until the Science Advisory Board concludes their scientific analysis, an economic analysis is complete and the proposed redefinition is consistent with previous Supreme Court rulings regarding federal limitations.

“This proposed federal rule has the potential to effect even the most minor streams and standing water on personal property,” added Norris. “This is a huge issue for farmers as the federal government continues to make rules from bake sales to barnyards which affect our personal liberties.”

Senator Norris appeared in Mobile with TVA President, Bill Johnson, and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

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Reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act critical to processing backlog of untested rape kits in Tennessee http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/09/19/reauthorization-of-the-debbie-smith-act-critical-to-processing-backlog-of-untested-rape-kits-in-tennessee/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/09/19/reauthorization-of-the-debbie-smith-act-critical-to-processing-backlog-of-untested-rape-kits-in-tennessee/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 03:02:20 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5731 NASHVILLE, TN, September 19, 2014 – – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) said today congressional reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act will be of tremendous help to accurately assess and reduce the backlog of untested DNA evidence from open rape cases in Tennessee. The U.S. Senate passed the bill yesterday, which had already received approval in the House of Representatives, sending it to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

“The funds provided through the Debbie Smith Act are essential in providing state and local governments with the resources to work through the backlog of evidence in untested rape kits,” said Senator Norris, who is Chairman of the Council of State Governments. “That is the first step in getting the perpetrators off the street so that justice can be served for the victims and survivors. I appreciate our congressional leaders for supporting this legislation which will greatly help in our efforts to identify and prosecute offenders in Tennessee.”

Norris sponsored legislation this year requiring all law enforcement agencies or departments charged with the maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault kits to generate a report to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation based on that inventory by July 1, 2014. The reporting of untested kits is required under the new federal act.

“With this report, we are already positioned to move forward in our application for funds after the bill is signed by the President,” added Norris. “DNA evidence has revolutionized the way we both apprehend and prosecute rape cases. Courts at all levels have recognized the validity of DNA tests in identifying suspects and establishing guilt.”

The TBI report showed 44 police agencies had a combined total of 9,062 untested rape kits statewide. The highest number was 6,942 by the Memphis Police Department, followed by 394 untested kits at the Knoxville Police Department, 249 at the Jackson Police Department, 200 at the Metro Nashville Police Department, 179 at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, 126 at the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, 104 at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and 99 at the Chattanooga Police Department.

Norris also passed major legislation this year to repeal the statute of limitations for rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child and aggravated rape of a child, as long as law enforcement or the district attorney general has been notified within three years of the offense. The new law pertains to acts committed on or after July 1, 2014 or offenses committed prior to that date, as long as the statute of limitations has not expired.

“We made significant progress this year in working to identify rapists and bring them to justice, as well as providing the tools for law enforcement to prosecute cold cases. This should help in our efforts to provide justice for the victims of this heinous crime,” he concluded.

Approximately 90,000 women are raped every year in the United States, with only 25 percent of these attacks resulting in arrests.

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September marks Hunger Action Month / Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris urges citizens to wear orange in recognition of Hunger Action Day tomorrow http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/09/03/september-marks-hunger-action-month-senate-majority-leader-mark-norris-urges-citizens-to-wear-orange-in-recognition-of-hunger-action-day-tomorrow/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/09/03/september-marks-hunger-action-month-senate-majority-leader-mark-norris-urges-citizens-to-wear-orange-in-recognition-of-hunger-action-day-tomorrow/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:06:28 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5720 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.), September 3, 2014 — September is “Hunger Action Month,” a nationwide campaign mobilizing the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Organized by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, the campaign brings greater attention to the issue of hunger in America and fosters ways for individuals everywhere to get involved with the movement to solve it by promoting nutrition and helping get food to those in need.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, (R-Collierville), called upon Tennesseans to wear orange on “Hunger Action Day,” Thursday, September 4, to draw attention to the cause and launch the month-long effort.

“I encourage everyone to wear orange on Thursday, September 4,” said Norris, who serves as Chairman of the national Council of State Governments which has launched a nationwide focus on hunger as part of his State Pathways to Prosperity initiative.  “Volunteer at your local food bank. Get your church involved. Work with your schools to provide nutritious meals.  By taking action online and in your community, you can be a part of the solution.”

Norris organized a Legislative Nutrition Caucus in the Tennessee General Assembly this year and has organized three food packaging events since June in Memphis, Little Rock and Anchorage with volunteers packaging more than 100,000 meals for those in need.  He said the Feeding America kick-off on Thursday helps to encourage everyone to play a role and show their support by wearing orange. On-line support through social media is encouraged by changing Facebook and Twitter profiles orange.

