Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
It is at DISH at the corner of Cooper and Young...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Steve Edmundson
Home: (901) 274-0762
Cell: (901) 412-0542
Progress Over Politics: Edmundson Announces Bid for Tennessee House District 89
(Memphis, TN—June 26th, 2007) Steve Edmundson, a lifelong District 89 resident announced today that he will run as a write-in candidate for the House Seat of that district in the elections to be held July 17th, 2007. Edmundson cited the need for new people with new ideas as one of his many reasons in making the decision to run for the seat.
“Like everyone else, I’ve heard complaints from people in the district that we need a candidate who is not closely lined with the current political arena in Memphis,” said Edmundson. “Rather than sit back and complain, I’ve decided it is time for me to step-up and do whatever it takes to impact change and make a real difference.” Edmundson also stated that fellow District 89 residents, including educators, business persons, neighbors and friends encouraged him to include his name in the race.
As an educator and small business owner, Edmundson brings his expertise to the problems faced by District 89. Edmundson, who currently teaches at Central High School and has been an educator in the Memphis City School system for 27 years, also owns and operates a successful neighborhood restaurant, Kudzu’s, which has been in business 17 years. With his significant background in education, Edmundson said that his primary focus, if elected, will be to redirect energies and maximize resources to improve the education system. “The process of how we fund our school system and educational programs at the state level needs improving and I plan to use my expertise in both education and finance to see that the right decisions are made. With my experience, I will be able to identify where budgets are being wasted,” he said.
Along with education, Edmundson’s grass-roots campaign, “Progress over Politics”, will focus on crime, neighborhood revitalization and the environment. Edmundson stated that he will work to fully fund neighborhood associations and arts’ councils and that he will keep a “watchful eye” on industrial businesses in the district to make sure environmental measurements are being met.
Steve Edmundson has been married to his wife, Cathy, for 32 years and has 3 children. At Central High, Edmundson teaches remedial math and English and also coaches golf. Edmundson’s involvement in the sports programs at Evergreen Presbyterian and Blessed Sacrament gives him unique knowledge in the development of youth programs. Edmundson is also a member of the Vollintine-Evergreen Neighborhood Association (VECA). He is a parishioner at St. Therese-Little Flower Catholic Church at 1644 Jackson Avenue.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I had been debating whether to even touch this issue, as some in this state occassionally obsess over it, but an email I received today told me I had to do it, and soon.
I, like all of my readers who are not Native Americans, am descended from immigrants. My great-grandfather, Nicholas Glisczinzki, arrived from Poland with his parents at the tender age of 3 shortly after the end of the American Civil War. As he grew up, he learned English, but he also learned the languages of his parents, such as Polish, German, Czech, and others. My late father loved to tell me the story of how, as a 10-year-old in 1941, he walked down the street of Hamtramck, Michigan, where his grandfather's brothers lived. He told me that as they walked up and down the streets, not a word of English was spoken on the porches and in the rooms of these homes.
On my other side, I have English, Dutch, French Hueguenot and other assorted nationalities. I'm betting only the English spoke the English language when they got here, and it was a funny kind at that!
So, the irony of so many Americans who are descended from the same peoples are getting worked up over immigrants from Mexico all the way to South America is certainly not lost on me.
However, we certainly live in a different world now, as the USA now has 300 million people within these borders THAT WE CAN COUNT. The fact that Clinton's Folly (NAFTA) and the rape of American worker's rights led by 12 years of GOP Congressional rule and 7 years of Bu$h Administration policies designed to destroy the American Labor Movement has everyone in an uproar.
What I find sadly humorous is that so many of the same folks who embraced George W. Bu$h are the ones who want to run him out of town on a rail over immigration. People, what the hell did you expect? As this is a touchy subject, I won't call you idiots. Yet.
I am not enthused over the comprehensive immigration reform bill making its way through Congress; I believe that it has the potential to create a permanent underclass of "guest workers" who will only depress wages for the working class, people who can least afford it. I say that since the vast majority of people who are complaining about the issue are REPUBLICAN voters, let's wait until 2009, when we will have more Democrats in Congress and (hopefully) a Democratic PRESIDENT, and do the damned thing RIGHT.
