MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Actor Jennifer Lawrence is targeting Memphis voters in a new political ad designed to convince people to vote no on three measures up for consideration on Memphis ballots.
“Memphis, you’re about to get blindsided by your own government,” Lawrence says in the 30-second spot circulated by Save IRV. “Tell the politicians they work for us.”
She’s referring to three questions on the ballot for city residents. The first is about whether to extend term limits to three years. The other two discuss what to do if no candidate gets a majority; whether to have voters rank their favorites first second and third, rather than a runoff special election, in what’s called “instant runoff voting.”
Proponents say IRV would eliminate costly, low-turnout runoff elections in some City Council Districts.
It was approved by voters in 2008, but never put in place.
Memphis City Council members in December voted to insert a question on ballots asking voters to repeal it. Save IRV has filed suit, calling that ballot question, and two other involving term limits, misleading.
Steve Mulroy with “Save IRV Memphis” said his organization welcomed Lawrence’s involvement.
“There is a national election reform organization called represent us working with Jennifer Lawrence on a number of election reform issues and reached out to us to see if we’d like assistance in our campaign,” he said.
Councilman Berlin Boyd acknowledges she’s a big name, but stresses all council meetings are public and they welcome feedback from constituents.
But he doesn’t welcome the word of the Hollywood superstar.
“Anyone anywhere in the world can read what’s best for Memphis from a cue card. But if you ask Jennifer Lawrence, ‘How many times have you visited Memphis? How many elected officials do you actually know on this body?’ The answer would be none,” Boyd said.
He also denied they’re doing anything “sneaky,” as Lawrence insinuates in the video.
The video is below: