I’ve worked for many years in politics, advocacy, and organizing in Memphis, and I can say that the accomplishments we’ve made in 2022 are some of the most proud moments that I’ve had. We defeated the worst District Attorney in the country. We supported a progressive DA to bring much needed change to our community. We elected the first African American Juvenile Court Judge–bringing change to that important office for the first time in over 60 years. And, in working with our partners and the community, we fundamentally transformed the opportunities that we have in this community for real justice and safety.
The fight to unseat former DA Amy Weirich began in 2021 when we convened local, state, and national partners to form the People for Fairness and Justice (PFJ) to elect a new Shelby County District Attorney and Juvenile Court Judge who would share our values of restorative justice, criminal justice reform, and reducing the incarcerated population. Within months of planning and convening, we built a strong coalition centered on trust and a shared commitment to bringing a change to Shelby County that would reverberate across the country.
We developed and ran a well-targeted, multi-layered campaign, complete with groundbreaking efforts in canvassing, phone and text banking, digital communications, mail, TV/radio ads, and even an endorsement from actor and rap artist Common! Thanks to your overwhelming support, our hard work paid off: Steve Mulroy won the DA’s race with 56% of the vote and Tarik Sugarmon won the Juvenile Court Judge’s race with 44% of the vote – two HUGE wins for Black and Brown youth and adults (and everyone else) in Shelby County!
This move away from the failed status quo rhetoric of punitive, “tough-on-crime” policies showed the entire country that we’re ready to lead the way in transforming justice in Shelby County. What’s more, you showed up and answered the call of our youth (not yet old enough to vote for themselves) to elect leaders who will keep young people’s best interests front and center over the next eight years and bring meaningful change to the youth justice system.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for bringing a new day for justice and safety to Shelby County.