Memphis and Shelby County politicians have started off 2020 with aplomb, laying out agendas and offering progressive programs. Among Mayor Jim Strickland's new initiatives is paying young people to pick up litter while they are working on their high school diplomas.
Meanwhile, the Shelby County Commission has already taken up a perennially complex issue: public transportation. This time, however, there is more enthusiasm for a "wheel tax" increase -- from $50 to $70 -- to pay for improvements to MATA.
Finally, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee defended his recent decision to tell the Trump administration that the state would continue to resettle foreign refugees, a majority of whom hail from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Members of his party oppose the move, but Lee said the decision was, in part, motivated by his personal philosophy.