A good choice

By now everyone has heard that Memphis City Council member Janet Hooks is vacating her council seat to manage the city's Office of Multicultural and Religious Affairs. You also have probably read all the speculation as to why she's making this career change. Well, speculate on my friend, because that isn't the purpose of this post. This post has to do with those who will fill her vacated council seat.
The city charter requires council members to fill the vacancy through a majority vote within 30 days of Hooks's resignation. The successor must live in the council district and would serve through the next regular election in August or November 2006.
According to the Commercial Appeal, the contenders are attorney Dedrick Brittenum Jr., State Representative Henri Brooks, radio talk show host Janis Fullilove, Memphis City School Board member Michael Hooks Jr., Hanley Elementary School principal Ruby Payne, neighborhood activist Elbert Rich Jr., and Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr.

One those names caught my eye. Elbert Rich Jr.

He's vice president of the Barksdale/Cloverdale Neighborhood Association and treasurer of the David Street block club in the district.

Elbert has represented his community as a delegate to Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) and has served on NUSA's bord of directors. He is also a Precinct Goodwill Ambassador to the Memphis Police Department's Southeast Precinct.

When asked about the council seat, Elbert says he's "definitely interested" in the job.
"I feel like I've been doing the job on a smaller scale anyway," he said. "I'm coming from the grass roots. I hear the complaints. I hear the frustration from the people in the community."
The Memphis City Council couldn't make a better choice.

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