MSCS board member Michelle McKissack makes it official: She’s running for Memphis mayor


In 2018, right after she and Joyce Dorse-Coleman ousted two incumbent guys to propel girls to a 6-seat majority on the Memphis-Shelby County School Board in an election dubbed the “pink wave,” Michelle McKissack observed choices.

“We’ve been out here, accomplishing the do for so prolonged, and there is no purpose why we can’t run for office environment and acquire,” McKissack advised The Commercial Appeal.

McKissack in the end became chair of the board. And on Thursday, she officially announced she was pursuing another risk: Getting to be Memphis’ 1st female mayor.

In a social media publish announcing her candidacy, McKissack touted her leadership of the school board throughout the pandemic and pledged to go on her advocacy for youth, academics and general public educational institutions.

“This instant phone calls for expenditure in our youth, options for criminal offense and public protection, economic and community improvement, housing affordability, cleanse and interesting neighborhoods, support for our LGBTQ+ neighborhood, and so considerably additional,” she wrote on LinkedIn.

The announcement came the identical working day that five Memphis police officers were being charged with murder in the beating dying of a guy named Tyre Nichols just after a targeted visitors end, an incident that has sparked anger in Memphis.

“It is obvious we have to do a little something various to transform the way law enforcement interact with users of our local community,” McKissack tweeted past week in reaction to the incident.

McKissack, a indigenous Memphian and previous broadcast journalist, joins a packed discipline aiming to exchange Mayor Jim Strickland, who is barred from running a 3rd time because of time period restrictions. 

People contenders contain Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Downtown Memphis Fee CEO Paul Younger, former Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner, state Rep. Karen Camper and businessman J.W. Gibson II.

McKissack built her general public announcement at Downtown Elementary School, the college all 4 of her youngsters attended, and in which she acquired concerned in schools as a parent volunteer.

McKissack, who won reelection in August to her District 1 college board seat, mentioned volunteering at Downtown Elementary was among the the experiences that led her to operate for the university board. 

But she a short while ago instructed Chalkbeat that her time on the board also created her realize that the metropolis could enjoy a larger role in supporting the university procedure, in distinct by way of workforce schooling and immediate funding.

As chair throughout 2021-22, McKissack guided the board through a tumultuous period of time, as the schools struggled to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic and its scandal-plagued superintendent, Joris Ray, resigned.

The Memphis municipal election is Oct. 5, 2023.

Bureau Chief Tonyaa Weathersbee oversees Chalkbeat Tennessee’s education and learning coverage. Get in touch with her at [email protected].



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