“Unfortunately, Tennessee is one of the top 10 states in food insecurity among 40 to 49 year olds,” said Norris based upon recent studies.

One in five children in the United States faces hunger and millions of Americans are food insecure, meaning they don’t have consistent access to adequate food due to lack of money or resources.  In 2008, the year with the highest proportion of food insecure households since food insecurity statistics were calculated, almost 50 million Americans were food insecure.

“We are helping people help themselves during their time of need,” said Norris.

See the video of one event here:

http://youtu.be/jEBBm0_60PM

Norris represents Senate District 32 including Shelby and Tipton Counties.

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Southern Legislative Conference/Mark Norris Campaign Against Hunger http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/08/06/southern-legislative-conferencemark-norris-campaign-against-hunger/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/08/06/southern-legislative-conferencemark-norris-campaign-against-hunger/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:49:32 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5687 ]]> http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/08/06/southern-legislative-conferencemark-norris-campaign-against-hunger/feed/ 0 Norris Announces Tennessee One of Only 5 States Selected to Help Improve Outcomes for Youth in Juvenile Justice System http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/07/28/norris-announces-tennessee-one-of-only-5-states-selected-to-help-improve-outcomes-for-youth-in-juvenile-justice-system/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/07/28/norris-announces-tennessee-one-of-only-5-states-selected-to-help-improve-outcomes-for-youth-in-juvenile-justice-system/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:49:32 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5680  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael Clark, Director of Public Affairs  July 28, 2014 Council of State Governments Justice Center

646-383-5723 www.csgjusticecenter.org

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG), announced today that CSG’s Justice Center, along with the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), will partner with Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) Juvenile Justice Division, and four other states, to implement recommendations unveiled at a press conference in Washington, D.C. today.

“Like many other states, Tennessee recognizes there is room to improve our understanding of how youth respond to their interaction with the juvenile justice system,” said Norris. “This project is a significant opportunity for us to improve the way we are tracking these youth, and for all of the testing states to create model juvenile justice systems for others to emulate.”

“We are deeply appreciative of this effort that will help us to improve our methods for collecting and analyzing our recidivism data,” said Monica Middlebrooks, DCS Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice. “In Tennessee, we are committed to doing everything we can to get our youth back on track for success.”

Tennessee will be joined by the states of Utah, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Kansas to test the recommendations set forth in two studies also released today which detail what state and local governments can do to improve outcomes for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

The first, “Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation,” surveyed all 50 states’ juvenile correctional agencies and found 20 percent of those agencies do not track the rates of youth reoffending. Of the 39 states that do track recidivism data, most consider only one type of contact with the justice system, stopping short of determining, for example, whether the youth was later incarcerated in the adult system.

The second, “Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System,” offers guiding principles and recommendations based on what has been proven to work. Those recommendations, which range from engaging family in decisions regarding a child to stripping the system of tactics like curfew laws and “scared straight” programs, are also offered with concrete examples of states that have succeeded by employing these strategies.

“A fairly good axiom in government is what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done,” said Vermont State Sen. Richard Sears, who serves on CSG Justice Center Board and chairs his state’s Senate Judiciary Committee. “I’m proud of our efforts to keep youth out of detention facilities, but that, in and of itself, isn’t success. Legislators want user-friendly data explaining how our youth respond to their supervision and various types of treatment program, so that we might learn more and ultimately improve how we supervise and support them.”

There has been significant progress in juvenile justice reform, with youth confinement rates cut in half from 1997 to 2011 and juvenile arrest rates at their lowest level in more than 30 years. But as lower-risk youth have successfully been redirected from incarceration, progress is still needed to track, and ultimately improve, the outcomes of those higher-risk youth and others previously under supervision.

BACKGROUND FOR TENNESSEE
“Through our Models for Change initiative, we have seen states and counties across the country improve their juvenile justice systems over the past 15 years through meaningful reforms, but there is much work left to be done,” said Laurie Garduque, director for Justice Reform at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “These publications push the field to accelerate progress toward more effective, fair, and developmentally appropriate policies and practices that will increase the future life chances of these youth to succeed.”

“What’s valuable about this white paper is that it distills a great deal of dense information from journal articles into actionable recommendations,” said Edward Mulvey, director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and principal investigator on the Pathways to Desistance study, an investigation of the paths that youth with serious offenses take upon leaving the juvenile justice system.

