Richard Massey

Community Activist

About


 

 

As a community organizer and activist in Memphis, I’ve worked tirelessly to elevate and uplift ordinary, working class people who’ve been largely excluded from the table. I spearheaded efforts along with other activist organizations to successfully introduce a slate of important police reform measures in Memphis, including the Tyre Nichols Driving Equality Act and the creation of a comprehensive police misconduct database (Data Transparency Ordinance). I’ve also worked to secure higher pay, improved safety, and safeguard bonuses for Republic Sanitation workers amidst the Sanitation Strikes of 2023. I’ve advocated for a fair, equitable city budget before the Memphis City Council that included addressing maintenance backlogs for MSCS public schools, vital road infrastructure investments, public housing repair, sustainable investments into MATA to accelerate stop times and address understaffing, and wage increases for city employees. Amidst the bigoted drag ban imposed by the Tennessee State Legislature, I coordinated with OutMemphis to develop a public action in solidarity with LGBTQIA Tennessee. I’m currently a Junior at the University of Memphis, and I’m pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Legal Studies and eventually a Juris Doctor (J.D.). Throughout the summer of 2023, I interned with Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) in aiding our district’s constituents with casework. In July 2023, I was enshrined as a Youth Fellow with the Equity Alliance, where I’ve worked extensively to engage young people in Tennessee civically through political mobilization and large scale voter registration efforts. On the basis of my coordination with the labor movement in Memphis and my accolades as an activist/organizer, I was elected as West Tennessee Vice President of the Tennessee Young Democrats, the Secretary of the TNYD Black Caucus, and the Labor Relations Chair of the TNYD respectively. In 2024, I’ve worked to take on the supermajority in the TN General Assembly, challenging bigoted bail bills and NRA-backed bills that place more guns in schools. I was selected to be apart of the Memphis Top 20 Under 30 2024 edition in January. I’ve also worked to establish an Emergency Heat Warning System in Memphis this year to help protect our city’s most vulnerable citizens during periods of extreme heat amidst the climate crisis. I’m currently working on various endeavors within the city, around advocating for a rent increase moratorium, regulations around short-term rentals, helping facilitate a Youth Apprenticeship Program under MLGW, a city wage standard for ride-share drivers, and a measure to decriminalize marijuana possession within Memphis.