Category: Politics

Your sample ballot for the August 2014 elections

Right-click to save a copy of the Aug. 7 sample ballot

Aug. 7 sample ballot PDF

Just in time for the opening of early voting Friday, July 18, here is the sample ballot for the Aug. 7 election. It features the state and federal primary elections, county general elections and nonpartisan judicial races that come along once every eight years to make this the longest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics.

Unlike the many sample ballots you will be handed between now and Aug. 7, ours comes without any endorsements. So do what you will with the PDF to use as your own voting guide for the “big ballot.”

It’s also printed in the July 11 edition of The Daily News, if you want to do this old school and need a hard copy to have and hold and mark up.

We’ll be tweeting the daily early voter turnout and election night returns at @tdnpols. And we are happy to answer any basic questions about what can be a confusing ballot at times, with primaries, general elections and a few judicial retention races all together.

 

Phil Trenary and the Greater Memphis Chamber

Phil Trenary has been named the new president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Trenary is the second leader of the economic development agency in a row to come from the aviation industry. Trenary, the former president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, is taking over from former Northwest Airlines executive John Moore, who retired in January. And the previous chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors was former Memphis and Shelby County Authority president and CEO Larry Cox.

Though the Chamber hired the Centre Group to conduct a national search for Moore’s replacement, the Chamber Board’s executive committee selected Trenary, at least in part, because of his established roots in economic and community development circles.

City Councilman Harold Collins, who privately urged Trenary to stay in Memphis and consider the leadership position at the Chamber, applauded the selection.

“I always thought (Trenary) would be an excellent choice because he already knows the lay off the land in Memphis having spent a considerable amount of time leading Pinnacle and being a good corporate citizen in Memphis,” said Collins. “I think (Trenary) being named the new president and CEO makes it a seamless transition.”

Trenary takes the reigns of the organization as it seeks to loosen poverty’s grip on the Memphis area through job creation and retention efforts, which include an increased focus on early childhood education and local politics. Currently, the Chamber is urging the city to switch to a 401(k) retirement system instead of relying on its traditional pension program, which is severely underfunded.

Trenary said this week he has been impressed with the coordinated commitment local stakeholders – from individuals to neighborhood organizations, community groups and companies – have shown toward moving Memphis forward. Trenary also said he was particularly excited  by the prospect of a new generation of Memphians getting involved.

“The young people understand that something is happening here and we have to understand and embrace that and if we do we’ll be off to the races,” Trenary said.

Trenary, 59, lives Downtown with his wife, Bridget and their children, Justin, Brittney and Pearce.

University District Neighborhood Summit On Tap

With all the efforts taking place in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis officials thought it was a good time to have a public meeting to get everything on the table.

The public is invited to attend a University District Neighborhood Summit Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, located at 480 S. Highland St. Residents and community leaders will discuss activities, development and safety within the University District area. If an update on all the activity in the neighborhood isn’t enough to get you to attend the meeting, organizers will be providing lunch at the event.

Memphis City Council members Jim Strickland and Wanda Halbert and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy will join the discussion. There will be presentations from Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir and from the Memphis Area Association of Governments on Greenprint partnerships.

After the main program, there will be a 30-minute training session on Memphis 311 services.

The University District represents businesses, residents and organizations in seven neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis: East Buntyn, Joffre, Messick-Buntyn, Normal Station, Red Acres, Sherwood Forest and University North.

RSVP to Leah Dawkins at lmdwkins@memphis.edu.

On a related note, here’s the latest from our Bill Dries on the search for a new University of Memphis president.

Are Schools Really “Failing” — And Are They Being “Reformed”?

A very interesting, cautionary opinion piece from American Journalism Review about how the media covers schools.

http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=5280

We’ve spent a lot of time covering the schools in recent years in the paper and on the Behind the Headlines show. The reform efforts of Superintendent Kriner Cash, the Gates Foundation efforts, the rise of charter schools, and of course the pending consolidation of city and county schools, all have occupied a lot of space. For good reason, I think.

After reading this, though, I’m frantically trying to think about where, when and how often I’ve fallen into some of the easy lines described by Farhi.