Trapper John at Daily Kos makes just such a case here, even though Kos makes some arguments the other way right here. If we're going to do it, do it right the first time, so American corporations can no longer use H-1B Visas to export US jobs for white collar workers, and so we can properly regulate the inbound workers at the lower end of the wage scales.
We have to do this right because these undocumented immigrants will keep coming as long as they know that employers will hire them. If an immigrant is willing to pay his life savings to traffickers and endure unimaginable hardships to travel as much as 1400 miles just to be able to feed his family, they're not going to worry about some aging pasty-faced crackers with a few rifles.
Here's where I DO have problems with illegal immigration. If you want to move to America and become a citizen to make the lives of you and your family better, I'm all for it. That tells me you want to be a part of what we have, and as the descendant of immigrants, I welcome you.
If you want to come here just to make money to send back home, I DO have a problem with that, without going all Lou Dobbs on you. THAT directly affects the wages of Americans, especially at the lower end of the scale.
However, the only way this can work is by focusing on the key point; the EMPLOYERS. Whether it's a corporation misusing H1-B Visas to outsource American jobs, or a building contractors hiring undocumented workers so he can avoid using Union carpenters, or some wealthy person hiring illegal immigrants to landscape or clean their house in order to avoid paying Social Security, they should all face loss of livelihood in order to ensure that illegals stop coming here.
What, you LIKE cheaper housing and cheap landscaping and cheap cleaning? TOO FREAKING BAD. For the undocumented, we should make it easier to become a citizen, since, if done properly, we should enable those who want to become Americans the real chance to do so.
For the EMPLOYERS, it will force them to hire people who want to be citizens, and stop them from artificially depressing wages. And if they ignore the law, give them the moral equivalent of the death penalty, a fine so severe that it will put them out of business or cause them to go into bankruptcy.
Stop whining, employers; you KNOW this is true; the whole "guest worker" is designed to drive American wages down to a third-world level. No wonder Bu$h likes the idea.
Now, I can just hear one my real heroes, Senator Ted Kennedy, tut-tutting me, and offering his standard line, "The perfect is the enemy of the good". This bill isn't even GOOD, Senator, and we can afford to wait for the real thing. Those who have whined the most about immigration are those who supported Bu$h the most, and they DESERVE to take in the shorts until they figure out that the Democratic Party is the only one that truly serves their interests.
Then, in 2009, we can have the next President, a DEMOCRAT, sign the greatest immigration reform bill ever, a progressive masterpiece. Until then, let's just wait a while so people can fully grasp the real issues here.
Flame away, or not!
Vibinc jumped on this like a first pitch fastball, and has kicked it up a notch:
Because of the “Super” Districts, some areas have more representatives than others. In Super District 8, which comprises all of 6 and 7, and a majority of 3 and 4, ALL of the members of the Super District 8 delegation reside in District 7, effectively giving District 7 a disproportionate power. There is a similar problem in Super 9, 2 members reside in 5 and one in 2. To break that down, District 7 currently has a 1:23000 ratio (4 members of the council residing in that district with 3 representing Super 8), District 5, my district, has a 1:30566, and District 2 has a 1:45850 ratio.
The big losers in this deal are Districts 1,3,4 and 6, arguably some of the most impoverished areas of the city.
Go read the rest of the article!
UPDATE: One of our loyal readers (and ExecCom Member) Dwayne Thompson, went to the Charter Commission gathering at the Cordova Library and presented the following:
PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE METHOD OF ELECTING CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
This proposal is to propose how City Council members are elected. My proposal is the have all members elected from 13 separate single member districts.
Beginning in 1967, there were seven single member districts and 6 members elected from at-large positions, citywide. About 12 years ago, the Council voted to change the At-large positions to two “Super Districts,” District 8 and District 9 with three positions each. District 8 was set up as predominantly African-American and District 9 as predominantly European American.
The referendum that adopted the “Super Districts” passed but by a narrow margin despite no organized efforts to oppose it.
Whether a candidate runs for an At-Large or a “Super District” position, it requires a lot of money and/or a lot of prior name recognition to get elected to these seats with a constituency of over 300,000 residents. Once a member is elected to one of these seats, it’s almost impossible to unseat the member, no matter how lacking their representation may be. Also, this leaves the remaining seven single member districts with large 90,000 resident Districts covering several communities.
