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“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato

Memphis and Shelby County Politics

 
The seal of the City of Memphis outside Memphis City Hall

Local Politics 101 | Links to Gov't Websites

City of Memphis | Memphis City School Board

How many members are on the Memphis City Council?

It consists of 13 city council members, seven of whom are elected from districts with one representative each, and six of whom are elected from "super districts" with three representatives each.

What are the term limits for the Memphis City Council and the Memphis City Mayor?

Currently, all elected positions are four-year terms. However, in the November 2008 election, Memphians voted to change the City Charter to limit the Memphis Mayor and Memphis City Council to two four-year terms. Additionally, Memphians voted to approve staggered terms for the Memphis City Council. For the first election - single district representatives would be elected for a term of one year, and super district representatives would be elected for three years. For all subsequent elections, the term would be four years. The initial short term will not count against term limits.

Why does the City of Memphis have Districts and Super Districts?

In 1966, the city government became a mayor-council arrangement providing for seven districts and six at-large positions. This new arrangement provided for the election of a mayor and 13 council members, six elected at large from throughout the city and seven elected from geographic districts.

In 1995, the council adopted a new district plan which changed council positions to all districts. This plan provides for nine districts, seven with one representative each and two districts (“Super Districts”) with three representatives each. In 1995, Memphis began electing council members under this plan. Please click here to see the Memphis City Council district map.

When and where are the Memphis City Council meetings held?

The regular Memphis City Council meeting is held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 3:30 p.m. the Council Chambers of City Hall, located at 125 North Main. These meetings are immediately preceded by the Council Executive Session, which is held at 3 p.m. in the Council Conference Room, Room 501. The Council Executive Session informs all council members of any changes in the agenda for the regular meeting at 3:30 p.m.

Scheduled meeting dates, agendas, minutes can be found here.

What are the standing City of Memphis committees?

Some of the standing committees are Audit, Budget CIP, Economic Development, Education, Parks among many others. To view a complete list of all the committees and members, go here.

When and where do the standing City of Memphis committees meet?

The committee meetings are held on the same days as the full City Council meetings, i.e. the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The committee meetings are held throughout the day in the Council Conference Room, Room 501. The committee meetings are available for public viewing.

Meeting schedule archive can be viewed online.

How many members are on the City of Memphis School Board?

There are nine members, which include seven district representatives (one per district) and two members at large. To view the members, click here.

What are the terms of the City of Memphis School Board members?

Staggered, four-year terms for all Memphis School Board members.

When and where are the City of Memphis School Board meetings held?

Regular meetings of the Board of Education are held on the first and third Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Francis E. Coe Administration Building, 2597 Avery Avenue. All meetings are open to the public.

The meetings are broadcast live on WQOX 88.5 FM and Cable 19.

Information about school board meetings, minutes, and agenda can be found by clicking here.

Can the public speak at the City of Memphis School Board meetings?

Speakers may request that their names be placed on the agenda by calling the Board President's Office at 325-5447 no later than noon on the day of the Board meeting. Each speaker must state his/her name, address, zip code, organization or group represented, and the topic to be addressed. Speakers must sign the register located at the Board secretary's table and read the guidelines upon arrival at Board meeting.

Each speaker's presentation will be limited to three (3) minutes. The Board President will call the speaker's name when it is his/her time to speak. Speakers should use the microphone at the speaker's podium and state for the record their name, address, and organization or group represented.