MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More than 2,000 Memphians filled Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Sunday to hear from candidates who are asking for their vote.
The Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope invited every candidate running for city council and mayor to the group’s second public meeting.
“We want informed voters. People need to know who they’re voting for and what they stand for,” said MICAH President Dr. Stacy Spender.
Mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer has been surrounded by controversy the past few days since old tweets resurfaced that some have said are offensive.
One tweet read, “Little white kids n scary movies freak me out. I’m glad I can’t have white babies cuz I might kill one thinking they’re damned.”
Another tweet reads, “I have little admiration for the police. Protect and Serve... meh.”
Sawyer appeared to reference those tweets when given time to address the crowd Sunday.
“There have been things that I have said or done that have not made me a perfect person," said Sawyer. “But it has made me an even better candidate because I know the road that I have to walk to get what I want this in this city which is equity and opportunity for all of us.”
Sawyer has written an article addressing those tweets in which she said she would apologize for some but not all of them and did not mention which she would specifically apologize for.
We attempted to talk to Sawyer after the event, but she did not agree to an interview.
Two of the major candidates for Mayor, Willie Herenton and incumbent mayor Jim Strickland did not come to the MICAH event.
“We thought this was a great opportunity for those running for office to hear what Memphians have to say and for those that didn’t come tonight, this was a missed opportunity,” said Spender.
MICAH hopes the event addressing economic inequality, racial inequality and education would inspire people to register and vote during the upcoming election.
“I think it’s very important that if we’re going to change the narrative of poverty off of Memphis, we have to change laws and legislation and the only way to do that is to exercise your right to vote. We owe it to our city to vote,” said Spender.
A representative from Mayor Strickland’s campaign told WMC the Mayor’s schedule was extremely busy and a different event conflicted with the MICAH event date.
A representative from Willie Herenton’s campaign said they never agreed to come to the event.