The arguments for these types of seats in the past have been that voters got to vote for 7 (with At-Large) or 4 (with “Super Districts”) of their council members. However, a large majority of Memphians cannot name their At-large or now their Super District representatives.
The other argument was that these members have a broader view of the City as a whole. However, they have not produced any better quality than single member districts and worse in some cases.
PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE METHOD OF ELECTING CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Therefore, I propose that the City Charter be amended to allow for 13 single member districts, eliminating all Super-Districts and that there be an effort to retain community integrity for each district as much as possible.
To strengthen communities. A single member district would typically encompass one community or two or three neighborhoods in Memphis, making its council member the designated and clear-cut representative for that community or neighborhoods. Based on current census figures, this would include around 48,000 to 49,000 constituents. There may also be residual effects that help constituents identify with their communities in a stronger way, creating more community pride.
Campaign costs. Campaign costs have risen exponentially over the past two decades. Single member districts will eliminate much of that, making candidates less dependent upon special interest money and making middle class citizens who are public minded able to make a credible run for office.
More Accountable Council Members. With a constituency of less than 50,000 residents, a single member Council member is more identified and more accessible to a community. Residents would know who to contact for City issues. If it was perceived that a council Member was not doing his or her job, it would not require large sums of money or a well known name to mount a credible campaign at election time to change representation.
Race. Having 13 single member districts will make the racial makeup of the Council more reflective of the City’s overall racial makeup. Also, as racial figures change, districts may have a more orderly change.
H. Dwayne Thompson
June 26, 2007
Outstanding, great Job Dwayne!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Kathryn, you should have taken the plea bargain. The US Attorney's office is going to come after you with everything they can find, and if you farted crossways in public in 1973, they'll put that out, too.
The sad thing is that you had a solid legislative career with a record of achievement for your district; now, that is all going in the trashcan because of these charges. Look, I know legislators are woefully underpaid, but you knew what the salary was when you took office.
I'm really sorry, but you need to re-think a trial, because unless you're acquitted, you're going down for a lot of years, more than you might have left. I want nothing more than to be proven wrong and eat a barrelful of crow, but I'm not real hopeful.
To a Reception and Fundraiser
In Honor of
Antonio ‘2 Shay’ Parkinson
Memphis City Council District 1
“Embracing American Value”
(Founded by Sidney Chism, Gale Jones Carson & Nate Jackson)
Saturday, June 30, 2007
12 p.m-5 p.m.
3657 Horn Lake Road
Monday, June 25, 2007
Councilwoman Carol Chumney invites you to her
—Campaign Kickoff on the Memphis Showboat—
w/ special musical guest appearance by Sal Crocker and Friends.
Saturday, June 30th, from 7:00PM-10:00PM
Young Professional: $100
Join the Host Committee!
Chair (Commitment to raise and/or contribute $1000)
Vice-Chair (Commitment to raise and/or contribute $750)
Patron (Commitment to raise and/or contribute $500)
Space is limited and tickets are selling quickly. Reserve your spot or contribute to the event by clicking here.
Problems viewing this message? Click here: http://rsvp.carolchumney.com
Carol Chumney For Mayor
P.O. Box 770537 Memphis, TN 38177
JULY 17, 2007
SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION
Pursuant to Sec. 2-6-103, Tennessee Code Annotated, notice is hereby given by the Shelby County Election Commission of unrestricted early voting for the July 17, 2007, Special General Election as follows:
Site Locations, Dates and Times
SHELBY COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION
OFFICE CLOSED ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2007 FOR HOLIDAY
OFFICE CLOSED ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2007 FOR HOLIDAY
LOCATION NAME LOCATION ADDRESS
Berclair Church of Christ 4536 Summer Ave., 38122
Trinity United Methodist Church 1738 Galloway Ave., 38112
Click to display map of the EV Sites
Pursuant to Sec. 2-6-102, TCA, a voter who desires to vote early shall go to the County Election Commission office or to any of the satellite locations listed above within the hours set out for the early voting period, sign an application for ballot and vote. Pursuant to Sec. 2-7-140 (c) (1) voters who are already registered can make address changes at an early voting site. For further information, call 545-4132.
