Councilwoman Wanda Halbert was elected to the Memphis City Council in October, 2007. She joins the City Council after serving on the Memphis Board of Education November 2000 to December 2007. As Commissioner, Halbert served as the Memphis City Schools' (MCS) Board President in 2005. A graduate of Kirby High School, having attended State Technical Institute at Memphis, Bethel College, and the University of Memphis, Councilwoman Halbert was employed 24 years in the Information Technology Division at FedEx Services responsible for administrative and project management duties.
During her tenure on the school board, Councilwoman Halbert served and chaired a number of boards and committees including Budget, Capital Improvement, Mental Health, Budget, Audit, Policy, Superintendent Evaluation, and the Supplier Diversity Committee.
As a second term council member, Councilwoman Halbert served four years as both Budget and Education Chair. For the second year, she currently serves as the Economic Development Chair and serves on the /Tourism/Technology, Housing and Community Development, Audit, Memphis Light Gas & Water, Parks, Planning & Zoning, Personnel/Intergovernmental/Annexation, Public Safety & Homeland Security, Public Services & Neighborhoods committees and more.
Councilwoman Halbert was applauded by her constituents to be the first member of the council to document and detail district statistics and demographics including, listing all schools, community development corporations, neighborhood associations, libraries, community centers, parks, assets, funded and rehab Housing and Community Development projects, demolitions, condemnations, bank owned properties and more (Learn More Here). This information also contained detailed statistics on crime and Memphis Police Department's District 4 Blue Crush Data.
Councilwoman Halbert's first term on the city council also lists accomplishments including but not limited to: Answered thousands of constituent concerns and complaints; Created the city's first Minority & Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Oversight Commission, (generating more than $9 million new spending dollars with MWBE's in 8 short months of oversight); Sponsored a $2.4 million resolution for Memphis City Schools' literacy initiative; Sponsored a two-year $5 million resolution for the city's Utility Payment Assistance program; Ensured more than 1,300 District 4 blighted properties were officially cited (35 currently in litigation); Ensured $500,000 was allocated to repair city parks; Initiated the city's review of old drainage systems causing neighborhood floods; Ensured full funding of a new District 4 fire station at Lamar and Semmes; Ensured full funding of Charjean/Airways park currently under design and construction; and Helped create new District 4 revitalization and developed ongoing projects (see HCD District 4 Project overview).
Councilwoman Halbert is very involved in the community and is a member of the Leadership Memphis Class of 2008. She served as a member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, local and state Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) Task Force, Southeast Mental Health Center, and has been a coordinator for United Way, March of Dimes, and Toys for Tots.
While serving as District 4's council representative, Councilwoman Halbert was selected to host President Obama's administrator, Dr. Joe Leonard, Assistant Director of Civil Rights for the United States Department of Agriculture in Memphis during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday celebration and she was selected to serve as keynote speaker for an Atlanta, GA fall gala honoring The Integrity Three, First Lady Michelle Obama, Ms. Bernice King, and Tyler Perry.
Councilwoman Halbert has two sons, Andre' a local recording artist, and Stephon a graduate of The George Washington University and current student attending Florida A&M School of Law (May 2014 graduate), both of whom are graduates of the Memphis City Schools. Halbert, a very active parent in the school system served as past PTA president for elementary and middle schools, and past president of Parents for Public Schools, Memphis Chapter. In 2005, Memphis Magazine featured Councilwoman Halbert as one of Memphis' 100 Who's Who representing our city's best and brightest leaders.