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UofM College Republicans Host State Representative

The University of Memphis College Republicans welcomed State Representative John Gillespie to the UC Senate Chamber on March 22 for an event titled “Fighting for Memphis in Nashville.”

Representative Gillespie, who represents a district that includes much of the university’s student housing, delivered a speech focusing on critical issues facing Memphis, including crime, economic development and judicial reform.

Gillespie currently serves as the vice-chair of the Criminal Justice Committee within the Tennessee General Assembly and is a member of the committees for health and education administration. He highlighted his recent legislative achievements, notably the passing of the “Truth in Justice” bill, which requires offenders to serve their full sentences if convicted of a crime.

Gillespie is dedicated to addressing Memphis’ public safety crisis and discussed his role in passing legislation allowing police to enforce state laws despite city ordinances, particularly concerning both road and public safety.

During his address, Gillespie spoke about the high frequency of drag racing that occurs on Memphis streets and the risk they pose to public safety. Additionally, Gillespie introduced a new bill aimed at ensuring that individuals released on bond with conditions are effectively monitored beyond regular business hours, addressing a crucial gap in the current system.

“In 2021, 890 people were charged with reckless driving or drag racing, with that number growing to 990 in 2022. Police Chief C.J. Davis said the department is beefing up its traffic division to enforce the rules of the road,” WREG News Channel 3 wrote.

“The city has an epidemic of counterfeit tags on the road,” Davis said.

Gillespie emphasized the nature of intimidation, asserting that it is a weapon regardless of whether a firearm is involved, and crimes involving intimidation should be treated as violent.

Moreover, the representative expressed his determination to combat the selective enforcement of laws by the District Attorney’s office. “Whether you live in Whitehaven or East Memphis, I want everyone to feel safe.”

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