MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hundreds of Memphians showed up to the 2019 People’s Convention Saturday to learn more about candidates running for various local offices.
However, many candidates didn't show up. One of them accused organizers of being biased.
“I want to see what their ideas and thoughts and plans are as it relates to my community,” said Sheena Clark, resident.
"It's easy to get up and spout rhetoric, but if you Don't really have a plan to do something, nothing gets done,” said Albert Langston Jr., resident.
Memphis mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer showed up, but two of her opponents, former mayor Willie Herenton and current Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, did not attend.
Strickland called the organizers biased and in favor of Sawyer, which was a charge they denied.
That wasn't the only controversy.
Attendees voted for candidates they feel support progressive policies.
Though political transparency is listed as one of their main goals, organizers barred the news media from taking our cameras inside the convention hall.
"We want to make sure that our voting process is kept under wraps,” said Sijuwola Crawford, organizer. “So, what I can say is it will be public knowledge and I think that what's important is people should know our process is fair and airtight, the system we're using to vote.”
After several journalists objected, organizers eventually allowed our cameras inside for 10 minutes, but kept a close eye on what we filmed.