Fri04182014

Opinion

TSD to endorse in Memphis municipal election

When voters step up on Oct. 6 to cast ballots in the Memphis municipal election, the bucket of choices will be filled with 58 candidates. When voters step up on Oct. 6 to cast ballots in the Memphis municipal election, the bucket of choices will be filled with 58 candidates. The would-be office holders will compete for mayor of Memphis, all 13 City Council seats, City Court Clerk and three City Court judge positions.

Building upon a platform set out for the 2010 elections, The New Tri-State Defender again will endorse candidates. And we will do so in the races deemed most critical to and likely to have the most impact on the quality of life of our primary readership, the African-American community of Greater Memphis.

We are mindful of the responsibility to use our platform to educate, inform and yes, even influence our citizenry in making good decisions. We continue to believe that it is incumbent upon the Tri-State Defender to challenge community leaders to acknowledge the work that must be done, and that we must push for accountability on the work undertaken to bring about an improvement in the quality of life for all citizens.

On Monday (Aug. 22), TSD will begin reaching out to each candidate to take part in a questionnaire process as a way of gathering both objective and subjective information. In some races, the process will include invitations for in-person interviews. All of the information will be synthesized and used in the selection of the candidates we choose to endorse. As a multi-media outlet with a primary focus on the African-American community, we’ve established criterion by which we will select the candidates for endorsement.

Candidates must intrinsically understand these dynamics and how they impact the welfare of our entire city. We will endorse candidates – regardless of race or party affiliation – that represent the best vision, that can present solution-oriented plans of action, and exhibit the best ability to execute and deliver on their plans to address the issues and disparities facing the citizens of Memphis.

We understand that the issues that exist in Memphis and Shelby County are broad and complex. And while we know that each candidate must serve and govern in the interest of all voters, it is the TSD’s contention that understanding the severity and significance of the issues confronting African Americans in Memphis – and working to address those issues –will improve the quality of life for all Memphians.

Early voting begins on Sept. 16, running through Oct. 1. Our endorsements will be reflected in the Sept. 15-21 edition. Candidates who wish to contact us about securing our questionnaire may email editorial@tri-state defender.com.

What we are looking for in candidates:

Vision

What is the candidate’s vision for Memphis? What does the candidate want to do while in office and what problems must be addressed in order to achieve those objectives? How does the candidate plan to address the major issues  facing the city and county through the office he or she desires to hold? What are their plans for the office?

Qualifications and experience

Why is the candidate running for elected office? What makes the candidate qualified for holding an office? What previous experience lends itself to success in the office? Who is supporting the candidate?

Ability to implement initiatives

A clear vision and a plan for the future are important, but it means nothing if the candidate does not have the ability to get anything accomplished. How would the candidate tackle the issues identified as critical for the city/county? What opportunities does the candidate see in working with other cities and counties in the metro area and how does he or she define his or her role in government? How would the candidate go about building consensus to accomplish goals? Does the candidate have the integrity and fortitude to stand on principle to accomplish an important objective despite opposition?

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