Wharton's speech: Excerpts and link to full copy

A C Wharton's inauguration speech was short, but, at just less than 10 minutes, the new Memphis mayor's first address to the city had moments of power.

Maybe the most compelling is an excerpt from near the end, as he drew near a conclusion. Click here or see below for a link to the entire prepared text, from which Wharton deviated in only a few instances.

As a consequence of this election, the word mandate is one I have heard used frequently since Oct. 15th. I understand the implication that people make, but I see that term in somewhat of a different light.

Yes I do believe I carry a mandate from the people. I carry a mandate from the neighborhood association in the Rozelle-Annesdale Community that wants some leeway in cleaning up their neighborhodds and getting better support from government in addressing the issue of vacant lots. And I want to say to the group that passed the basket that night and went out to Home Depot and bought their own camera to try to put on a pole so they can watch and see who was living in their neighborhood, I want to tell them they can take that camera down. We are going to take care of that.

I carry a mandate from the pastor and congregation in Hickory Hill who've prayed and protested, looking for heavenly help and earthly assistance in breaking up havens for criminal activity. I carry a mandate from the people of Midtown and Vollintine-Evergreen who want a walkable neighborhood and a cleaner environment. I carry a mandate from every neighborhood, Westwood to Raleigh, New Chicago to Cordova and every community where people want better schools, better jobs and a more efficient government and safer streets. 

But one of the clearest and most universally shared mandates and directives I have heard from people across this community is the desire for me to help bring an end to the rancor and divisiveness that has too often defined our politics and clogged the engine of our forward progress.


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