Welcome To My Blog

After over 15 years of being a grassroots organizer I’ve learned a thing or two. The most important, communication is everything. You will hear me say this time and time again because it is at the core of my beliefs. Many of our problems could be resolved if we had more effective ways of communicating with each other. This blog is my attempt to do just that.

I will maintain this site as a way for me to keep you, the citizens of Memphis, aware of my activities.

This will be a site for people who are serious about moving Memphis forward. This will not be a place to unfairly discredit others or to spread false rumors. From here I hope to engage in productive discussions with my fellow citizens.

Thank you. – Reginald Milton

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Milton

I read one of your flyers and it said that you are a community organizer. What does that mean?

Reginald Milton said...

To 4:15 and 5:01

You both asked a somewhat similar question. Many of the challenges the City of Memphis faces can be traced back to our struggling communities. Issues such as crime, health care, and education are impacted by the instability of the family home. It is imperative that we insure these families have access to services starting at the community level. As a community organizer and activist I have worked for years to bridge those in need with those providing assistance. I have also worked to help people better articulate and advocate for ways to improve their independence. By doing this we reduce the cost of city services by reducing waste and helping to move people, families and communities to a state of self-sufficiency.

I appreciate the comments, pro and con, and I welcome further discussions.

Take care,
Reginald Milton

Anonymous said...

Mr. Milton, you spoke at our church last Sunday. You said you were socially progressive and fiscally responsible. Explain.

P.S. I hope your hand is better.

Reginald Milton said...

To 1:56 PM

Socially progressive implies that we seek the development of the assets of individuals and their community. It is a willingness to embrace diversity. For individuals to work together for the common good it is necessary to work to build stronger connections of communication. I am committed to being a servant for the public and I am disgusted by the greed and corruption which festers within our local government. My vision for our society is one where each individual is valued for their talents and are free to grow to their potential. I am the Founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit which supports civic organizations in inner-city communities. This incredible experience has taught me what it means to be socially progressive.
To me in a socially progressive city everyone is valued. We do not turn our backs on those who are least fortunate. We demand and work to insure that: all of our young are given the opportunity for a good education; that communities are safe and supported; that we work to maintain avenues for people to move forward economically and that healthcare is a right not a privilege.
If I had to sum up my candidacy in a few words it would be, “an advocate for families and communities.” This city is leaving too many of our citizens behind, we must work to help bring them forward. Crime has turned our urban communities into war zones. Though I am not opposed to incarcerating those who wish to violate the law; I am convinced that a greater commitment must be made to prevent our young from falling prey to the false seduction of the gang life.
As for my views on being fiscally responsible, this comes from years of operating a nonprofit. I have a plaque that says, “This agency exists through the generosity of donors and taxpayers. We must never be wasteful.” In government this is doubly true since people are mandated to fund its operation. I believe we as humans are called to help our brethren through service, but this service must be accountable. Our goals and actions should always be to help move people from a state of need to a state of independence.

I appreciate the comments, pro and con, and I welcome further discussions.

Take care,
Reginald Milton

Reginald Milton said...

To 1:56 PM

...and thank you for your concern about my hand. It was a small cut that required a few stitches.

Reginald Milton

Anonymous said...

I GOT YOUR FLIER IN MY MAIL. WHY SHOULD WE VOTE FOR YOU.

Reginald Milton said...

To 9:06 PM

In one short sentence you put your finger on the key point of any candidate’s campaign, “Why should anyone vote for me?” I will answer your question by first stating that this election will be one of the most critical elections this City has had in many years. With so many City Council incumbents not seeking to return to office, the public will have a chance to reshape this legislative body.

Basically, every candidate will tell you how committed he or she will be IF elected. How he will fight for you IF elected; how concerned she will be for your well being IF elected; and how they will work to make this city better IF elected. My father told me something a long time ago, he said, “Don’t waste your time on people who promise what they are going to do for you, if they were going to do it they would already be doing it.” So the question should not be answered by telling you what they are going to do for Memphis, but what have they been doing for Memphis? Some candidates might give you a lengthy description of their work experience. Well this is all fine and good but this is how they got paid. Passion comes before the dollar and is something that extends beyond a job description. Others might tout their family connection, but we do not inherit elected positions we earn them after years of serving the community we wish to represent.

