Erika Sugarmon

GENERAL INFORMATION

Name: Erika Sugarmon

Candidate for: City Council District 9, Position 1

Date of Birth: 12-04-1962

Occupation: Educator

Educational Background:

    • High School: See resume
    • College: University of Memphis: BBA See resume
    • Masters/Ph.D (if applicable): MPA & MAT

Family: I am the daughter of two civil rights activists, the late Judge Russell B. Sugarmon, Jr. & Dr. Miriam DeCosta Willis who instilled in me the importance of social justice and voting. I have three siblings who are Judge Tarik B. Sugarmon, Elena Williamson, and Monique Sugarmon. I have three children: E. Zachary McClure, Selena B. McClure, J. Gregory Echols and his wife Rachel and three grandchildren.

Community Involvement: See my resume.


WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA

Official Campaign Website: https://www.erikasugarmon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElectSugarmon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erikasugarmon


CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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

Sugarmon’s response:

I have educational & work experience in the financial field which has provided me with skills sets to analyze financial reports. I have a lifetime of advocating for the marginalized people in our society. I have a heart for the people of Memphis who have been oppressed for generations and it seems that I have given the working poor hope because I was give the nickname of the “Crusader.”

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

Sugarmon’s response:

Mass transportation
Jobs and Economic Growth and Development
Vocational & Literacy Programs

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

Sugarmon’s response:

Mass transportation
Jobs and Economic Growth and Development
Vocational & Literacy Programs

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?

Sugarmon’s response:

I support First Responders and I will advocate to have their benefits restored and if the people vote to increase the sales tax rate, I will make sure that it is allocated according to the will of the people.

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

Sugarmon’s response:

Yes, PILOTs are no longer being granted by City Council. They have given their power and authority to the Edge and other appointed boards. PILOTs are being used to increase profits of developers and others who have “pet” projects as opposed to its original intent to entice corporations to relocate to Memphis in order to provide jobs. We need to put Memphis and Memphians first when it comes to government contracts and employment. This can only begin when the City Council regains its authority to grant PILOTs and to put into place oversight, accountability, and enforcement.

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?

Sugarmon’s response:

I am in communities where minorities, senior citizens, and the working-class are vulnerable to not only gentrification but planned obsolescence which is intentionally driving down property values or allowing the decay of communities in order for properties to be bought by developers at a low price under the guise of redevelopment rather than giving communities the support needed to become self-sustaining and thriving communities once again.

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?

Sugarmon’s response:

Small, minority, and women held businesses need to be incentivized so that they can thrive and grow. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They help to stabilize and sustain communities. I will advocate to increase the number of African American businesses and homeownership. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom is nothing without economic freedom.