MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Memphis voters in District 7 will head back to the polls for November’s runoff election.
Incumbent Councilman Berlin Boyd received 30% of the vote last week. Challenger Michalyn Easter-Thomas received 21%. The seat covers north Memphis and parts of Frayser, Uptown, and Mud Island.
Easter-Thomas says the people of that district want to see change, but Boyd insists he’s done a lot in the past four years. Local 24 News stacked both resumes up against each other to let the voters decide.
“I have a track record what I can and what I will continue to do. My opponent doesn’t,” Boyd said.
“The people are wanting something different, and they showed that on election day,” Easter-Thomas explained.
Boyd who currently holds the District 7 seat, says he was influential in rebuilding the Ed Rice Community Center, but he’s most proud of the Driver’s License Reinstatement Amnesty Program.
“We are helping people reinstate their drivers licenses, we are helping people expunge their records. Those are real things that we are doing right now,” Boyd said.
Easter-Thomas, who is an educator for Shelby County Schools, says if you drive through the district you’ll notice the problems first hand.
“Seeing that what these kids are dealing with and what these families are dealing with, it’s hard to combat that in schools when they are returning to a community that doesn’t offer a blink of progress,” she stressed.
Easter-Thomas founded the non-profit Our Grass, Our Roots to transform north Memphis into a vibrant community, something she says isn’t being done now.
“Poverty is rising and the things to alleviate that are not hitting the majority of the district,” Easter-Thomas said.
Boyd says he’s use to the criticism. He received some back in 2017 when he says he forgot to recuse himself in a council vote involving a new client with his consulting firm.
“The one thing that I can say with all sincerely I have never had a conflict of interest. I am human, I make mistakes,” Boyd said.
The runoff election is November 14. Early voting starts October 25 and runs through November 9.