We need to… realize that we’re all Memphians. And the world is watching us.””
Andrew Phillips says much has changed since the days when his father worked for the Memphis Sanitation Department. Even as Phillips began his own career in municipal government, he witnessed inequities born of racism. But labor and race relations have improved dramatically, he says. “Back then it was a rivalry; it was a war,” he says. “But today it’s not that way. Unions come in and they sit down and… discuss the safety issues with our management team. Our director is an ex- member.” Still, he sees room for improvement citywide. “There’s still division in the city,” he says. “We just have to keep working at it. We need to… realize that we’re all Memphians. And the world is watching us.” .