Two items from the story that stuck out to me:

“’The discussion [of the state of schools] is quite simplistic. I’m not sure why exactly. My suspicion is that the media has trouble with complexity.'”

“In 2011, the percentage of parents who gave their children’s school an A grade was at its highest ever (37 percent), whereas only 1 percent of respondents rated the nation’s schools that way. Why the disparity in perceived quality? Gallup asked people about that, too. Mostly, it was because people knew about their local schools through direct experience. They only learned about the state of education nationally through the news media.”

 

Herenton Cohen & More at Chism Picnic

Shelby County Commission Sidney Chism held his 9th annual picnic in southwest Memphis this afternoon. Billed as a bipartisan political event, the picnic is a rite of passage for any Democrat seeking local or state office.

2009 is an off election year, except for those of you living in Arlington and Lakeland. But there is no such thing as an off year for politics in Memphis. That is certainly the case this year.

‘Some of you I love to death but I am not going to support you,” Chism said as candidates took turns speaking.

Here are a few observations from the Chism picnic:

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton showed up in campaign mode even though he had no campaign literature or t-shirts touting his bid in the 2010 Democratic Congressional primary. As he arrived, Herenton spotted Steve Steffens, also known by his blog name Left Wing Cracker. Steffens was wearing a Cohen campaign t-shirt — the only Cohen t-shirt seen in the crowd. Herenton saw it and immediately said, “Why are you wearing that loser t-shirt?”

“I wish all of you well, except one candidate,” Herenton told the crowd weighted heavily with politicians active, inactive and prospective. “That’s the one that’s running against me. I don’t wish him well.”

Cohen showed up shortly after Herenton left. And he minimized Herenton’s presence in the race. “If I have an opponent or don’t have an opponent, the issue is Steve Cohen and how I do in my district,” Cohen said. “It’s really not the opposition, it’s me.”

Neither Herenton nor Cohen had signs up.

The most surprising campaign signage of the day came from County Commissioner James Harvey. He had three large placards reading: “Memphis Mayor 2011. James Harvey vs. A.C. Wharton. Who Should Be Mayor? Harvey 2011.”

“They are not campaign signs. It’s basically a campaign notice. I’m putting a notice to the community that there are other options, other than A C Wharton,” Harvey told The Daily News. “I think the bench of black leadership is very thin. I want to expand the bench and be competitive.”

“I appreciate him helping me get my name out. We’re glad Commissioner Harvey’s helping us out,” Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. responded when asked about the sign. “Tell him to get it right though. There’s no periods after A and C.”

Democratic candidates for governor Kim McMillan of Clarksville and Mike McWherter of Jackson were at the picnic as was Republican candidate for governor and Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons. Democratic contenders Ward Cammack of Nashville and Roy Herron of Dresden had been in town the day before for a local Democratic party fundraiser at the Hatillo Theater.

State Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle had said he would make his decision on joining the Democratic pack once the legislative session ended. The session ended Thursday.

“I’m going to take a deep breath, take a break for a couple of weeks and talk to folks and see where we are. I’m awfully tired. We’ve had a hard year,” Kyle told The Daily News.

Shelby County Commission chairman Deidre Malone brought her still unofficial campaign for Shelby County mayor in the Democratic primary to the picnic along with plenty of supporters wearing t-shirts reading “Who Knows Shelby County?”

Also at the picnic, Bank of Bartlett president and 2002 mayoral contender Harold Byrd who was surprised to see some signs with his image and the slogan “United in Our Dreams.” Byrd is considering a bid in the 2010 Democratic mayoral primary but has made no decision yet. Chism has been a prominent backer of Byrd now as well as in 2002.

City Council chairman Myron Lowery was among the Malone supporters in the crowd. He took a turn on stage, saying “I am not running today, but I may be soon.” Lowery has expressed interest in running for Memphis mayor should Herenton leave before the end of his current term of office.

Herenton seemed to discourage that possibility, telling reporters that his supporters don’t want him to give up the mayor’s office while running for Congress.

Read more in Tuesday’s edition of The Daily News.

Dansette

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