Willie Herenton, Mayor of Memphis, USA

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Comments about
Willie Herenton
Mayor of Memphis (USA)*

Following the nomination of Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton for the 2008 World Mayor Award, we have received in equal numbers comments supporting and criticising him. Below we publish a representative selection of comments received about the Mayor of Memphis.

Comment: My family and I are pleased with the work that Mayor Herenton has done to improve the city of Memphis. We moved to Memphis 14 yrs ago. It was supposed to be a two-year stay. After visiting other cities, we decided to make Memphis our home. Memphis has changed for the better and I am a witness to this wonderful change. My out-of-state family visit and they enjoy the city as well. Keep up the good work Mayor Herenton.

Comment: We are still with you, Mayor Herenton. You have shown that you are an eloquent fighter for change and social difference. We are proud of what you have done - which is more than we have seen being done, for the betterment of our city, in 20 years. You are a winner! Stay focused and stay STRONG!

Comment: Mayor Herenton is the best Mayor we have ever had, and he has done a lot for and to Memphis since he has been in office.

Comment: Dr. Herenton, although controversial, has been good for the city of Memphis.

Comment: Mayor Herenton is in step with this century’s needs such as economic growth for all people, for housing, recreation, industrial growth. He works for a city where people of all races and creeds that can work, dream, play and live together. Memphis down town area
was once dead, now it is very much alive with the Fed-X-forum, Auto Zone Park, beautiful housing beside the great Mississippi river, new libraries, arts, parks and great eating facilities. The Mayor appreciates the music and arts. This Mayor will continue building this great city of Memphis where people from around the world will not only come to tour Elvis Presley home and gravesite or B.B. King restaurant down on Beale Street or just Beale Street, but, will venture throughout this city that once was a back-water town.

Comment: Herenton is a great mayor. He has moved Memphis fast forward during the past 16 years.

Comment: He has made great progress in the city of Memphis as Mayor. I am a strong supporter of Willie Herenton.

Comment: Great, He is deserving. He gets a bad rap sometimes because he does speak his mind.

Comment: I am proud to have our Mayor listed in the running for this award. While some may not agree with him on some things, he has proven his ability to lead this city for 16 years. We live in a democracy. If the voices against his re-election were the majority, I wouldn't be writing to you today. Keep up the good work Mayor Herenton. I wish you many more roles in leadership.

Comment: Memphis has only gotten better since he's been in office, and the fact that he has been mayor for 10+ years and was recently re-elected for another term speaks volumes.

Comment: Great achievements for Memphis, he created jobs and made Memphis more interesting for tourists, the film industry and other industries.

Comment: I realize that every city and town in the world has issues with its government, but I have never heard of any city having problems with its mayor similar to the issues Memphis has had with Willie Herenton. Mr. Herenton has consistently set an example of dazzlingly poor leadership and a general refusal to actually do his job as mayor. His tenure has seen the once-great city of Memphis become a crime-ridden joke. Mr. Herenton has instigated flat-out hostile relationships with the city council, refusing to work with them time and time again. He also refused to participate in any debates prior to his recent election, and has resisted efforts to reform Memphis election laws, especially the ones calling for majority wins and prohibiting run-off elections. This is expected in light of the fact that he won re-election to a fifth term with just 42% of the popular vote.

Comment: This is a poor choice for this contest.

Comment: This may be one of the worst mayor this city has ever had. He refuses to do anything about the growing crime problem here and every election further divides the city. The fact that his name is even on this ballot is a disgrace and gives the others who are here a bad name, making this competition seem cheap. He divides the community in his hateful speeches along lines of ethnicity and has little to no regard for what the people of his city truly want and need. It is a shame that the world may now think he is a good leader, when he's not even half of what a good leader should be. I hope this is read before you believe this is a vote for him, but it is the only way I knew to voice my opinion on this matter.

Comment: Absolutely not! He displays tendencies of a bi-polar disorder. He is arrogant and has done more than any mayor since the the sanitation strikes and Martin Luther King Jrs assasination to divide our city along racial lines. He nearly bankrupted us from lack of oversight of his appointees. Our schools are a disaster and disgrace, crime is rampant.

Comment: I think that even short-listing Mayor Herenton for this contest is a farce. This man was just elected to a fifth term on an almost entirely race-based campaign. He won a disappointing 42% of the popular vote, only winning because his two opponents were too headstrong to back down and split the vote. Race relations in Memphis are horrendous, the school system is in the toilet, and crime is on the rise. I don't believe that a man who has been responsible for the mess in this city should be honored at all.

Comment: This man is no professional and absolutely does NOT deserve this honor.

*In March 2008 Herenton announced his intention to resign as mayor, effective from 31 July.

Some 205,000 people from across took part in the 2008 World Mayor Project

• Omar El Bahraoui, Rabat, Morocco
• Helen Zille, Cape Town, South Africa
• Amos Masondo, Johannesburg, South Africa

• Stephen Mandel, Edmonton, Canada
• Sam Katz, Winnipeg, Canada
• Martin Chavez, Albuquerque, USA
• Michael B Coleman, Columbus, USA
• Mufi Hannemann, Honolulu, USA
• Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, USA
• Willie W Herenton, Memphis, USA
• Manny Diaz, Miami, USA
• Raymond Thomas Rybak, Minneapolis, USA
• Phil Gordon, Phoenix, USA

• Julio César Pereyra, Mayor of Florencio Varela, Argentina
• José Fogaça, Porto Alegre, Brazil
• Juan Contino Aslán, Havana, Cuba
• Jaime Nebot, Guayaquil, Ecuador
• Paco Moncayo, Quito, Ecuador
• Salvador Gandara, Villa Nueva, Guatemala
•  Antonio Astiazaran, Guaymas, Mexico
•  Ernesto Gandara, Hermosillo, Mexico
• Ricardo Ehrlich, Montevideo, Uruguay
• Juan Barreto, Caracas, Venezuela
• Leopoldo Eduardo López, Chacao, Venezuela

• Han Zheng, Shanghai, China
• Zhang Guangning, Guangzhou, China
• C M Sheila Dikshit, Delhi, India
• Fauzi Bowo, Jakarta, Indonesia
• Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, Tehran, Iran
• Tadatoshi Akiba, Hiroshima, Japan
• Hiroshi Nakada, Yokohama, Japan
• Marides Fernando, Marikina City, Philippines
• Vladimir Gorodets, Novosibirsk, Russia
• Park Wan-soo, Changwon City, South Korea
• Kadir Topbas, Istanbul, Turkey

• Patrick Janssens, Antwerp, Belgium
• Boiko Borisov, Sofia, Bulgaria
• Eleni Mavrou, Nicosia, Cyprus
• Bertrand Delanoë, Paris, France
• Pierre Albertini, Rouen, France
• Jens Böhrnsen, Bremen, Germany
• Ulrich Maly, Nürnberg, Germany
• Wolfgang Schuster, Stuttgart, Germany
• Kyriakos Virvidakis, Chania, Greece
• Sergio Cofferati, Bologna, Italy
• Walter Veltroni, Rome, Italy
• Rafal Dutkiewicz, Wroclaw, Poland
• Rosa Aguilar, Cordoba, Spain
• Göran Johansson, Gothenburg, Sweden
• Elmar Ledergerber, Zurich, Switzerland