As one of the fastest growing areas of the country, Rutherford County is a dynamic and exciting community. Home to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the rapidly expanding city of Murfreesboro, Rutherford County is an important economic center for the state.
The Rutherford County Chapter was formally established in 2013 when a group of student activists and community leaders saw the need for a strong, inter-generational community organization. Though Rutherford’s rapid growth over the past few years has generated many opportunities for Rutherford County residents, it also presents some serious challenges.
From the beginning, the Rutherford County chapter has worked to ensure that economic development in the county benefits everyone, not just a few. In 2012 just prior to formal establishment of the Chapter, local members tackled racism and xenophobia in public discourse when they successfully convinced advertisers to withdraw from supporting a local “hate media” anti-immigrant local newspaper. Members expanded their anti-racism work to tackle racial profiling by law enforcement and also held a counter rally when a hate group rallied in Murfreesboro.
In 2013, members began focusing on Middlepoint Landfill with their “Stop the Stink” campaign. The chapter met with several residents and community leaders and held a successful town hall. Their actions led to the adoption of “Jackson Law” by Murfreesboro as well as a number of other regulation improvements. Their efforts also stopped the illegal blasting by Republic Services in the quarry next to Middlepoint. In 2017, the chapter partnered with medical researchers at a nearby college to study the possible correlation between chronic health issues and living close to the landfill. Currently, they are focused on finding a sustainable alternative for solid waste in Rutherford County.
Rutherford County members are currently organizing around several campaigns including:
- Protecting the Flat Rock Cedar Glade nature preserve from ecological destruction and to ensure that nearby residents have access to safe drinking water
- Campaigning against the Murfreesboro Middle Point Landfill and its impact on the community, with the long term goal of transforming the city’s solid waste policy
- Ensuring that all local water supplies are clean and protected.
- Murfreesboro 2035
- Protecting tenants from exploitation and promoting affordable housing.
- Engaging disenfranchised voters and preventing voter suppression though their “Raise Your Voice” campaign.