“We gathered people to discuss issues that are important to them from the Memphis People’s Agenda,” said the Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, founder of #UPTheVote901. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)
As the mistress of ceremonies, Ena Esco’s duties included getting the candidates to say whether they supported the Memphis People’s Agenda. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

With the Memphis People’s Agenda as the backdrop, candidates vying for several races in the May 3 County Primary took their campaigns to the 2022 Memphis People’s Convention this past Saturday.

Powered by #UPTheVote 901 in association with organizing partners and affiliates, the convention took place at the National Civil Rights Museum.

“We gathered together several hundred people at the National Civil Rights Museum to give them access to approximately 18 candidates who are seeking the support of community members and constituents,” said the Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, founder of #UpTheVote901.

“We gathered people to discuss issues that are important to them from the Memphis People’s Agenda. I can’t site exactly how many people came but we know we had about 450 people who were registered and my hunch is that we had several hundred people between the time we started and the time we ended.”

#UPTheVote volunteers checked in attendees. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

Mock elections were conducted to provide a sense of who those gathered wanted to see in office, said Fisher.

The Memphis People’s Convention provided an opportunity for participating candidates to make presentations and say whether they supported the Memphis People’s Agenda. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

The convention unfolded on the last weekend of early voting. The last day for early voting is April 28.

The Rev. Dr. Earle J. Fisher, founder of #UPTheVote901. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

Fisher urged those present to reach out to those they know among the tens of thousands of registered voters who likely would not cast ballots in the primary.

“We might not be able to move the needle from 15 percent to 20 or 25 percent, but you heard candidate after candidate … say every vote counts. It does….”

Saying that the Shelby County Election Office was not run by people “overly committed to making sure that we have equitable access to the ballot box,” Fuller declared, “We are going to have to continue to organize and mobilize to offset that. …

“UPTheVote901 is not the only organization doing this voting empowerment work,” he said, noting other organizations working onsite at the convention.

In the high-profile race for Shelby County District Attorney General, attorney Steve Mulroy and attorney Janika White, two of the three candidates in the Democratic Primary, made presentations. Attorney Linda Harris reportedly had a campaign scheduling conflict.

Here are the results of the mock election for District Attorney as posted online:

Incumbent Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris missed his appointed time. Later, after a show-of-hands vote, Harris was allowed to speak, filling in the time that came available as the program ran ahead of schedule.

No endorsement was made in the county mayor’s race, which includes Ken Moody, most recently a former assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland. Moody did not attend.

Here are the results of the other mock elections as posted online:

To view the Memphis People’s Convention via Facebook, click HERE.