Erica R. Williams

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POWER & POLITICS 2019: Mayoral candidates gearing up for election-summer push

The Memphis municipal elections are less than 90 days away and the pool of contenders vying for the city’s top spot is full. So far, 15 candidates have pulled petitions for mayor, including incumbent Jim Strickland, Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer and former Memphis Mayor...

County Commissioners put a wrap on a $1.3 billion budget

Shelby County’s largest investment in Pre-K, new voting machines and funding for the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) are included in the $1.3 billion budget the Shelby County Board of Commissioners approved after a lengthy session Monday night. “I think there are some big impact...

Recovering-from-violence effort evolves from Frayser fatal shooting

Tennessee State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) recalled the grim day that he witnessed violence outside of his apartment as a 4-year-old growing up in Los Angeles. “I remember seeing a man lying outside on the steps, and he was bleeding out,” Parkinson recounted. “My mother...

A call for ‘answers’ amid mixed emotions after fatal shooting by U.S. Marshals

Mixed emotions circulated the Frayser Exchange Club on Thursday as community leaders deviated from their scheduled agenda to focused on the events that had transpired in their community less than 24 hours before. Just blocks away, 20-year-old Brandon Webber was shot and killed by...

Commissioners move to decriminalize low-level marijuana offenses

Penalties for low-level drug offenses are too severe, according to some Shelby County Commissioners, who hope to petition the state to make changes once the legislative session reopens next year. Monday night, commissioners approved a resolution requesting the state to allow counties and municipalities to...

Countdown to the People’s Convention

Putting the power back into the hands of the people. That’s always been the primary goal of the People’s Convention, according to the organizers who spent Thursday finalizing the details of one of the city’s most anticipated political gatherings. More than 1,000 people are expected...

Memphis City Council approves $708 million budget; no tax hike

The Memphis City Council unanimously approved a $708 million budget on Tuesday that includes pay raises for all city workers, additional investment into disenfranchised communities, and more money for Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA). The changes, set to go into effect July 1, come with...

People’s Convention organizers pitch event, stand by process

After five months of planning, organizers of Up the Vote 901 are gearing up for what they’re expecting to be an eventful display of democracy at the upcoming People’s Convention. So far, 18 candidates in the upcoming October 3 election, including two mayoral contenders, have...

The making of restorative justice public policy gumbo

“Don’t be afraid to disrupt the system,” Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer said to a crowd of advocates, parents, and educators gathered at the inaugural Public Policy and Restorative Justice Symposium, Saturday.  This charge came after Sawyer gave a personal account of her experiences with...

FOLLOW-UP: Shelby County Dems sticking with Michael Harris as chair

After months of controversy, Michael Harris will remain the chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party. The decision was made during a closed meeting held by the party’s executive committee at Solid Rock Christian Church on Tuesday evening. Harris retained the chairman’s post with an...