“We can talk about the programs, services and treatment we provide, but good intentions alone won’t reduce the likelihood of re-offending,” said Susan Burke, director of Utah’s Division of Juvenile Justice Services. “This white paper released today summarizes, in one comprehensive document, the new lens in which we should be viewing each state system. I, for one, am eager to get started.”

Timed to today’s release of the publications and the announcement of the five piloting states, members of Congress will discuss the publications during a briefing at the Russell Senate Office Building at 2:30 p.m.

Click here to access copies of the reports and a live-stream of today’s Hill briefing. http://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/reducing-recidivism-and-improving-outcomes-in-the-juvenile-justice-system/

For more information on the CSG Justice Center, visit www.csgjusticecenter.org.

About The Council of State Governments Justice Center
The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state and federal levels from all branches of government. The Justice Center provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies – informed by available evidence – to increase public safety and strengthen communities.

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Norris News from Nashville – July 3, 2014 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/07/03/norris-news-from-nashville-july-3-2014/ http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/2014/07/03/norris-news-from-nashville-july-3-2014/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:23:51 +0000 http://www.marknorris.org/blog1/?p=5652 July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

As we approach July 4th and celebrate the birth of our nation 238 years ago, we celebrate the economic freedom which flows from a quality education and a good job. It has been said that education means economic development. Altogether, it means economic freedom and the independence we hold dear.

I have just completed an “Independence Day Tour” celebrating economic freedom. I traveled from our Nation’s Capital to towns across Tennessee. (For more on my Independence Day Tour, visit my website, www.marknorris.org, and Senator Mark Norris on Facebook. As Chairman of the national Council of State Governments, my initiative, State Pathways to Prosperity, focuses on workforce development and education. That’s what we are focused on here in Tennessee, too.

Placing a wreath from the Council of State Governments at the Tomb of the Unknowns

Placing a wreath from the Council of State Governments at the Tomb of the Unknowns “on behalf of the grateful people of the 50 United States.”

The journey began as I placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on behalf of the citizens of every state who are grateful for the sacrifices made by so many men and women to keep our nation free.

Addressing the annual Tracy DeWitt Patriotic Breakfast with the Northeast Shelby Republican Club

Addressing the annual Tracy DeWitt Patriotic Breakfast with the Northeast Shelby Republican Club

(Left) Addressing the Tennessee Pathways to Prosperity Conference at Vanderbilt University

(Left) Addressing the Tennessee Pathways to Prosperity Conference at Vanderbilt University
(Right) Addressing the Northeast Tennessee Workforce Investment Board

Senator Rusty Crowe, Kathy Pierce, Executive Director of the Northeast Workforce Investment Board,

Senator Rusty Crowe, Kathy Pierce, Executive Director of the Northeast Workforce Investment Board,
Mark Norris and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey in Johnson City

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at White House meeting on Employment Opportunities

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at White House meeting on Employment Opportunities

The Ford Foundation's Douglas Wood,  former Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Education,

The Ford Foundation’s Douglas Wood, former Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Education,
at White House meeting on Employment Opportunities.

I spent the following week crossing Tennessee, speaking at patriotic breakfasts, workforce investment meetings, educational conferences and neighborhood gatherings celebrating our independence.

Rep. Debra Moody and I prepare to distribute snacks at the Memphis VA hospital

Rep. Debra Moody and I prepare to distribute snacks at the Memphis VA hospital

This included a special visit to the Memphis VA Hospital to say “thanks” to our service men and women there, and a community outreach event I organized at Agricenter International to pack food for distribution through the Mid-South Food Bank. We packed over 20,000 meals in less than 90 minutes!

Leaders' Feed community outreach event 20,346 meals packed in less than 90 minutes

Leaders’ Feed community outreach event 20,346 meals packed in less than 90 minutes

Beth Webb, Gayle Bennett and Barbara Trautman of Republican Women of Purpose

Beth Webb, Gayle Bennett and Barbara Trautman of Republican Women of Purpose

This Fourth of July, I am encouraged by what’s happening in Tennessee. As we begin celebrating the 238th Anniversary of our Nation’s birth, let’s all celebrate the re-birth of American Manufacturing and its role in securing the individual independence which flows from economic freedom. Let’s support efforts to educate and train workers for 21st Century jobs. Tennessee is number one in economic development for many reasons, and we all need to stay focused on what it takes to stay ahead of the competition.

And now, let’s celebrate! John Adams got it right:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Happy Fourth of July!

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