Memphis City Council
This past month I attended my first Memphis city council meeting, and not only was this my first Memphis city council meeting, but it was my city council meeting that I have ever been to. I had gone into with a very less than enthusiastic mindset to say the least. There was about a hundred other things I would have rather done than go to Memphis City Council meeting. Now since I have gone, and its all been said and done; I can definitely say it was not only an interesting experience, but it was also enjoyable. This is was definitely more than a surprise to me.
Going into the meeting I was expecting everyone to be very serious and strict. Looking back, I can now say I was wrong. The meeting seemed very laid back and comfortable to me. Nothing like what I expected it to be. Even when important topics were being discussed people were still very cordial and professional. The meeting began by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated donate over $3500 towards a summer job program for the Memphis city youth. It’s amazing to me how much the people of Memphis not only care about the city Memphis itself, but also care about their fellow man. There seems to be a lot of pure value-based leadership that is at work in order to elevate the city starting from the youth of the city.
The Memphis city council also provides a great opportunity to be able to get involved with politics of their respective communities by working with their various councilman and councilwomen. This is one of the first pleasant surprises that I came across while being in attendance to this meeting. I think it really shows how much they want to be involved the city of Memphis. The city council believes in the city. Another great examples of this, is how they talked about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. One of the board members said it best when he described it as a, “service based” club. They went on to further dive into various numbers and statistics to show what work they have been able to accomplish. For example, 95% of boys and girls that go through the club graduate from high school. Those are great numbers and it definitely gives you something to be proud of.
Something else that got my attention was how efficient they were with getting through multiple different topics. Even though the various problems and situations could vary greatly in the differences between them; the board did a great job by getting through them. I think a lot of this has to do with how simple the made it the process. They would hear a certain situation, second the motion to vote, and simply vote yes or no by way of clickers. It definitely sped up and streamlined the task of voting. There were not a lot of side chatter and people talking over one another. Everybody was on the same page which allowed the entire process to run fairly smoothly without a hick up.
Overall, I can say was extremely impressed and genuinely surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. At times the meeting definitely seemed very monotonous and boring. This is mainly because everything seemed to start running together, because it just seemed the same. This probably has something to do with why the meeting seemed to run so smoothly is because they have gotten in a good rhythm that is conducive to getting work done and seeing results. I believe this also provides a lot confidence in the democratic system that is in place. It is a system that has not been corrupted or broken over the years. They have continually held themselves to high standard through values-based leadership that continues to be effective to this day. I believe that if you look at other cities and municipalities across the United States you can find where the democratic system has been neglected, twisted, and perverted due to a lack of care or for the potentials of personal gain. This gain could be wealth, status, or even power. The Memphis City Council has consistently pushed themselves and have not become complacent with their work and in their duties for the citizens of the city of Memphis. The Memphis City Council are actually producing results that directly impact the citizens of Memphis in a positive manner. These members of the city council are not just throwing stuff together in order to expedite the meeting so that they can get out of the meeting and get home. They truly care about the impact it makes on the Memphis community, and that is what impressed me the most about the Memphis city council.