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John Semien

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Instant Runoff Voting – Is it really in Memphis’ future?

There is little the Memphis City Council can do to stand in the way of instant runoff voting in the wake of Tuesday’s resounding defeat of efforts to abolish the ordinance, according to former Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery. Lowery, the council’s chairmen emeritus,...

The ‘Nos’ take it on referendums

Shelby County voters nixed all three proposed referendums on Tuesday’s ballot, including the controversial Instant Runoff Voting measure that would have eliminated the need for separate runoff elections. That question, marked question number two, was defeated with 104,431 voting against and 62,316 voting for the...

Bredesen appeals for big Memphis turnout to help win U.S. Senate race

Spending some of his last hours before Election Day at one of Memphis’ most popular barbecue spots, Phil Bredesen said the race to become Tennessee’s newest senator is “on a knife’s edge.” The former governor and Democratic Party standard-bearer told a packed house at Jim...

Think ‘region’ while focusing on workforce, says Mayor Strickland

Mayor Jim Strickland says Memphis needs to think regionally and “tear down the silos” of business competition when it comes to economic development. Addressing the Shelby County Commission’s Task Force regarding EDGE (Economic Development Growth Engine) on Wednesday, Strickland said, “I think we need to...

County Commission embraces resolution asking for automatic TBI investigation of officer-involved shootings

The Shelby County Commission on Monday voted in favor of a joint resolution with the Memphis City Council to ask the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to probe all sheriff- and police-involved shootings that result in serious injury or death. The measure would amend a...

NAACP’s national president makes Shelby County pitch to counter voter suppression

“Bad actors” is the label pinned on the Shelby County Election Commission by national NAACP President Derrick Johnson, who made a turn-out-to-vote pitch during a visit to Memphis on Friday. Johnson predicted a heavy Election Day (Nov. 6) turnout by Shelby County voters feel disrespected...

Beverly Robertson to lead Greater Memphis Chamber as interim president/CEO

The name Beverly Robertson answers who has been named interim president and chief executive officer of the Greater Memphis Chamber. The person that Robertson is – and long has been – speaks to the quality of the choice. The selection of Robertson, who worked for...

Council chairman says no underhanded move made to block Herenton’s mayoral bid

No conspiracy! That was the bottom line of Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd’s media conference called on Friday in regard to a Nov. 6 ballot error that blocks former Mayor Dr. Willie W. Herenton from running for mayor in 2019. Herenton and others have...

Community LIFT study supports broader definition of economic development

The Memphis/Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) is the agency that should take the lead in driving economic development locally, according to a study of four cities of comparable size and demographics. EDGE is the agency that is controlled by the Shelby County Commission...

Police union’s no-talk move adds to uncertainty about resolution involving TBI

With the Shelby County Board of Commissioners positioned Monday for a vote on legislation that would mandate Tennessee Bureau of Investigation inquiries into all police shootings, word came that the Memphis Police Association had advised its members not to cooperate with the TBI out...