Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Right on the Bluff: March 2023

Remembering Geoffrey Redd

Yesterday I attended the funeral of Geoffrey “Bernard” Redd, who died as a result of being critically wounded in the line of duty. In addition to serving 15 years with MPD, Officer Redd was a U.S. Marine and an ordained minister. He was also a father, a son, a brother, and a newlywed. Memphis has suffered a giant loss with his passing.

At this funeral, I could not help but notice the absence of the U.S. Vice President, federal lawmakers, media personalities, and national media crews who visited Memphis last month. No out of state activists arrived to mourn his loss.

That is truly shameful, and it speaks to the larger problem we have as a society.

Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Right on the Bluff: February 2023

Remembering Tyre Nichols

Today I sat near the U.S. Vice President and other officials attending the funeral of Tyre Nichols, whose death has placed Memphis in the national spotlight once again.

Tyre’s family is dealing with intense hurt, and many of our neighbors are experiencing second-hand trauma as well, concerned about how they or their loved ones might be treated by the very officers who are meant to protect us from harm.

We all want to feel safe in our own neighborhoods. I am committed to doing all I can to help Memphis and Shelby County recover that feeling. Together, we will find a way.

Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Right on the Bluff: January 2023

The new year

Happy New Year! This is one of my favorite weeks on the calendar because it gives us an excuse to wipe the slate clean, make resolutions, set goals, try new things, and dream big. Whatever you have in mind to do this year, I pray for many blessings over your plans.

One goal I have this year is to improve my communication with constituents. This newsletter will be a new way to share what’s going on in our community, and to highlight some of what’s being discussed at the Shelby County Commission.

The Daily Memphian is out with a story today on what officials in Bartlett and Lakeland expect from 2023. The article kicks off with some of my reflections on the biggest local developments in politics, economics, infrastructure, public safety and education.

Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Education and race

Update: The county’s resolution was returned to the floor for reconsideration on June 7. Commissioner Mills and I voted no.

My no vote was for the sake of simplicity, because I don’t think most citizens are aware of the board’s public discussions, the amendment I made, or my summary and explanation of both (as follows in its original form below).

I remain opposed to the 14 concepts condemned by both the state and the county. And I am still hopeful that the state will wisely consider the implementation of this law.

The state should equip teachers with whatever is needed to confidently present a full and complete account of history, and it should provide students with access to a wide array of instructional materials containing both positive and negative concepts, and positive and negative historical events, that are essential to a robust education.

Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Questions about the proposed Board of Health

Shelby County government is seeking to re-institute a Board of Health that was abolished in 1911.

The first question that comes to mind is the most obvious one: After 109 years, does Shelby County really need a board of health?

The answers to that question have varied, the board and its powers have been described in different ways, and the proposal has gone through multiple drafts.