I have been a resident of District 6 all my life. I love this community and I am passionate about making it better. For well over a decade I have been a volunteer my time as a community organizer. I have spent every free waking moment working to give greater voice to the citizens of Memphis. You see I believe government is at its best when the public is at its best. We must work to make government more transparent. We must work to enhance the voices of our citizens and we must focus on strengthening our communities and families of Memphis. This is not something I promise I will do, but something I have been doing and IF elected will continue doing. So by voting for me you further my abilities to continue working to build a more civic and open City of Memphis.

I appreciate the comments, pro and con, and I welcome further discussions.

Take care,
Reginald Milton

Anonymous said...

News--News--News--News--News--News
Good Morning,

New Path is excited to announce its full support for the following
candidates for the October 4, 2007 Memphis City Council elections:

Bill Morrison = District 1
Brian Stephens = District 2
Davida Cruthird = District 3
Reginald Milton = District 6
Desi Franklin = Super District 9 Position 3

Please take advantage of the opportunity to personally meet and greet all of our candidates on Monday, July 30, 2007 at the Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave)from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in Meeting Room C.

We also encourage you to visit our website: www.newpathmemphis.org, for complete profile and campaign information on each of the candidates forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Here's a comment from left field, Reginald Milton. My name is Solaas and you probably don't remember me but I certainly remember you and that TR7 you used to drive aeons ago. I remember the area in South Parkway you grew up in, I went to your house a few times.

I have to comment and say that I am proud to have called you friend, especially looking at the work you have done to better the community you grew up in.

I remember that you had big plans and aspirations and I am glad that your dreams are becoming a reality.

I was surprised and pleased to see your face on a billboard running for office, and would have voted for you had i lived in the city.

And having read some kudos on you from the Commercial Appeal concerning the Jefferson Award, all I can say is, 'Nuff Said'.

You are the bomb! Look me up sometime.

Reginald Milton said...

To: Solaas

Thank you for the kind words. My goal in life was and is to try and make the little corner of the world I live in a better place. I hope your life is going well.

Take care,
Reginald

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

We are very pleased to announce that the Coalition For A Better Memphis (CBM) has published their report and Reginald Milton received the highest score among all the candidates in the City Council District 6 race. CBM had the candidates for Mayor and City Council fill out an extensive questionnaire. They were then questioned by a panel composed of professionals, and civic leaders.

“The Coalition for a Better Memphis is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization composed of a diverse group of Shelby County individuals, businesses and organizations focused on enhancing the quality of life for residents of Memphis and Shelby County. The Coalition’s goal is to serve as an information channel to better educate citizens and enable them to more effectively participate in the process of making Memphis and Shelby County a better place to live and work.”

Based on CBM scoring and interview Reginald was the clear winner, beating out his closes opponent by up to 8 points in some categories. The candidates were scored on Experience, Vision, Economic Development, Structure and Ethics.

When informed of how well he had done Reginald stated, “I wish to thank the Coalition For A Better Memphis for their outstanding work in helping the public make better, informed decisions when it comes to selecting those men and women who will represent them. No longer do voters have to go to the polls uninformed.”

Reginald scored highest on Experience and Economic Development, two issues that will be critical in leading our City Council into the future.

Reginald is the clear front runner in the City Council, District 6 race, but it is not over yet. We still need your help. If you would like to volunteer some time, or to make a donation please call our office at 901-626-0623. Together we can return the City Council to the Community!

You may visit www.BetterMemphis.org to learn more about the scoring process and how other candidates faired.

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

We are proud to announce that Paula Casey, Jocie Wurzburg, and Happy Jones have endorsed Reginald for City Council District 6!

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

It is with much fanfare that we announce that the Commercial Appeal has endorsed Reginald for City Council, District 6. In the Editorial section the CA stated, "...for dynamic and thoughtful idealism, voters can turn to REGINALD MILTON, whom The Commercial Appeal enthusiastically endorses for the District 6 seat.

Milton, 46, the executive director of the South Memphis Alliance since 2000, is a political newcomer, but he's an experienced advocate for the interests of Memphis neighborhood groups gathered beneath the SMA umbrella.

Milton has leadership potential, integrity and an idealistic vision of what Memphis can be and what a transparent, responsive city government can accomplish.

While he is not the only candidate in District 6 who would help restore confidence in the integrity of the City Council, Reginald Milton is the best choice among 11 candidates in this race."

