Councilman Harris was elected to the City Council in 2011. Since he joined the Council, Councilman Harris has been an advocate for neighborhoods, parks, public safety, and youth intervention. Among other accomplishments, Councilman Harris was a leader in the fight for a new city-wide non-discrimination ordinance. He helped reform the City’s Development Code to give neighborhoods a right to notice and community meetings in advance of special development projects. He led the charge to preserve and redevelop city museums and historic structures in Victorian Village, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. In an effort to expand pedestrian and motorist safety, he has worked to improve streets, sidewalks and bike paths. Finally, with the help of the Memphis Zoo, Councilman Harris has also helped spearhead the creation of a new science program for inner-city school kids. Because of his efforts, Councilman Harris has received several awards. Among other recognitions, Councilman Harris was awarded the 2013 Public Official of the Year Award by the Association of Social Workers, West Tennessee; he was awarded the 2012 Historic Preservation Award; he was named a “Man of Excellence” by the Tri-State Defender newspaper; and he was one of three elected officials in the state of Tennessee selected as a “New Deal Leader.”
Councilman Harris is Chairman of the Budget Committee. In addition, he serves on the Housing and Community Development; Personnel, Intergovernmental & Annexation Committees; Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee, Public Services & Neighborhoods Committee ; and Parks Committee. Councilman Harris is also a member of the Frayser Exchange Club, Salvation Army (ex-officio), and Urban Arts Commission.
Councilman Harris is a tenured professor at the University of Memphis Law School. He is a proud product of the Memphis City Schools (Alcy Elem., John P. Freeman Middle, and Overton High). He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse and his law degree from Yale. Lee is married to Prof. Alena Allen. They have two children, Lee Allen Harris (8) and Claudia Harris (5).