KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The “Tennessee Three” are planning to get back to work after Nashville Rep. Justin Jones and Memphis Rep. Justin Pearson were reinstated after being expelled from their seats on April 6 following a protest on the House floor.
Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson did not hide her excitement about the return of the two representatives.
“I’m just so happy that we did not lose those two young voices,” Johnson said. “The two Justins are fabulous, I can’t wait to be back on the House floor with them and being here in Memphis and seeing all the support they have is absolutely amazing.”
Jones was reinstated on April 11 after the Nashville Metro Council made a unanimous vote to let him keep his seat. Pearson was reinstated on April 12 by the Shelby County Commission. See what leaders are saying about the reinstatement of Pearson.
Although Jones was reinstated, Johnson said the Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton told Jones he would not be going back to his committees. She is claiming that Sexton said it was due to Jones being appointed.
Johnson, however, was let back into her committees.
“Interesting fact, I think the last four or five people that I’m aware of that were appointed, got committees,” she said. “So that sounds like a new rule or a made-up rule to me. I’m not sure what it is.”
With the “Tennessee Three” returning to the House floor, Johnson says the goal is to work on passing legislation for common sense gun laws.
“Our plan is to get back to work. I mean, that’s what we’ve always been about. After we went to the well that day, after a few minutes, we got back to work and finished the calendar,” she said.
Johnson also believes that the younger generation is speaking up more and “are not going to stop speaking up until we take action.”
“I love their engagement. I love their passion. I love how organized they are. They are serious about getting action and I think they’re gonna keep up the push until they do,” she said.
She continued, “I just want to thank the young people, the parents, the toddlers, the teenagers, the grandmothers, who showed up and said, ‘We will not be silenced.’ We do not want only thoughts and prayers. We want action against gun violence and so we’re going to keep it up.”