CHARLOTTE, N. Car. – Mayor A C Wharton Jr. on Wednesday received the Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) 2012 Susan Burgess Memorial Award here in recognition of his commitment to improving education.
Taking the stage, Wharton acknowledged the helping hand from City Councilman Myron Lowery, who nominated him. He had the crowd, which included Lowery and numerous other Memphians who made the trip for the Democratic National Convention, rolling as he said he didn't immediately open the letter that informed him he actually had won the award because he was a bit sore with Lowery and the Council at the time.
That sore spots was smoothed over in a way that needs to become more of the norm on the national level, said Wharton.
"I'm humbled and honored to be chosen as the second recipient for the Susan Burgess Memorial Award, and I want to thank Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery, a longtime DMO member, for nominating me," Wharton had said earlier in a released statement.
"Last fall, when we were facing the very real possibility of a schools shutdown due to funding issues, I insisted we broker a compromise that allowed schools to open on time. Our priority has to be the education of our children."
The Susan Burgess Memorial Award was established in 2011 to honor the late Susan Burgess, a former chair of the DMO and a longtime member of the Charlotte City Council.
"Susan Burgess was my friend, and Mayor Wharton embodies her spirit of providing strong leadership in support of public education," Lowery said earlier. "The challenges that urban areas face today can, and will, only be solved by providing a quality education to all of our citizens."
"Mayor Wharton is an inspiring leader and, we think, an inspired choice to be the recipient of the 2012 Susan Burgess Memorial Award," said Barbara Moore, executive director of the DMO. "The Mayor has demonstrated that he is committed to public education and, with programs such as Books from Birth and Memphis/Shelby Achieves, he has shown he's committed to lifelong learning."
The presentation of the award was at Emeril Lagasse's E2 Restaurant, near the Charlotte Convention Center.