When informed of the endorsement Reginald stated, "I am very proud that such a respected publication as the Commercial Appeal has chosen to endorse me. I am committed to insuring that the residents of District 6 have representation that is reflective of their concerns, and values. This is a great day, now on to Victory!”

To see the full article go to: http://www.commercialappeal.com/
news/2007/sep/10/x10jwcity567/

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

News--News--News--News--News--News

MidSouth Democrats in Action

In accordance with our mission to support and enrich democracy locally and nationally through involvement in elections, education of voters and recommendation of candidates, MidSouth Democrats in Action is pleased to endorse Reginald Milton for the City Council District 6 position in the October 4, 2007 Memphis Municipal Election.

We urge our members to TAKE ACTION! Contact the endorsed candidate and get to work. Make a donation! Hand out fliers! Go canvassing! Make phone calls!

Judy Palmer
Correspondence Chair, MidSouth Democrats in Action

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

We are pleased to inform our supporters that the Sierra Club is endorsing Reginald Milton for City Council, District 6.

"Reginald has shown detailed knowledge about the challenges facing our city and is committed to protecting our air, water and parkland.” says Chickasaw Group Political Chair Sue A. Williams. “We look forward to working with him as a Council member. His election will be a victory for the community’s health and city’s environmental vitality,” she continues.

Reginald stated, "I am honored to have the endorsement of an organization that is so committed to our environment. I have on many occasions worked side-by-side with the Sierra Club and as City Councilman I will continue working with them to insure that all our citizens can enjoy the beauty of our City, pollution free."

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

We are pleased to announce the support of the United Association Plumbers Local Union #17.

Reginald Milton's Staff said...

We are happy to announce that the Tennessee Carpenters Regional Council has endorsed Mr. Reginald Milton for City Council, District 6.

Reginald Milton said...

Dear Friends,

Well the race is over and the results may not have been what we would have wished for but we gave it our best. I want to take this moment to thank all my supporters, and well wishers.

We ran a hard race and I would like to praise my opponents. No one but a candidate can fully appreciate the effort that goes into running for office.

I now return to my community and will once again focus my attention to working to improve the quality of life of our urban residents.

Thank you.

Reginald Milton

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand our people. You would have made a great Councilman! I wish you all the best. Don't give up!!!! If there is anything I can do to help just let me know.

Betty Hamilton

Reginald Milton said...

To Ms. Hamilton,

I appreciate your kind words of support. It was once said, “Failure is the fuel of success. The more you have of it the further you can go.” If this is true I just filled up my tank. We ran a very professional race. It was focused on integrity and professional experience.

In this race I learned a lot. I had an opportunity to spend a great, and I mean a GREAT deal of time going door-to-door meeting the many residents of District 6. These are wonderful people. After the election I have had many people come up to me, call me, or write to me stating their support. These words of encouragement means a lot to me, thank you.

To 5:23 PM

Thank you for your support, but I must disagree with you on one point. Mr. Ford and Mr. Catchings are not jokes. Both these men worked (are working) very hard in their campaigns to be your next City Councilman. For this I give them a great deal of respect. Mind you both of their camps did things that I felt were ethically questionable for this reason I chose not to endorse either candidate for office. You see I was not running to be City Councilman, I was running because I wanted to better serve the community I have lived in all my life. I fear sometimes people can want something so bad that they are willing to suspend their values and principles. But I’m forced to ask after you have gain the brass ring what good is it to you if you’ve lost your soul.

I was going to close this site but I have decided to let it stay up. From time to time I will post issues and concerns I have and also answer questions that you may have. Now it is important to understand that I plan to run this blog somewhat differently than some other sites you may have visited. I will not, nor will I allow others to post gossip, attacks or just be blatantly disrespectful to others. Just calling someone a “joke” is not acceptable. 5:23 PM this will be the last time I will let such a comment stay on my blog. If you disagree with someone be specific. And don’t just complain, offer constructive suggestions.

If you fail to follow these rules don’t be surprised if I delete your comments. In fact, I’m certain that I will be deleting many of the comments placed on this site. We as Memphians need to grow up. I have little tolerance for people who can not act like adults.

Now I don’t expect this to be a very active site, which is good, I don’t have a lot of time. But if you have questions, comments or suggestions about our City please feel free to post here. Intelligent, thoughtful people are welcomed.

Which ever candidate wins I promise I will make certain to stay on top of them. We need leadership!

