City Council, 10.11.05

Prior to today’s City Council meeting (which actually started at 4:34 PM), a coalition of groups under the umbrella of the Memphis Living Wage Campaign held a rally at City Hall Plaza. Speeches, signs, drama, protest songs. It was like the nineteen sixties again. Just after 3 PM, three children pulling little red wagons filled with petitions lead about two hundred protestors into City Hall and on into City Council chambers. The petition contained nearly 5000 signatures of citizens urging the City Council to …

pass an ordinance that would require businesses receiving significant city funds, as well as the City of Memphis itself, to pay their workers a living wage. The Memphis Living Wage Campaign defines a living wage as $20,000 per year, or $10 per hour with employer-provided health insurance. This amount is enough to lift a family of four above the poverty line, and enough to lift a family of three about the income level that qualifies for Food Stamps.

Once inside City Council chambers, the singing and waving of signs continued for a time. We left the petition with the powers that be and left the building.

Actually, they left the building. My Loving Wife and I didn’t leave the building. We were also there for something else. The City Council would today vote to issue RACE a Special Use Permit (SUP) to build a radioactive waste incinerator in South Memphis. The City Council came up with a compromise for RACE and the citizen groups that protested the building of the incinerator. The building of a facility would be allowed with the following conditions:

1. A SUP is granted for the storage and distribution of radioactive waste only;
2. A 3 year moratorium is imposed on RACE before it could even apply for a SUP for a radioactive waste incinerator again;
3. RACE will contact MemphisTruth.Org (et al) and inform them of their intent to apply for a SUP for the building of a radioactive waste incinerator;
4. RACE will buy the 3 closest residences to the proposed South Memphis site within 6 months;
5. RACE will assist the Teen After School Program in relocating from its present location near the South Memphis site within 6 months; and,
6. Litigation on both sides will cease.

RACE’s sites will be monitored by the State of Tennessee 24/7.

And a fun time was had by all.

For information on RACE and MemphisTruth.Org >>


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