MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis councilman Martavius Jones has finally gotten the message. No one is interested in his proposal to turn city elections into partisan events, and thereby turning Memphians against each other based solely on their affiliation to a political party.
Jones announced Tuesday that he is tabling indefinitely his call for a November referendum that, if passed, would result in partisan city elections starting next year. With any luck indefinitely will become permanently.
We already have enough hyper partisan politics in our lives, and where has it gotten us? Virtually nowhere. Lawmakers in Washington rarely get anything done, mostly because Senators and Representatives don’t want to be seen compromising with members of the opposing party.
At the state level, Republicans are in super control of the legislature and keep pushing a far-right agenda without any thought to what others want. And Shelby County politics is getting more divisive with each election cycle.
So why would anyone want that in city elections? It’s simple - we don’t. It is true that Jones could bring back the referendum for a third and final council vote at any time, but this idea is clearly unpopular. And when Mayor Jim Strickland came out against it, that seemed to put the death knell to the idea.
We have enough things in Memphis that divide us. I am thrilled that partisan elections won’t be added – to the list.