MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Incoming Memphis Mayor Paul Young says Thursday night was about celebration, but Friday is about getting down to business.
Young declared victory as the new mayor of Memphis after the election on Thursday night.
“We did it yall! This is a we thing, this is not a me thing. This is not about Paul Young. This is about the future of our city,” Young said. “I’m optimistic. I believe in our city. I believe in Memphis. I believe in every one of you.”
While Young’s term doesn’t officially start until January 1, Pastor Keith Norman, former chairman of the Shelby County Democratic party and pastor of First Baptist Church, says the planning needs to begin now.
“Paul is a high-level critical thinker,” Norman said. “He really has to start selecting the people that are going to be around him to help him carry out his agenda, and also attract people who want to work in service capacities in the city of Memphis.”
A WREG poll found that 66% of Memphis voters think the top priority of the next mayor should be reducing crime, which is something he addressed in his victory speech.
“I know the heaviness that we’re feeling right now,” Young said. “I hear the cries of the mothers, the cousins, the brothers. Far too many people dying.”
Pastor Norman says it will take a plan and the support of everyone, not just the 27% who voted for Young, to tackle the issue head-on.
“It’s not a one-man job, so it’s definitely something he and Chief Davis have to sit down and do and move the city forward,” Norman said.
Pastor Norman also believes fresh ideas and visions for our city are welcome and he thinks Young is the perfect man for the job.
“Paul has a young beautiful family that he kept in the ads with him the whole time,” Norman said. “We want to attract young families that are going to take roots and put them in the city of Memphis, rebuild our tax base, invite people back into the city, and grow our city again. I think this is the right person for that time.”
And part of that, Young says, will come from uniting all Memphis neighborhoods and he’s ready for the challenge.