“A negative ad never moves a city forward, never created a job, kept a child safe, or a family find a home. Jim Strickland stop the negative ads because the truth is A.C. Wharton has helped families find a home, created good jobs, helped to keep my grandchildren safer, helped me to start my business. Now I know we haven’t gotten everything right, but when it comes to moving Memphis forward no one is going to work as harder.” This hilarious ad was shown on local television by A.C. Wharton to target Jim Strickland’s criticism of Wharton’s lack of progress in the Memphis area. I have been really paying attention to this intense political race because I must admit Jim Strickland has been the most outspoken person mainly criticizing Wharton. Everyday, I am seeing more Jim Strickland supporters with his ad on their front yards and even on their cars.
I have interviewed several people including family on who they plan on voting for mayor. Only one person has told me Wharton and only because his wife goes to her church (a Roman Catholic church) and the others have told me Jim Strickland. I must be honest I plan on voting for Strickland myself. In my opinion, Wharton has been in office since 2006 and I feel it is time for him to step off the throne and let someone else take the reigns. I was shocked to hear Wharton admit that he hasn’t done a great job with the city, but I have been truly disappointed with Wharton’s budget ideas. For example, the pyramid was once a great place where they had Disney On Ice and even graduations. When I found out that he is turning it into a Bass Pro Shop I said, “What in the world does that have to do with Memphis? What a waste of money and time!” The pyramid and the Rameses statue was the epitome of history and purpose. Most people know that Memphis was named after Memphis, Egypt and to turn the pyramid into a Bass Pro Shop is a slap to the face with our history. The pyramid would be great for a casino and all the employees could be dressed as Egyptians. Turning the pyramid to a casino would have been great for providing jobs to Memphis and fun entertainment.
According to A.C. Wharton (acwharton.com) he states that his priority is, “Fighting crime and blight, creating economic opportunity while reducing poverty and changing the culture of city government.” Wharton, I understand that crime is your top priority but what about knowing to budget wisely and also from what I have researched Memphis unemployment rate has sky rocketed to 44% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015. Another thing that strikes Memphis is that there is a high infant mortality rate because of poverty, lack of education, and lack of resources. Poverty is very high in Memphis and it’s sad to say but in order for a homeless person to stay in shelter they have to pay that’s why you see a lot of pan handling. Since, Wharton concern is poverty and crime, it shows everyday his lack of progress in the city. Wharton has had eight years to help Memphis become a better place and more people are leaving Memphis to move to better cities because of better job opportunities and places to raise their children in a healthy environment. When it comes to poverty, there should be free parenting classes for low income mothers, building safer roads, and creating better jobs.
Now, let’s all be honest: Memphis when it comes to councilmen needs more diversity. Strickland with no apologies shows on his website votejimstrickland.com of his beautiful family. His daughter is very exotic looking while the rest of his family is of Caucasian descent. From his television ads, you can see that he has diverse groups of supporters. I love Strickland’s mission of, “Make no mistake-my campaign is about change:violent crimes, more roads will be paved, neighborhoods will be cleaned up, blight will be reduced, and city government will actually execute vision.” Strickland talks about what people are really concerned about because Memphis definitely has terrible roads. Wharton spent the city’s budget on crazy retail stores instead of fixing the roads where it produces safety hazards. I am happy to see that Strickland is also concerned about cleaning up our neighborhoods because Memphis is horrible of littering. The best thing about his website is that he is transparent on his plans of action to make the city a better place. His emphasis is mainly of the police force and of Memphis civilians. Strickland is about walk the walk not talk the talk or talking and walking at the same time. Strickland plans on making Memphis Police Department a very transparent business and enforcement is going to be strict on police and Memphis civilians.
One of his plans is to ensure that when it comes to police shootings that it must be documented immediately and also police can not investigate their colleagues shooting. He strongly supports police and plans to teach young children the importance of police in their community. I feel that children especially black children are taught at a young age to fear police when there are good police out there. I know that Strickland will be strict in his hiring process when it comes to police. He also plan on having a smart phone application for anonymous tipsters to report crimes to the police department. To lastly sum up his plans for young people is to have strict curfew laws. In my opinion, that is a great idea to have police enforce curfew laws to make sure children don’t get into trouble.
I am a strong supporter of Jim Strickland and his ideas of how to make Memphis a better place. Wharton hasn’t made any positive progress and has wasted our tax money on buying fishing gear at Bass Pro Shop. I know some Wharton supporters will read this and disagree with me and that’s fine. I am a firm believer in “We don’t have to think alike to love alike.” In the end, it is all about who is truly going to change Memphis and to ensure that it makes progress as the years go by. Wharton has been in office too long, he needs to step down and let someone else create a better plan. When Jim Strickland wins, I will smile, drink my Sangria, and think of all the positive plans that my future mayor has in store.