A wonderful place - Memphis - 7/30/2011
This review is prompted by Keith in Madison, TN who complains that TN is "retrograde" and "very Red" in politics. The problem is that Keith lives in Madison, TN, and not Memphis, TN. Memphis is a shining example of Progressive politics. We have been led by liberal Democrats since the mid 1980's in both local and national politics. In that time, our previous mayor of 16 years, who was school uperintendant for 12 years, has steered our city to some wonderful Progressive results. He raised the schools budget 1300%, and made diversity the operating benchmark in the Memphis City Schools, and then the Memphis City government. No decision was made unless it benefited minorities directly. Average ACT scores jumped from 24 to 12. H.S. graduation rates made a substantial move from 73% to 33%. Violent crime against teachers has risen 1100%. Of the over 157 schools in the City of Memphis, only 120 are listed as "troubled" and could be taken over by the State of Tennessee. And in an act of genuine magnamity designed to spread their expertise throughout Shelby County, the Memphis City School Board surrendered their charter as a school district, forcing the Shelby County Schools (in top 100 of best school systems in the U.S., avg ACT 25%, H.S. graduation rate of over 90%) to begin the process of merging the two systems. These same progressive politicians have announced plans to run for office for the Shelby County School Board so that they can transform the suburban schools into the carbon copies of their urban counterparts.
The population of Memphis is changing along the same trend lines as jobs. Unemployment is improved over the years of the Great Maliase of the late 1970s to only 13%. (July 2011) Crime statistics show that Memphis has moved fron within the top 5 cities in the U.S. to just outside the top 10. (2010) The top private employer in Memphis endevours to employ all job seekers, averaging 300% employee turnover yearly.
Since our current city mayor took office last year, FBI and other police agency probes into illegal and corrupt political practices has dropped substancially. However, convictions are still nearly 100%.
As for culture, the previous City mayor discontinued the world class Wonders Exibitions (Cathering the Great, Ramesses the Great, Masters of Florence, Art of the Motorcycle) in favor of a more diverse cultural series, Africa in April. In this way, the 100,00 or so yearly Wonders tourists from outside Memphis wouldn't congest the streets, hotels, and resturants of Memphis.
Yes indeed, Memphis is a shining example of the results of decades of Progressive politics.[read more...]