New council member Gerre Currie excited to begin work

African Americans now hold 8 of 13 Memphis City Council seats

New council member Gerre Currie excited to begin work

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis City Council has an historic new make-up.

For the first time, four African American women will serve, and eight of the 13 members are African American.

Gerre Currie, the newly appointed District 6 council member, has a background in banking and community development.

"I've done a lot of work in the community, for me this is more of a natural fit,” Currie said. “It's just a continuation of what I've always done."

Currie said she's ready to use that experience to bring a different perspective to Memphis City Council.

"I'm just excited and elated,” Currie said. “Just walking on Cloud 9."

Overjoyed and eager to create change, Currie is on a high from Tuesday night’s historic appointments followed Wednesday by a meeting with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

“In the past it’s been three women,” Currie said. “Having a fourth voice should be a complement to already what’s on the council.”

WMC Action News 5 Political Analyst Mike Nelson says the diverse makeup of city council will be good for Memphis.

"Clearly, Memphis and Shelby County are majority African American and legislative bodies need to reflect that,” Nelson said.

In addition to Currie, new members include former Shelby County Property Assessor Cheyenne Johnson, who was appointed to super District 8, and Sherman Greer, an administrator with Southwest Tennessee Community College, who will serve in District 1.

“After being dysfunctional for so long, the city council members I think realized it’s time to get their act together,” Nelson said. “It’s a new year, they need to have a full body of membership, and last night what had seemed impossible a couple of months ago now happened very smoothly.”

Currie said she is ready to cultivate change in the Bluff City.

"That makes me feel like I’m on the cusp of doing something great with three other women that bring different perspectives, bring different strengths, and bring different ideas,” Currie said.

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