District 1, 2, and 4 Contests – #memvote

Turnout over the weekend was pretty light. Just 923 people voted on Saturday, a quarter of them from District 6, which I took a look at yesterday. As of the close of early voting Saturday, just 3018 individuals had voted. That’s pretty low folks.

With 15 hours of voting that we have information on, and 16 early voting locations, that’s about 12.5 voters per hour or 1 voter every 5 minutes. Hopefully, today’s numbers, when they are released tomorrow, will show a little more interest.

The CA Editorial Board endorsed the incumbents in these races this morning. Here’s my look at how the races shape up.

District 1

City Council District 1
City Council District 1 represents northeast Memphis. This district lost a good deal of territory due to population shifts and redistricting. The district is 54% African American even after losing 5 predominantly African-American precincts.

District 1 is currently represented by Bill Morrison an educator in the Shelby County School District. Morrison won a 2007 runoff in a crowded field. However, with only one opponent this time around the math for a Morrison victory is very different this time around.

Morrison disappointed equality advocates by voting against the Employee Non-Discrimination Order in 2010. His opponent Kendrick Sneed has received the endorsement of the TEP PAC.

Kendrick Sneed is a Sheriff’s Deputy, and is currently seeking a degree in Applied Psychology from Christian Brother’s University. Sneed, a former aide to Harold Ford Jr. and Sr., is running in his first campaign.

I don’t make it up to the 1st district all that much, but this should be a pretty interesting race considering the 2007 contest.

District 2

City Council District 2
District 2 covers the eastern most areas of Memphis that aren’t right on the border with Mississippi. Currently represented by Bill Boyd the district’s demographics are about 51.7% white.

Boyd has been in public service, at one level of government or another, for a very long time. That experience gives him some perspective, even if he can’t always remember all the details. I’ve spoken personally to Councilman Boyd on a couple of occasions, mostly about redistricting over the summer, but one thing sticks out in my mind more than anything else, and that’s the day the Council decided on the CVS in midtown.

Councilman Boyd made sure that everyone in attendance knew that he wasn’t impressed nor moved by the hundreds of people that showed up both in support of and opposition to the demolition of the Methodist Church on the corner of Cooper and Union. In fact, he said this exactly:

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…the people in the audience may not be aware of it but this group of Council-people is not persuaded by the numbers of people that appear here…

I was in the audience when this was said, and honestly, I was shocked. Its no wonder people don’t feel they have any say in local government when an elected official speaks so dismissively to interested citizens.

Sylvia Cox is running against Bill Boyd. A former member of the Memphis Charter Commission in 2006. One of Ms. Cox’s primary issues is the management of the Memphis Animal Shelter. She also volunteers for an organization, Real Good Dog Rescue that seeks to find good homes for animals.

District 4

City Council District 4
The final contested race in this contest is the District 4 seat currently held by Wanda Halbert.

Halbert, a former member of the Memphis City School Board is in her first term. He website has an extensive list of accomplishments and items in the pipeline, though it is interesting that her campaign site links to a Powerpoint on the City of Memphis server prepared by the Division of Housing and Community Development, which, to my way of thinking clouds the line between the office and the campaign.

There are three other candidates in the race for City Council District 4. They are Louis Matthew Morganfield III, Michelle Smith, and George Walker.

I travel through District 4 every day and quite frankly, I haven’t seen any signs of life for any of the campaigns.

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