SHELBY COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
As ASU was the last holdout against the NCAA's policy of penalizing programs that they determined to be racially or culturally insensitive, this means that they will be allowed to bring their new mascot to NCAA tournament events and host such events.
I have come to terms with this, although I really liked the logo above; I suppose that it was time to do this. There will be a hell of a lot of upset alumni, though, and I have to wonder if their athletic and academic fundraising will take a hit because of the change.
I hope, as Chris Bowers, Mike Lux, and I go on to our new venture, that we are able to help more people understand the power of disagreement, the power of ideas, and the power of dissent. The notion of unity is a very powerful framework, and it's one I believe in strongly. Lincoln's Union was a moral community that sought disagreement within a framework of individual consent to overall decision-making governance. And that's where we have to go now as a country. I hear the right-wing and corporate elites making arguments that the public can't govern, so it shouldn't even try. That taxes can't be paid because lawyers and accountants will find loopholes for the rich, or that we can't move off of a carbon intensive energy system because oil companies and car companies and defense contractors are too powerful. Nonsense. The Union, Lincoln's Union, would never say that we cannot tax the powerful and immoral to throw off our chains. Our America, Lincoln's America, will never consent to being ruled by fiends in defense industries because we can't do better. In our America, we will not discuss whether the Iraq War made us 'safer' without discussing first whether it was the right thing to do, whether it made us more or less able to live up to America's promise or whether it is part of that murderous and slave-owning past that we pretend does not exist, without seeing our own lack of moral character in the inner cities where we choose to overlook the AIDS, crack, death, and violence that we perpetuate with our suburban lifestyle of gates, chains, and TV fantasy dreamworlds. We will and are building a new Ameria, and it's going to take time, and it will be painful, but we will get there, at least some of us.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Please go read all of it, even though it's long (print it out if you have to), because it tears apart the cases of both Mayor Herenton and Richard Fields regarding this ludicrous tale of a potential sex scandal.
Then, back it up with Autoegocrat's excellent commentary on B's essay, they're both so good that I'm only linking to them, you need to read them both.
Go do it, it's the weekend and you have time.
Then, you'll understand why the whole thing is bogus and the last act of desperate people, and I'm NOT talking about Gwendolyn Smith!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
You can go directly to the report here, or download the PDF for printing and reading. Either way, it's a great way to learn the truth about this country, and call bullshit on those who say otherwise.
He's got Pesky and Thaddeus, Wintermute and Hollihan, WTL, Vibinc and the MLB there, and we appreciate it.
This is a challenge for the rest of us to get off our duffs and keep it rollin'!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
June 12, 2007 (O) 901-454-4055
CAROL CHUMNEY JOINS SUPPORTERS IN A CALL FOR POSITIVE CHANGE IN MEMPHIS CITY GOVERNMENT
PLEDGES TO RESTORE TRUST IN MEMPHIS CITY GOVERNMENT
Memphis, TN. -- Today, Memphis Councilwoman Carol Chumney took some of her friends, family and supporters with her as she filed her petition with the Shelby County Election Commission necessary to qualify for the ballot for Memphis Mayor.
Standing with her father, a history professor at the University of Memphis, and her mother, a former county employee, Chumney spoke about the central themes of this election: Restoring the public’s trust in Memphis City Government by bringing about the change that people want to see in it.
Chumney said, “This election is not about the past; it’s not really even about the present; it’s about our future and the future of our children, and who can lead this city forward in a positive and effective way.”
Chumney further touched on what motivated her to run for Mayor, and why she will be a great Mayor for Memphis.
“I’ve placed my name on the ballot to be your Mayor for one simple reason,” Chumney said, “because I truly love and care about this city, and I know I have the track-record, the fortitude, and the will to get the job done for all of the citizens of Memphis.”
Recent polls in the media show Councilwoman Chumney to be the strong favorite for the upcoming election.
“The people of Memphis know that Memphis needs change,” said Chumney, “and they will make it happen by voting in a better future for us all on October 4th.”
Carol Chumney is a Memphis City Councilwoman. Chumney was elected to the Memphis City Council in the fall of 2003, and has served as Chair of the Public Services and Neighborhoods; the Public Safety & Homeland Security; the Healthcare; and now the Chair of the O & M Budget and MLGW Council Committees. Among other things, she pushed to repeal the twelve year pension for elected and appointed officials, exposed budget shortfalls and the drop in the bond rating, and has worked to hold the administration accountable.
