Senate votes down honor for Hispanic advocate Renata Soto


State Rep. John Ray Clemmons and state Sen. Jeff Yarbro released the following statement today following a vote by the state Senate against honoring Renata Soto, an advocate for Nashville's Hispanic community: 

"Renata Soto has proven herself a tireless advocate for Nashville's Hispanic community, and her service is the epitome of that which we as legislators should seek to honor," state Rep. John Ray Clemmons said. "The General Assembly did Tennessee a terrible disservice today by refusing to recognize her achievements over vague, unstated objections to the NCLR, the largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the nation."
HJR 506 honored Soto on her appointment as chair of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a nonpartisan civil rights organization that advocates for the economic, political and social advancement of the Latino community. The resolution passed the House, but was defeated in the state Senate by a vote of 9-6 with 12 Republicans voting present and 6 not voting at all. 
"Renata Soto's work – helping people learn English, helping people start businesses and helping people advocate for their children's schools – has been vital to Nashville's emergence as a diverse, world class city," state Sen. Jeff Yarbro said. "I am saddened today by my colleague's refusal to honor her service because of her appointment to lead the NCLR.
"This is not an honor that Renata sought, but it's one that's well deserved. Today's vote was not a vote that any of our children will be proud of."

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