Saturday, January 02, 2016

It's a New Day, Yes It IS


  Yesterday saw the swearing in of a new mayor in the city of Memphis. The first major change in the city's leadership since 1992.  Jim Strickland took the oath of office along with new Court Clerk Kay "Mic Grabber" Robilio and 13 city council women (of which there are far too few) and men.

 Jim's speech was 15 minutes outlining his stances on what we can do to work with the city to make it better. He attacked crime and blight, two tentpoles of his campaign.

 I was a little disappointed that education and workforce development were addressed only briefly. I have been assured that these are to come though. As bad as crime is in this city that I love, we must educate our young people so that they stay and continue to progress this city. We cannot continue to have them flee the city and county for better jobs. We need to continue to work to bring those jobs here.

 I said during the campaign that while I disagreed with Jim's stance on crime (a view shared by white liberals and younger African-Americans), it played well with older, more conservative whites and African-Americans and was the driving force behind his election. I hope that he can be successful and we do not have a school to prison pipeline. I want to see more public-private partnerships to help this. This is something that the private sector and public sector alone cannot do. They must work together to fix this.

 I have seen attacks on Mayor Strickland for getting rid of the two employees of the Music Commission. His getting rid of it should be no surprise. He did not want it in the first place. While I think that we need a group that pushes Memphis music, it must be a group that looks to our future and not to our past.

  Too often in this city that I love, we look to the past and not to the future. We run campaigns the same basic way we have for 30 years. We look to artists from 30-50 years ago. We do not look to the present or to the future. We cannibalize or deny opportunities for people to grow and become the future in order to maintain our present.

Jim has started the process of moving us into the future by cutting some dead weight and beginning the process of moving us into the future. The animal services director firing, the music commission erasure, and others are steps that show that we are breaking with the past to turn this city around and make it an example for the region.

  Let's give him time to begin to turn this city around. This city has a lot of problems. Let's see if he can fix them, or begin to, because honestly, the way we were doing things was not working. Change is scary, but often necessary.

No comments: