Lee Harris

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Lee Harris is a Tennessee State Senator.


Lee Harris passed more bills than any other Democratic legislator. He frequently worked across the aisle and, as a result, more than half of these bills were co-sponsored by Republicans. Prior to the 2014 election, Harris served on the Memphis City Council. Senator Harris is also a tenured full professor of law at the University of Memphis Law School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse and his law degree from Yale. Senator Harris is a proud product of our public schools. Senator Harris is married to Prof. Alena Allen.[1]

Anti-privatization meeting

Event in Knoxville 1800 Melrose Ave, Tuesday 6 October 2015

State lawmakers will join the United Campus Workers, UT College Democrats, Progressive Student Alliance and Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment during a fact-finding trip to learn more about the potential impact of the Governor's plan to possibly bring privatization to the campus of UT Knoxville.

Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris and state Rep. John Ray Clemmons will hear from campus employees, students and faculty about the potential impacts that layoffs and outsourcing will have on their families and campus life. Organized by Jasmine Taylor.[2]

Mid-South Peace & Justice Center’s 35th anniversary

Angela Davis stood before a crowd of hundreds at First Congregational Church in Midtown on SaturdayJanuary 14, 2017. She attacked capitalism, praised communism and criticized Donald Trump.

"Our goal is to guarantee that Donald Trump will not be able to govern comfortably. ... If you think you've been to a lot of demonstrations in the past, well, multiply that by a hundred. Or a thousand over the next period," she said, and the audience cheered.

Earlier, she said Trump embodied the worst elements of oppression and capitalism. "He represents precisely those forces of capitalism that have impoverished so many of the people who decided to vote for him, because they feared for their future."

"Sometimes I feel really nostalgic about that era because it meant we were connected with people all over the world, because there were communist parties all over the world," she said. "And so we felt as if we were a part of a global struggle. The Cuban revolution was our victory. And we don't have that now."

The organizer of the event, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, billed the annual fundraising banquet as a kickoff to long years of struggle against Trump's policies. In an email before the event, the staff wrote, "We will, with every resource at our disposal, stand against an agenda that denies the dignity and humanity of people of color, undocumented families, women, people with disabilities, and those of the Muslim faith. These values are non-negotiable."

Banquet attendees filled not just the seats at the round dinner tables but the church balcony, and some stood in the back. The event was attended by some Memphis elected officials including Shelby County Commissioner Eddie Jones as well as state Sen. Lee Harris and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen.[3]

Speakers included Brad Watkins and Tami Sawyer. Panelists were Iris Mercado, Jayanni Webster, Allison Donald and Dr. Andre Johnson.[4]

Memphis DSA 2018 endorsements


Memphis-Midsouth DSA, April 19 2018;

Last night, our chapter voted to endorse 5 candidates in the Shelby County primary:

These folks are all dedicated fighters for social, racial, and economic justice, and we're proud to support them!

(We also have some upcoming endorsements for Shelby County School Board and TN State House/Senate . . .)[5]

Memphis For All supports Lee Harris

Memphis For All, the local chapter of Our Revolution, has announced its official endorsement of Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris for Shelby County’s next Mayor.

Said Lee Harris: “I am grateful for this endorsement, particularly at this juncture. It’s the latest sign that we have a chance to do something monumental in 2018. When we all come together, we can bend government to the will of the people.”

From knocking on doors to sending text messages and making calls, Our Revolution and local affiliates have been instrumental in the recent elections of Southern progressive mayoral candidates. Our Revolution endorsed Randall Woodfin, recently elected mayor of Birmingham, Alabama.

Said Thomas Wayne Walker, Memphis For All Steering Committee Member, “Lee Harris has a long history of leading on a variety of issues that our members care deeply about. When he was on the City Council, he pushed for a non-discrimination ordinance that included protections for LGBTQ citizens. As a state senator, he has been a consistent leader for fairer criminal justice reform. And Lee is someone we can count on to speak out against the privatization of our college campuses. We’re ready to get to work to make sure we bring this leadership to the office of Shelby County Mayor.”[6]

Memphis For All endorsements


Memphis For All 2018 endorsements:

  • Lee Harris for Shelby County Mayor
  • Tami Sawyer for County Commission, District 7
  • Racquel Collins for Shelby County Commission District 1
  • Dr. Roz Nichols for Shelby County Commission District 9

Memphis For All victories

Memphis For All May 2 at 4:08pm

Huge wins in primaries last night for a slate of progressives, including #MemphisForAll endorsed candidates Lee Harris for Shelby County Mayor (in a LANDSLIDE), Tami Sawyer for County Commission, District 7 and Racquel Collins for Shelby County Commission District 1! And much appreciation and love for Dr. Roz Nichols who had the audacity to run against the status quo of an entrenched political dynasty in District 9 - and came in second. We look forward to seeing more of her! Now let's keep building.

Power sharing

Jayanni Elizabeth August 3 2018.

i don't plan to simply hold our folks accountable once they take office because i expect them to bring us with them when they take their oaths. i expect shared governance! i expect us to be consistently engaged in the process of governing, of creating and passing policies & laws that protect, free and support us. heck, i expect a people's assembly from time to time :)
we posture to hold our enemies and opponents accountable. but we request and expect our people - those that have showed up time and time again, who have led our movements, who have a record of compassion and sacrifice - to practice radical power-sharing!
governing is difficult work, especially when we don't have total influence. power is still concentrated with corporations and the neo-confederate state and we are a blue city in hostile territory. the assaults will continue to come, but now we have different and added tools to work with. this does not negate the strategic movement work we must do outside of elections. so join your union, join the official Black Lives Matter chapter, give to the candidates who are going on to the general election, be prepared to show up to Fight for $15 protests and defend immigrant communities and reproductive choice. elections are only one piece of our strategy. our movements deserve our energy now more than ever too.
Tami Sawyer, London Lamar, Lee Harris, Katrina Robinson, Raumesh Akbari we thank you in advance and hope you need our ideas, our call-ins, our support in these conditions. because we want to give that to you as an act of radical power-sharing and as an act of love.