Edmund Ford Sr.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Name: Edmund Ford Sr

Candidate for: City Council District 6

Date of Birth: 08-25-1955

Occupation: Licensed Funeral Director/Mortician

Educational Background:

    • High School: Mitchell HIgh School, 1973
    • College: John A. Gupton College, 1979
    • Masters/Ph.D (if applicable): Tennessee State University, 1979

Family: Married to Myrna Owen Ford
Father of four children, including Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford, Jr., Christopher, James and William.

Community Involvement: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Blue Bird Neighborhood Association
Bluff City Funeral Directors
TSU Alumni Association
Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons
National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association
Sigma Phi Sigma National Funeral Service Fraternity
Honored Professional in the Nationwide Register’s “Who’s Who in Executives and Businesses.”


WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA

Official Campaign Website: www.edford4memphis.com


CANDIDATE SURVEY:

1. What background/experience distinguishes you from the other candidates who want voters to elect them?

Ford Sr’s response:

In 1999, I decided that I wanted to continue serving the people of Memphis in a way where all voices could be heard, regardless of someone’s race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Twenty years ago, I ran for Memphis City Council, and was able to serve in that elected capacity for eight years. During that time, there were strides in providing public safety, educational opportunities, and economic development to the constituents of District 6. I wish to continue my service in this capacity again.

2. What are the top three issues facing the City of Memphis?

Ford Sr’s response:

Poverty
Crime
Education

3. What do you propose to address the three issues you rank as top priorities?

Ford Sr’s response:

We have a 27% poverty rate in Memphis, and much of that is centered around the low number of opportunities for those who desire to provide better lives for themselves and their families. When that obstacle is tackled through proactive resources that alleviate crime and promote education, transportation, and economic development, Memphis wins.

The City has played a role in education by way of funding Pre-K as well as offering grants to non-profit organizations to directly and indirectly help our youth in areas where our current school system has missed the mark. During my tenure, I supported additional funding for education while keeping those who spend our tax dollars accountable

4. Do you favor the call for a half-cent sales tax increase to restore healthcare and retirement benefits for police officers and firefighters cut in 2014?

Ford Sr’s response:

We have been able to recruit and retain police officers and firefighters over the last term. MPD has increased their complement by over 200 new officers. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to return to the defined benefit plan, nowhere close to what the sales tax would generate. Constituents also need to know that over 60 percent of the people that would benefit do not live in the city of Memphis, which means they are not paying property taxes. Reverting back would result in Memphians increasing their property taxes. Because of this, I do not favor such a regressive tax on my constituents.

5. Do you think the local PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program needs to be reformed? If so, why and how?

Ford Sr’s response:

It is important for the public to know what kind of incentives we give to those who would like to open shop in our City. Due to where we are positioned and the competition across state lines, we must provide some type of incentives. However, I believe in transparency that protects the City if it decides to invest in a company that provides jobs, hopefully with living wages and benefits.

PILOTs aren’t perfect, but compared to the incentives that our bordering states give, we must be strategic and transparent with the tools we have so that Memphians understand the processes and can be critical with feedback.

6. Do you see a risk of displacement and gentrification connected to the development boom in Memphis? If so, how would you address that risk from the position you seek?

Ford Sr’s response:

There are areas throughout the City, particularly District 6, that require more attention to sustain existing communities. Although there has been economic development in Whitehaven and Downtown, there are other neighborhoods that have desired the same need. When I was on the Council from 1999-2007, we were able to provide those resources and I plan to continue that service when I am elected in October

7. African-American-owned businesses have made up only 1 percent of all Memphis business receipts for several decades. If elected, do you see playing a role in changing that statistic? If so, what do you think that role would entail?

Ford Sr’s response:

There has been increase in the MWBE spend for contractors, but when a recent study showed that out of every $100 spent that only $0.83 were from minorities, that was a very disproportional statistic when the African-American population of Memphis is 63%, according to the Census. My role in increasing that statistic is to provide more resources that support our Contract Compliance division and to follow the recommendations given by the Disparity Study on the City.