Tami Sawyer hopes to become the first woman and first black woman mayor of Memphis on Oct. 3 as she continues her race against incumbent Jim Strickland and former mayor Willie Herenton. 

The candidate has been active in the community before and after her election as Shelby County Commissioner. 

In 2017, the University of Memphis graduate founded the #takeenmdown901 movement to remove Confederate statues in Memphis, which was successful.

In 2018, Sawyer was put into the Ebony Magazine Power 100 list. In 2019, she was selected as the first Speaker in Residence of Clayborn Temple, the meeting site of the “I Am A Man” march.

Sawyer currently serves as the Shelby County Commissioner in District 7, which includes parts of Binghampton and Midtown. Since joining the commission, she has helped reform the juvenile court system.

Sawyer was named one of the “18 Tennesseans to Watch in 2018” by the Tennessean and “5 Women to Watch” by the Memphis Business Journal.

If elected, Sawyer said she hopes to tackle several large issues facing the Memphis community right now. She said she wants to get all Memphians a livable wage with economic equality, improve the school system, revamp public transportation in the city, upgrade the city’s power and water infrastructure, lower infant mortality rates, and more.

According to Sawyer’s website, 43 percent of Memphians make less than a living wage and 40,000 children live in households with an annual income less than $10,000. Sawyer said she plans to advocate that all jobs be required to give employees a livable wage, expand affordable housing programs, and help grow small business development programs.

Only one-third of students in Memphis public schools are performing on grade-level according to Sawyer. To combat this issue, Sawyer stated she wants to start a city-wide fund to help expand funding for schools. She also noted she wants to lower illiteracy rates throughout the city. Sawyer explained she wants to “fight for a city where every student in Memphis has the opportunity to achieve their dreams and where we can’t predict their life outcomes based on their zip code.”

Sawyer said she plans to create a budget that would require all city departments to report what they spend money on to the citizens of Memphis. She also said she wants to help transition the city to 100 percent renewable energy resources by 2050.

General elections will be on Oct. 3 and early voting will be ongoing until Sep. 28.

All of this information was taken from PR press releases and from Sawyer’s website. 

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