18 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Lee Harris
Lee Harris is a fifth-generation Memphian. He grew up in Whitehaven and attended Alcy Elementary, John P. Freeman Middle, and Overton High. Most of Lee’s family still lives in North Memphis today.
According to Lee’s mother, Dorothy Harris, when Lee was a kid, he would invite his friends over just so they would do their homework. He knew they wouldn’t do it otherwise!
Lee is an educator. He and his wife Alena Allen are both tenured professors at the University of Memphis School of Law.
Lee comes from a family of educators: both of his parents retired from the public school system. This is why he plans to fight so that every kid in Shelby County has access to quality education.
Lee is an avid tennis player. He enjoys playing during his spare time, often with his 9-year-old daughter Claudia (who has a surprisingly strong serve).
Lee served on the Memphis City Council, where he took a stand for working families in Frayser and throughout North Memphis. He even stood in protest with the laborers when they faced unfair working conditions.
In 2014, Lee Harris was elected to the State Senate, becoming the youngest Senator in the state of Tennessee. Other Democratic Senators selected him as Senate Minority Leader, making him the first African American leader of the State Senate in Tennessee history.
In 2017, Lee passed more bills into law than any other Democratic legislator in the state.
Lee is a past president of the Memphis and Shelby County Young Democrats.
While in private practice as a lawyer, Lee helped establish an elementary school adoption program and organized an oratorical contest for fifth-graders in the North Memphis area.
While teaching law at the University of Memphis, Lee started a legal clinic to give free legal advice and support small business owners in the Mid-south.
Lee is one of the first Memphis-area members of United Campus Workers of America, a labor union for employees of University of Memphis and other public universities.
Lee's platform includes a plan to reduce transportation costs for lower-income workers. That means he will fight for reduced fares on MATA for those who rely on public transit and reduced parking fees for those who drive.
Lee spends his free time learning to play the piano.
Lee plans to work with the Shelby County School board and superintendent to re-use and adapt former school buildings that remain empty and unused.
Lee will also work with the school boards and superintendents to expand offerings in computer science, coding, and advanced placement courses and work to increase access in Shelby County to cheap, fast, and reliable Internet access.
Lee has a sweet tooth - "wedding cake" is his preferred cupcake.
Lee's family grew two feet during the campaign. His newest baby boy Lou was born on May 2, the day after his Primary Election win.
Well, how did you do? Did you know all eighteen?
List Curated by Hanna McCarthy, Intern for A New Era