I appreciate the comments, pro and con, and I welcome further discussions.

Anonymous said...

Ok i'm sorry for calling them a joke but you know they are not the best candidates. I've read your flyers and saw you on tv. So "being politcally correct" tell us what you think is their weakness.

Reginald Milton said...

To 7:42 PM - formally, I think 5:23 PM

Let me address your question not from a position of what the candidates are lacking but more from a position of what we as citizens should expect.

After the election my campaign staff and I spent over a week calling voters to poll them on why they voted the way they did.

We spoke with 1,000 registered voters in District 6. This is what we were able to discover:
• Nearly half did not even vote. Many stated a feeling that their vote did not matter. It should be noted that my vocation involves working with the poor and disenfranchised. I fear that many of the residents of District 6 that are aware of me and my work are just the type to hold these feelings of apathy.
• Of those that did vote three out of four acknowledged that the main reason they went to vote was due to the mayor’s race. Once they voted for their chose for mayor it was clear this group had not done much research on which candidate they wanted to represent them on City Council. Because of this these voters fell into three main categories:
1. 61% voted for Edmond Ford, Jr. based on name recognition. When asked to share one thing they knew about Mr. Ford nearly half (43%) thought this was the incumbent Edmond Ford, Sr. The remaining answers referred to the history of other members of the Ford family.
2. 24% voted for “the candidate that was on the ballot.” Several misleading ballots were disturbed to voters with a slate of hand picked candidates. The most nefarious and most damaging was created by a group that was formed only six months ago. They sold their endorsements based on the candidates that were willing to pay the most money. When I was made aware of this attempt to fool the voters I knew it was unethical and refused to participate. This group produced over 70,000 of these fake ballots. It is our belief that this was the main reason Mr. James Catchings, who had paid around $700 to be on this ballot, received such a large number of votes.
3. 12% stated that they voted for, what they thought, was the only woman on the ballot. Nearly 70% of the voters in District 6 are females. In looking at the slate of eleven candidates it was overwhelmingly male. This we believe created a sympathy vote for Alicia A. Howard who was the only recognized female on the ballot. The other female was Charles E. Chavez. As you can see her name could have easily confused people into thinking she was a man. Several respondents stated they wanted to see more female representation on the City Council.

From this report we surmised that many of the voters based their decision on factors other than experience.

As a resident of District 6 and a lifelong activist I feel I have a clear idea of what type of City Council would best serve our community. Over the years what I have seen is a top down council; in short, council members who felt they could manage their duties from behind a desk. To me the best representative would be a person that has a strong community connection. It must be someone who enjoys and is at ease with interacting with his constituents. The problem I saw when I looked at the slate of candidates running in District 6 was that they had little or no community ties or real experience.

If you read or talked with Mr. Catchings you would quickly find out that his entire life revolved around his job with the public school system. He exemplified the clichéd administrator. I also felt that he was at a point in his life where he was basically set in his ways. I wanted a Councilperson who was flexible, open-minded and able to work outside the box. I just did not see this in Mr. Catchings. I will say that he was clearly a man comfortable with being in charge. There was no doubt that he was running his campaign.

I must be honest I knew nothing about Mr. Edmond Ford, Jr. I had much more experience with his father, Edmond Ford, Sr. Senior to me was flamboyant and to be truthful he never came across as a deep thinker, but he has a lot of passion. He was always willing to interact and participant. In many community events he and Myron Lowery would often be the only two Council members to show up. I have to admit I do like him.

To me, the problem I have with the Fords is that for a people that have benefited so much from this community (mostly South Memphis) they seem to lack any long term commitment to it. The two most respected Fords: Harold Ford, Sr. lives in Florida; and Harold Ford, Jr. will be living in Texas. Whenever there is a political position that opens the Fords will rally around a family member, even if it is clear that this person is not qualified for this position. Now some will say that is what families do. With that I have to respond by saying that doesn’t mean you must do the same.

I have not had any lengthy conversations with Edmond Ford, Jr. I have listened to him at several debates and I have had plenty of opportunities to observe how he carries himself. He seems very cordial and affable, but it is clear he is by no means a leader. While at one of the polling sites a Ford poll worker, clearly someone they had hired off the street, was ordering Ford, Jr. around. He told him were to stand, what to do and Ford willingly followed orders. In public debates Junior seemed to not have developed any real opinions on anything. In short, I feel he is in no way prepared to take on this daunting task of representing District 6 as City Councilman.

