I am a candidate for Mayor of Memphis because I have the passion, drive and commitment to help solve and address our city’s most pressing problems.
I stand ready to move forward with progressive ideas that advance my unfinished agenda that impacts our citizens — job creation, affordable housing, poverty abatement, crime reduction, juvenile justice reform and minority economic development.
I am committed to implementing solutions that prepare the next generation of leaders — a necessity for a successful city to thrive.
At age 78, how is your health?
Through God’s grace and mercy, I continue to enjoy good health.
Today, my energy and focus are heightened as I have learned to discern that which is truly important and act accordingly to achieve the goals that move Memphis forward.
The wisdom gained through experience and the counsel of others allow me to be even more effective in my public service.
Why did you resign your position as Mayor in 2009?
During my fifth term as Mayor, I was the target of an unfounded — and ultimately unsuccessful — federal investigation.
Preparing to defend myself from that investigation was taxing and extremely time consuming. Proving that I had done nothing wrong required a level of focus and effort that detracted from my service to the people of this great city.
Doing both simultaneously did not provide sufficient time to do either well.
I was left with no choice, but to fight those who were using the power of the federal government to unjustly accuse me. My heart wanted to remain in office and perform the job that I’d been elected to do. Serving as Mayor of Memphis has been the highest privilege of my professional life.
I am ready to pick up where I left off and complete the work we began.
How will you reduce the crime rate in Memphis?
We support increasing the number of police officers, but it is imperative that we have highly qualified applicants that can be attracted to Memphis; earning competitive salaries and benefits.
We will layout a platform that will address some of the root causes of crime in our city.
We will utilize crime fighting strategies that will effectively reduce crime in our city.
I am open to conducting a national search for a proven crime-fighting leader to head our police department. We must address the issue of crime with urgency.
Why are your charter schools closing?
The Memphis charter schools market has become overly saturated.
Also, we are facing declining enrollments, excessive facility costs and significant operating deficits.
Despite our schools showing academic growth, state law mandates closures, based on flawed testing data.