Williamson County Association of Realtors members and associates celebrated Flag Day at their midyear membership luncheon Friday, welcoming U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tennessee, who serves the 7th District.
The group gathered at Battle Ground Academy in a gym dressed in stars and stripes to share a meal and hear updates about the organization as well as a special keynote address from Green.
WCAR President Kyle Shults said the organization invited Green to speak to promote political awareness among its members.
“He represents Williamson County, so it’s important to us to keep our members informed of things that are going on at a state, local and national level and make sure they get to hear from the people that are representing them,” Shults said.
Shults invited state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the stage to speak briefly about Tennessee and introduce Green.
Johnson said that despite Tennessee having a new governor and senate majority leader, the state has experienced several successes, including holding the lowest unemployment rate in the history of Tennessee, at 3 percent, and as low as 1.9 percent in Williamson County.
He then introduced Green by giving an overview of his accomplishments, saying that his diverse experiences bring a lot to the congressional table.
“Let me lay this out as a resume. See what you guys think about this: West Point graduate, combat veteran, medical doctor, flight surgeon for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, successful entrepreneur … and a respected state senator,” Johnson said.
“Now, I would submit to you, if you’re going to send someone to the United States Congress to represent you, that’s a pretty strong resume, wouldn’t you?”
When Green took the stage, he explained how his experiences have guided the bills he presents to Congress.
He described a pro-veteran bill that allows Gold Star families (relatives of those who have died in combat) to continue receiving their benefits during a government shutdown. He also shared his Kids to College bill, which would allow students to negotiate with colleges to give them a share of their income for a number of years after graduation instead of incurring debt through student loans.
“There’s no loan. There’s no debt. There’s no borrowing. And the school is incentivized to get the student a job and not just teach a bunch of classes,” Green said.
“It’s those kinds of innovative solutions that we’ve got to bring to Washington, D.C.”
Green said, while he is not necessarily pleased with Washington’s condition, he trusts the country to work toward improvement.
“I will say that the environment in Washington, D.C., right now is pretty disappointing, and I know you’re watching from it back here in Tennessee, going, ‘Is it going to work?’” Green said.
“And I think a lot of people are asking those questions right now, but I believe in the American people. I believe in our country, and we will get together and make a difference for the nation.”
He said the people he works with in D.C. work hard and understand the responsibility of their jobs, and he has enjoyed the opportunity to represent the state.
“Thank you for allowing me to be your U.S. congressman,” Green said. “I have had a blast.”
Johnson expressed his appreciation for Green and his advocacy for Tennesseans on the national level.
“We all get a little frustrated — maybe a lot frustrated — with Washington and the things that are going on, but I can tell you, if you’re going to have a congressman, someone that’s up there fighting for our interest in Tennessee, we could have no one better than Mark Green,” Johnson said.