Now more than ever, it is critical to elect candidates that represent a vision for shifting away from the status quo toward valuing and investing in our people and communities. We need representatives in office that believe we can and must invest in our young people to achieve thriving lives through schools and community support. We can no longer tolerate leaders in the criminal justice system who continue to push the same failed policies that provide neither true justice nor public safety.
Stand for Children TN comes to these endorsements with our new mission in mind – to be a unique catalyst for education equity and racial justice, to create a brighter future for us all. For the Shelby County primary election on May 3rd, Stand considered endorsements in several races that we believe will have a lasting impact on the progress and prosperity of our communities in Shelby County. We also made a shift in our process to invite individuals from coalition partners to join us at the endorsement table to provide even more diverse interests and representation in our decision-making. Many of these races are competitive in the primary election, and we hope that our endorsement will make a difference.
The candidates we endorsed in these races demonstrated – through past experience, current perspectives, and stated goals – that they aligned most closely with our values of improving public safety through non-punitive systemic approaches, supporting youth opportunity and success (both in and out of school), and investing in our communities.
Criminal Legal System Endorsements
- Janika White for Shelby County District Attorney
- Reginald Milton for Juvenile Court Clerk
Shelby County Mayor and Commissioner Endorsements
- Mayor Lee Harris for Shelby County Mayor
- District 4: Brandon Morrison
- District 5: Quran Folsom
- District 6: Charlie Caswell
- District 7: Kathy Temple
- District 10: Britney Thornton
- District 12: Erika Sugarmon
- District 13: Michael Whaley
Our endorsements come after a rigorous 10-week process that was led by a committee of individuals with diverse backgrounds, work and lived experiences, and perspectives. All of the committee members have supported the work of Stand and our affiliated coalitions and projects over the years. These dedicated leaders continue to take their role and responsibility in this process seriously.
The entire committee researched all candidates, and we followed these steps in making our endorsement decisions:
- Committee members developed questions for a written survey based on Stand for Children’s principles and values, and we made an intentional effort to reach out to all candidates in the races we considered. All committee members had access to each candidate’s survey responses.
- Dates of follow-up interviews were scheduled with all interested candidates who responded to our survey by the deadline.
- The committee members developed interview questions for each candidate based on their survey responses and the office for which they were running.
- The committee then conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with each candidate, and recordings and notes were available for the rest of the committee members to view ahead of the deliberation process.
- Each candidate was then given careful and robust consideration, as we worked to achieve consensus in our final decisions, with final input and approval from Executive Director Cardell Orrin.
I’m tremendously proud of the rigorous time and energy that the endorsement committee invested in this process. I want to thank those who worked so hard through candidate questionnaires, interviews, and vigorous deliberation to deliver these thoroughly vetted endorsements to you. These decisions were not made lightly, and we stand by these candidates as we continue our work to move Shelby County forward to create a brighter future for us all.