Prior to 2003, Chumney served for 13 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives where she rose to various leadership positions, including Chair of the House Children & Family Affairs Committee, House Majority Whip, and Chair of the Shelby County Delegation.
Chumney practices law in Memphis where she earned her Juris Doctorate from The U of Memphis Law School in 1986, as a Herff Law Scholar. During law school she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
Chumney is a lifelong Memphis resident. She is a candidate for Memphis Mayor.
Carol Chumney For Mayor • 2879 Poplar Avenue • Memphis, TN. 38111
Phone: 901-454-4055 • Fax: 901-323-2985
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I'm not worried; Steve Cohen has already established himself as a strong progressive leader in this Congress, and he will be ready for any challenge. The African-American community is aware that she hasn't been here long enough to understand the problems of Memphis, and that her record of working for union-busting law firms goes against the grain of what the Democratic Party stands for.
This blog stands by our Congressman.
UPDATE!!!! Jackson Baker reports state Rep G.A. Hardaway is thinking about getting in the race! ?Que?
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
We need to move forward. Jeanne won because she has been around for a long time and people knew her, agreed with her positions, and felt she was better suited for the job, and I can easily support her in the general election.
However, this process, especially in Democratic Primaries, wears people down and creates intramural warfare. On the one hand, as my Godfather notes, it shows who is the best vote-getter and who knows how to win elections. True that, but we have to devise a better way to run elections so that one does not feel beaten down afterwards and one can celebrate, regardless of the outcome.
Politics in this day and age has come down to money, organization, money, message, money, and, did I mention money? No, I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, it has been that way for a long time. Unfortunately, there are some within the Democratic community who say that it is this way, it SHOULD be this way, and want to keep it that way.
Then there are the rest of us.
What we need, at ALL levels of politics, are the following things:
1) Smaller legislative districts, so that ground-work and organization plays a larger part than money. Eliminate ALL at-large districts (yes, I'm talking to YOU, City Charter Commission!) and make more and smaller districts. This gives advantages to community activists who will work fiercely for their areas. 1752 Congressional Districts? GO FOR IT!
2) As much as possible, public financing of elections. I believe that SCOTUS got it wrong in 1976 when, in Buckley V. Valeo, they equated political contributions with political speech. To me, unless you limit the contributions to $50 a throw, all this means is that people with more money have freer speech.
Don't think this is a problem? Neither do developers, and we all know what great things THEY have done for Memphis and Shelby County. Look how well the Grey's Creek guidelines have been followed!
3) Brutally tough ethics legislation; let them buy their own damn booze and food! Restrict how much lobbyists can spend, contribute AND make them account for EVERY dime through COMPLETE disclosure! How much does business spend on lobbying each year? Isn't that money that should go to employees and stockholders? I mean this for EVERY level of Government.
4) A FIVE-YEAR LIMIT before former legislators can become lobbyists. Yes, I hear spit-takes all over the country, but this is necessary to stem the turnstile effect. We cannot outlaw lobbyists altogether, but we can regulate the hell out of them.
I have this strange idea that no one should be allowed to make money off politics and goverment because it is a SACRED trust. Make sure you HAVE a job before you go into this line of work. Oh, and one other thing:
5) Treat state legislators as you would Congressmen: make them FULL-TIME, give them enough money for REAL staffs and pay them a commensurate salary. It's not 1834 and there is no such thing as a part-time legislator in as complex a world as we live.
It is time to bury the idea of people of wealth serving as politicians so that they can protect their class, as Republicans would have us do. It is time for REAL change, starting now.
UPDATE: PD reminds us of the following:
Vote by Mail.
Special and regular elections are a whole lot cheaper and you get higher turn out.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Those of you who are regular readers know how fierce he was and how direct he was, but always how he captured events all over the world PRECISELY. Those of you on my email list knew that they would get 3-4 posts a week from him via Bloglines. His posts not only entertained me, they EDUCATED me, and I shall miss his writings terribly.
Other reactions are here:
Sara Robinson (Orcinus)
Jane Hamsher (FireDogLake)