March 7, 2011 is “a date which will live in infamy” when future history books are written about turning points in the direction of Memphis. For that was the day voters, in a pitiful turnout of seventeen percent (17%), voted to surrender the charter of Memphis City Schools, effectively abandoning and ‘killing’ the educational future of thousands upon thousands of our children. This action has resulted in the worst civic disaster since the 19th Century Yellow Fever Epidemic killed thousands of Memphians, and reduced our city to a mere taxing district by forfeiting the Charter of Memphis.
One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the negative results of not effectively educating our children, especially those who suffer the debilitating effects of generational poverty. Look around you. Property and violent crimes perpetrated by young people are at an alarmingly high and accelerating rate. Mental illness, homelessness, and high unemployment are further manifestations of ineffective schools. And it’s getting worse. A recent national study points out that sixty-eight percent (68%) of Memphians are economically distressed because of the lack of a good education.
Just as one man – Robert R. Church – stepped up a century ago and led the effort to restore the Charter of Memphis by purchasing the first municipal bond, I stand now to lead the effort to restore the educational future of the children of Memphis. I am leading an #EducationSlate of candidates whose number one priority is the well-being of our children. Our agenda is to reclaim our children’s future by reclaiming their education. When you elect people whose top priority is the betterment of children, you’ll get people who will make the proper decisions concerning crime, budgets, corporate property tax breaks, and everything else!
Finally, please note that I am not advocating reclaiming the charter of Memphis City Schools. The landscape of education in America has changed over the last decade, and we must not limit ourselves in terms of how we prepare our children for the future. What I am saying is that the future of Memphis hinges on how well we prepare our children to compete in a global society. We’ve taken care of politicians and big corporations long enough. It’s our children’s turn! If you agree with me please elect me to City Council Super District 9, Position 2 by early voting (September 18 – October 3) or vote on Thursday October 8th.
KENNETH TWIGG WHALUM, JR.
Follow me on Twitter @kwhalum