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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Voter Education Pushed Ahead of Memphis Municipal Election

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Thursday, August 10, 2023   

As municipal elections in Memphis approach, groups are making an urgent push for more voter education in Shelby County.

More than 550,000 voters could cast ballots in the Metropolitan General Election on October 5th.

Earle J. Fisher, founder of #UpTheVote901 and pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, said they are hosting the Memphis People's Convention for mayoral candidates this week and will be providing informational resources to help educate voters amid the crowded field of 17 contenders.

He pointed out city council seats are also on the ballot and local elections typically have the smallest voter turnout, yet the highest impact on people's lives.

"City Council is part of the reason why you only have to get the majority of the vote," Fisher observed. "When you are dealing with low-turnout elections, you are subject to people getting into office, and only really getting 10% to 15% of the entire electorate to get them into office."

Fisher added this particular election is unique compared with the previous municipal elections because it is the first time in approximately 50 years there is no incumbent running for office, and the current mayor's term is up to the limit.

Fisher added his organization has held forums and town hall debates to help voters keep up with the candidates. He said according to a poll, 48% of Memphis residents are understandably undecided, especially about the mayor's race. He emphasized voters have expressed multiple concerns, from the economy to affordable housing.

"Issues that are important to Memphians are the Memphis City budget, housing and the labor and wages, education, and of course, crime and public safety," Fisher outlined. "Those are the things that people want to hear people offer progressive, tangible policy proposals and recommendations."

Fisher added the Memphis People's Convention starts today and runs through Saturday. It will feature nonpartisan voter-engagement activities.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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