KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Black Voters Matter stopped in Knoxville on Tuesday to meet with local organizations and canvass the area as state lawmakers began the second day of their special legislative session.

“The gun violence obviously is important,” Wanda Mosley with Black Voters Matter said. “Then being able to connect that and the housing and any other issues that the community tell us are important, that’s what motivates folks to go out and vote.”

Local organizations teamed up with BVM to register voters, canvass the city, and speak with community members.

“Let me be very clear that this is a nonpartisan effort,” Sam Brown, President of the NAACP in Knoxville said. “We are strictly wanting to activate voters and to educate them.”

Brown thinks education people on issues and the importance of voting will help restore democracy.

“If we were to get more persons to register those voters, educated, and them get them activated we would begin to see representatives in our general assembly who truly to value the fundamental principles of democracy,” Brown said.

While talking with people, the group highlighted the importance of local elections.

“Our city here is taken for granted because we have 290,000 people registered to vote, but 100,000 plus of them don’t even vote,” Umoja Abdul-Ahad with Voter Turnout Coalition said. “That group of people, that run the people of Knoxville but they don’t feel the power to do it because we don’t share with them how dynamic they really are.”