What issues are SOCM members working on?

SOCM members determine what issues they want to tackle in their own communities. Staff (and often other members from different chapters) provide support and guidance as needed. In general our issue work falls into one of these categories:

  • Chapter Campaign (issue campaign led by a SOCM Chapter)

  • At Large Issue Campaigns (issue campaign where SOCM members provide leadership, but no official chapter has formed)

  • Coalition Campaign (SOCM members participate in issue campaign in coalition with other groups)

*Click the pins to see what issues our members are working on!


Our Chapters

At SOCM, we believe that positive change happens when everyday people join together to tackle the critical issues that impact their lives. We also know that this doesn’t happen by magic. Structure, organization, and leadership develop, in the context of relationship, are key to the long-haul work of improving our communities. The local unit of SOCM is the Chapter, where members in a county (or counties) work on local issues and also support other SOCM members on regional or statewide campaigns.

Chapters make their own decisions about what local issues to work on, develop strategies to address those issues, and then carry them out. Chapters are supported by a staff organizer and may request additional support from the Board as needed. In turn, Chapters provide support as needed to other Chapters or on organization-wide campaigns. Each Chapter elects a Board representative who will inform the rest of the Board about Chapter activities and report Board discussion and decisions back to their Chapter.

Current Chapters & Issue focus:

Cumberland County (county/regional solid waste management policy + impact of new sand mine permits)

Knox County (eviction prevention & county-level right to legal counsel for tenant’s policy)

Maury County (racial disparities in school discipline & public education funding)

McMinn County (broadening community engagement in support of county/city public schools)   

Rutherford County (county/regional solid waste management policy + community impact of future closure of Middle Point landfill)

Madison County (safety issues in public schools; disparities in utility rates)

Roaring River - Jackson, Overton, and Putnam counties (support chapter)

Areas where we have active member-led projects with no formal chapter:

Anderson County (community pressure related to Coal Ash cleanup at Bull Run fossil plant)

Campbell-Claiborne Counties (Abandoned Mine Land reclamation & economic development)

Grundy-Franklin County (health and environmental impact of sand mine development near residential communities)  



Cumberland County Chapter

Energy Democracy & Sustainability

For decades, the Cumberland Chapter has worked hard to better the lives of those in Cumberland County and beyond. Recently, they have been working to expand county-wide composting options. Concerned about soil health, landfill space, and supporting local agriculture, they have visited facilities throughout East Tennessee, researched composting methods, and have arranged a county-wide summit with local leaders and experts. Members are also working towards greater social responsibility from Cumberland County’s substantial quarrying industry, conducting independent water testing and calling for a public hearing on a quarry with a history of violations.  They soon hope to announce groundbreaking on the Gaynor Solar Array, a state-of-the-art community solar project in Pleasant Hill that’s been a chapter priority for over five years.