MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A “People’s Convention.”
A rare thing in Memphis.
The first one was held almost 30 years ago.
It was held because the people wanted to make sure they’d get an African-American elected as mayor of the city.
Now, the second one.
Things are a little different.
It will be held at Paradise Entertainment Center, smack in the middle of a South Memphis neighborhood where people struggle to make their lives better.
The perfect place for an accurate representation of the people, according to one of the convention organizers.
Reverend Earle Fisher says, “I think anyone who wants to judge the attitude of the people, would be adamant about being involved in something that clearly over the past month has shown is it open and inviting and inclusive, and results of the survey are reflecting the attitude of the people.”
The first convention helped bring about support for Willie Herenton.
He was the first elected African-American mayor, and held office longer than any other mayor.
This election has Willie Herenton again, along with Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer and current Mayor Jim Strickland.
Political consultant Susan Adler Thorp wrote a column about politics for years.
She remembers the first “People’s Convention.”
The goals for this one are different, she says.
According to Thorp, “Getting young people to come to a convention and having a good time won’t be very difficult, because young people love to go and have a good time and hold placards and feel like they’re involved. The challenge is getting young people to the polls to vote. I think that’s where they might have some difficulty.”
She doubts the convention will be of any influence in the October city elections.
Reverend Earle Fisher says just the opposite.
The “People’s Convention is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th.