More of the
New Era Platform
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As our state senator, Lee Harris has been a leader in protecting our water and preserving our environment for the next generation. He stood up to protect one of our most valuable community assets, the Memphis Sands Aquifer, from threats. He has passed bills into law to reduce the risk of contamination in our water, protect school children from lead poisoning, and expand recycling at state government buildings. As Shelby County Mayor, Lee Harris will work to reduce the energy expense associated with Shelby County Government facilities, equipment and vehicles. Energy expense includes electricity, natural gas, water, gasoline and diesel. We can reduce energy expenses by simple measures, like turning off lights, equipment and HVAC when not needed. Lee Harris also believes Shelby County should investigate replacing florescent and halogen bulbs with LED. Shelby County should install solar arrays where appropriate and upgrade HVAC where financially feasible.
Launch a Culture of Good Health and Long Life
In the 100 largest communities in the US, the Memphis/Shelby County area has one of the highest percentage of adults living with high blood pressure and the highest percentage of adults with diabetes. This affects our health, life expectancy, and the quality of our workforce. In the wealthier zip codes in our community, the life expectancy is as much as 82 years, compared to 69 years in lower-income zip codes. To stay healthy, our citizens need access to healthy goods, safe communities, and reliable transit to get to a doctor when needed. If elected Mayor of Shelby County, LeeHarris will take several actions, including launching a new program to promote healthy behavior. We will harness county assets, like the county health department, and the variety of healthy lifestyle efforts already in operation in our county. They will be identified, strengthened and coordinated to form the core of “Shelby Fit.” Instruction will be provided on healthy eating habits, exercise, healthful cooking and more. Successful models in other communities will be studied to develop additional strategies. In summation, Lee Harris believes that when people think of Shelby County, they should think of a population committed to good health.
Confront Historic Disparities in County Contracting
Income and wealth disparity between minority and other households in Shelby County is one of the highest in the country. Lee Harris believes that county government can lead by example for private industry in reducing disparities through county contracting. Communities with broad participation in contracting grow faster and have lower unemployment rates than other communities. Nationally, minority businesses grow faster than the national economy. Studies have also reported a multiplier effect that benefits other minorities, as minority businesses are more likely to use minority vendors and to hire minority employees. Lee Harris believes we should review the certification process to ensure that we laser-focus on growing new and small businesses. We should assist these businesses in complying with procurement and contracting rules. We should set up a process to examine all county spending to ensure that these businesses get notice and opportunity to participate. We should hold county decision-makers accountable if qualified businesses continued to be underutilized. We should work with the City of Memphis to maximize opportunities that are routed through one of the 50+ joint city/county organizations. With the right leader, we can drive down historic disparities.