Moving Forward on TN Energy Democracy

Bri Knisley

Brianna Knisley of Appalachian Voices speaks with Knoxville community members about their experiences with TVA at a summer tour event.

Following the Tennessee Valley Energy Democracy tour earlier this year, Appalachian Voices and our partners have been compiling community ideas and implementing the next steps. This project aims to build a collective, grassroots vision for our energy future by hearing from communities impacted by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

During the tour, we worked with Science for the People, SOCM, Working Films and other community members to hold 12 events in areas both urban and rural with an estimated 300 to 350 people.

From what we heard, communities in the Tennessee Valley want our public power system to: protect our workers and provide high quality jobs; prioritize community and environmental health over wealth; generate electricity with clean, renewable energy; make bills affordable and ensure everyone has power; provide equitable access to energy efficiency and solar; generate more of our power locally; and be controlled by the public.

Now, we and the other tour organizers are building a strong coalition to transform our energy system from the ground up. That means we need organizations involved — and more importantly, impacted community members and grassroots groups leading the way.

Our first step in translating community feedback into action is to draft policy suggestions on how to create the changes communities want to see. This document will be released in early 2020. In the meantime, we are asking interested folks to join strategy meetings. To view results from the tour or get involved, visit


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