Both Ford and Catchings have asked me for an endorsement. With Catchings it was with a gracious letter and a phone call, both I appreciated. Ford, Jr. never contacted me, but his father did. In fact, to me it seemed his father ran his son’s entire race.

I told Catchings and Ford that I would not be endorsing either of them. Now you may be thinking this is nothing more than the ramblings of a disgruntled ex-candidate. You would be wrong I hold no ill feelings. My posts are meant to offer a point of view I feel that is not often shared or heard from the African-American, native Memphian. Least you think I didn’t like any candidates that ran for the District 6 City Council position let me point out that there was one candidate that I thought handled himself very professionally. This candidate ran in my view an honest race and tried to address real issues that impacted voters. That candidate was Ed Vaughn. If anything positive came from my political venture it was meeting this gentleman.

One thing is for certain, Catchings or Ford will be the next City Councilman for District 6, and as a community activist I will have to work with which ever one wins. In a City were it is common to smile in your face and stab you in the back I have tried to be honest. And I hope whichever candidate wins he will rise to the occasion.

Anonymous said...

What gets me upset is the number of people who don't vote and alway cry when things aren't getting done in the community. YOU GOT TO VOTE!

Anonymous said...

10 am

my two next door neighbors are like that they talk about all the crime and how bad the kids are and how hard its to make a good pay. then they wont go vote. i tell them you have to vote. but i will be honest they wont know who to vote for anyway.

Reginald Milton said...

I believe we may have to rethink the act of telling people to “Just Vote.” In doing that what we have created are people who vote solely for the purpose of voting and not because it is their opportunity to elect someone that can best represent them.

The latter requires contemplation and research, which is something – based on our last election – that many people are not willing to do. So the question is… Is the act of voting sufficient or should someone only vote when they are clear about what, who and why they are voting? I suggest when you step in the polling booth (or in front of the computer screen – That’s something else I would like to talk about. I miss the booths with the curtains. What do you think?) vote only in the races you are certain about. Those you don’t know, just skip.

That’s my view what do you think?

Anonymous said...

The problem I had was that I didn't know who to go to for information on the people who were running. They need to find a way to give people the facts on the candidates so you would know how to pick them.

Anonymous said...

It will not make a difference who you vote for because the system itself changes people for the worse.

Staying with the theme of the blog which is to offer suggestions and not just complain, I suggest we create more ways to monitor what our elected official, and by all means Term Limits is a must.

Anonymous said...

Reginald I think you should try to cover a lot of the problems in district 6 here on your blog. Seeing that you are from this community you can let people see the work you have been doing. I think a lot of people if they knew what you have been doing would have voted for you. But a lot of these people don't get around and they don't know. You got to get out there and shake their hands and let them know all that you have been doing. There is no way you should have lost this election. When people find out what they missed they are going to be pretty upset. We had a chance to put somebody who knew this community better than anybody. Alll the work you have done, all the people you help. The thing is you would do all this and not tell anybody. You got to know how to brag. But you will see your name is going around now and people are watching people know they missed out. Keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

name said...

Good job!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Reginald Milton will you be posting on a regular bases, or will you just talk about things from time to time?

From reading what you have been saying you sound smart and it seems like you really care. I will be come by your site from now on. Please keep posting.

Reginald Milton said...

10:48 PM
"Reginald I think you should try to cover a lot of the problems in district 6 here on your blog."

2:12 PM
"Mr. Reginald Milton will you be posting on a regular bases, or will you just talk about things from time to time?"

I will absolutely cover issues relating to District 6. This is my community and a clear concern to me.

As far as how often I post. It will be as I have time and what issues strike me as important. Don't hesitate to make suggestions. Let me know what is on your mind.

Anonymous said...

Reginald,

I just finished reading all your post. This is a really nice blog. A heck of a lot better than some of the others I have seen like Matthews. His site is fill of hate, gossip and lies. Please keep yours upbeat and positive and I know you will do well. Memphis need people like you.

Reginald Milton said...

To 1:05 PM

Each Blogger has his or her own style. You have to give Thaddeus credit he really gives his all for his blog.

I will work hard to make certain that anything I say on this site is factual and fair. Though this is just the ramblings of an individual I will hold myself to the highest standards possible.