Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quick overview of the debate

1) Kyle Veazey did a fantastic job of keeping it moving and asking great questions, some of which were provided by the audience.  I liked the format much better than the WMC fiasco at the CRM.  More from him here at First Word, if you didn't see it, you can watch it here.

Daily News,

Jackson Baker's take on the debate is here..

2) Mike Williams came on strong but slipped over the course of the evening when he never could seem to tell us HOW he would change things.  My wife observed, correctly, IMO, that he seemed to be a one-trick-pony.  Very confident, but you need to tell HOW you will do things.

3) Wharton put up a fierce defense of his record, but one couldn't escape the fact that he was trying to re-sell us a used car, one on which the wheels are falling off.  He is a good debater and is not afraid of anything or anyone.

4) My man Strickland started off slow but built up steam and was really cranked up and passionate by the end.  He needs to get cranked up sooner, IMO. While I think he may have hung on to his message a little TOO tightly at times, he reaffirmed my decision to support him.

5) If there was a winner, it was Harold Collins. Had I been undecided going in, I doubt I would be now.  It's too bad there was a time limit at times, because he got cut off on more than one occasion when I wanted to hear more of him.

6) The fact that no one asked a MATA question until late in the debate is very upsetting.  You can't help people get jobs that they have no way to access.  Public Transportation can no longer be thought of as just a way for domestics to get from North and South Memphis to East Memphis any more.  if you think you are too good to ride MATA, you are part of the problem.  (One point I will give to the Mayor: he did find good leadership to replace Will Hudson, who ran it into the ground.)

7)  Here's a question that should be asked for the next debate: to the MAYOR: This has been one of the most contentious terms EVER between your Administration and the Council.  What steps can YOU take, if re-elected, to have a better relationship with your next Council?  To Collins and Strickland:  Having been on the other side of that battle, what steps can YOU take to have a good relationship between your Administration and the next Council.

8) There is another debate tonight at Central High School from 6-8, sponsored by the Evergreen Historic District Association.  Go, if you can, I wish I could, but life intervenes.

UPDATE: From Brad Watkins, this powerful observation on Facebook, which is shown here with his permission:

After watching the Mayoral debate I am even more resigned to the fact that I have no candidate in this race..but that's okay, it does not really matter.
One of three men on that stage tonight will be our Mayor for the next four years...and no matter who it is..on a CERTAIN LEVEL does not matter.
I heard virtually nothing last night about homelessness, about MATA, about police accountability or CLERB or housing. Nothing about accessibility for people with disabilities or MLGW....nothing about confronting systemic racism..or sexism.. or homophobia or transphobia...almost nothing about domestic violence and nothing about rape, and only one real mention of POVERTY..among myriad other issues.
So, whoever this next Mayor will be... they will have us to relentlessly contend with. Many of us have no we have to ORGANIZE to push this next Mayor to be the Mayor this city really needs, one who is unapologetic about these issues and one who openly acknowledges inequality in our city...not just a paycheck issue..but how it permeates our entire lives.
It's not about falling in's about hiring someone for a job.

Your thoughts?

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