UPDATE: Carpenter Opens In Whitehaven On Busy Political Weekend

By Bill Dries


Memphis mayoral contender Charles Carpenter opened his Whitehaven campaign headquarters Saturday to a crowd of around a hundred supporters.

The opening in an old rent to own store location in Whitehaven Plaza is the latest chapter in what so far has been the most visible campaign in the special election race.

Carpenter, a key campaign advisor and manager in Mayor Willie Herenton’s five successful campaigns for mayor, said police strategy would change if he is elected.

“It’s sad to say, but the reality is most of the crime comes from our children,” Carpenter said to the predominantly black audience. “That’s a business model that we want to stop.”

Carpenter said he would change it by a renewed emphasis on community policing and improving police response time. The Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH strategy has dropped crime percentages by categories and overall by focusing on crime statistics and crime hot spots.

Carpenter steered clear of dwelling on any of the political drama underway at City Hall for the last week as Mayor Willie Herenton has given way to Mayor Pro Tempore Myron Lowery. Lowery is also among the candidates in the Oct. 15 special election.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was also out over the weekend stopping at various community events. Wharton and Lowery began the week making stops at various National Night Out anti crime gatherings across the city.

Carpenter’s campaign headquarters opened with a pile of school supplies at one table for students preparing for the beginning of the school year.

“We want to make a new beginning for our children,” Carpenter said as he vowed to return a slate of activities for children at city community centers and parks. “Our children will have things to do other than look at games and look at other criminal activities.”

Carpenter also called again for “tax equity” for Memphis taxpayers and made a distinction between a shift in the tax burden for city and county governments and the consolidation of the two governments. The distinction has been a key part of Carpenter’s pitch since he announced his intentions last month.

“We all know that Memphis is not growing,” he said. “Well, if you look all around us every other regional partner is growing. And you know why? It’s because of the city of Memphis. We’re subsidizing their growth but they’re taking away from us.”