Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Campaign fund closed

At the end of June, Novella closed her campaign fund and donated the remaining balance, $600.00, to 12 Stones, a ministry under the auspices of Mississipi Boulevard Christian Church. Most recently they gave shelter and food to the residents of Memphis Towers when they were evacuated.

Monday, June 18, 2007

City Council application

Here is Novella's filing for the interim City Council seat:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thank you

We didn’t win, but we feel good anyway. We got some thoughts and issues out there and hopefully the new Commission will consider them. We kept it clean and positive – and so did my opponent. It was a great experience, and it may not be my last foray into politics.

I want to thank all of the people who gave me their love, support, and hard work, including:

My campaign co-chair and advisor Raymond Bursi, who gave me tons of good advice, not all of which I followed (!), and then worked his heart out election day, running from poll site to poll site with water and supplies.

My dear old friend and advisor Tom Jones, a kind man with a huge heart, unending love for our County and City, and an encyclopedic understanding of governmental affairs. Visit the blog at Smart City Memphis and learn, learn, learn!

Paula Casey for all her help and being my sounding board.

Roberta Henderson for single-handedly running our GOTV phone bank and then coming out in this sweltering heat to work the polls at Fire Station #1.

Sue A. Williams for more phone-banking, poll-manning, sign-placing…and her constant love and support.

Urania L.A. Alissandratos and Monty Robinson for their campaign wisdom.

Nino and Charles Shipp for hosting a fund-raiser for me.

Happy Jones, Jocie Wurzburg, and Paula Casey for their slate endorsement and fundraiser.

Heidi Shafer for her love and advice - and George Flinn for sharing her with us.

My “children” and "grandchildren," who manned the polls in the sweltering sun,
Mary Logan Jones
Lonnie Jones
Liba Williams
Alonzo (“Darrius”)
And newly adopted Jasmine

My “son” Joey Williams for all his love and support over the years.

My daughter Monique Smith for more things than I can ever count.

Sam Zambelis and the Bon-Ton crew for putting together that wonderful election-night party.

All of you who found your way out to the Bon-Ton to join our party!

The Rev. Andy Macbeth for being such a good sport when I had to take a leave of absence from Calvary.

Everyone who donated so generously (and sometimes repeatedly).

And my husband “King Geek” for developing the website, creating all the campaign graphics, writing commercials, serving as treasurer, and many other odds and ends.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Novella Smith Arnold Introduces New Radio Spot and Goes Progressive Talk


Friday, July 28, 2006 - Novella Smith Arnold today introduced her newest radio ad, “Taxi,” and expanded her coverage to include Progressive Talk AM-680. Perhaps even better known as “Chaplain Arnold,” she is running for the District 2 County Commission seat being vacated by Julian Bolton. The Commercial Appeal, the local Sierra Club, and the Stonewall Democrats have all endorsed her campaign.

New “Taxi” Spot. The new 60-second spot features the incomparable J. Blackfoot and his “personal chaplain” (Novella) in a duet riff on his 1984 Top-10 R&B hit, “Taxi”. Engaging, musical, and lots of fun, the ad nevertheless reiterates a serious theme of her campaign. Blackfoot says, “Let’s put Memphis and Shelby County back on the same map.”

In the week just ending, Arnold’s spots on ClearChannel's WDIA 1070 and two Flinn Broadcasting stations have been endorsement- and issues-oriented. The new “Taxi” spot was introduced today WDIA, and will run 100% on that station from Monday until the election.

Blackfoot and Arnold went into the JEA Records' studio Monday with an idea, and when they came out they knew they had a winner. The two have been friends since the early 70s, when he was lead signer with the Stax group The Soul Children, and Novella was their manager.

Progressive Talk 680. Also beginning today, Arnold expands her station line-up to include WWTQ Progressive Talk 680. A self-styled “Martin Luther King Republican” running in a largely Democratic district, Arnold’s themes and ideas appeal to a wide audience, regardless of party affiliation. All of her ads including “Taxi”will run in rotation on WWTQ through the day before the election. They will continue to run on the Flinn stations WTCK AM-1210 (“Music of your life”) and WHBQ AM-560 (“Sports-56”). They can also be heard on Novella’s website.

Novella Smith Arnold was a pioneering radio personality in Houston and the voice of Carling Black Label and Church's Fried Chicken. She has been honored along with Rufus Thomas in the Smithsonian’s Black Radio Hall of Fame. Moving to Memphis in 1973, she was a Stax Records production executive before deciding to devote herself to prison and outreach ministries. She is a certified HIV/AIDS counselor and is famed for her groundbreaking 1997 Public Service Announcement (PSA) about HIV migrating from the jails to the community at large. She is a Memphis Woman of Achievement for Courage. For more information and to hear all of her spots, go to

Monday, July 24, 2006

Novella Smith Arnold Endorsed by Commercial Appeal, Local Advocacy Groups


Novella Smith Arnold has recently received three important endorsements in her quest for the open seat on the County Commission, District 2, including The Commercial Appeal, the Sierra Club, and the Memphis Stonewall Democrats. Arnold is running for the Position 2 seat being vacated by Julian Bolton.

The Commercial Appeal in its July 24 edition said: “Arnold, a prison chaplain and social activist, has good ideas about addressing urban sprawl, updating development codes and reducing the county's debt … She's also been a tireless advocate for sometimes unfashionable causes, including AIDS prevention and conditions at the Shelby County jail. Also, we believe Arnold would be better at building consensus, a useful trait on a commission that has sometimes been sharply divided.”

James Baker, chair of the Chickasaw Group of the Sierra Club said: “The Sierra Club is pleased to announce that we are endorsing you for the County Commission. We appreciate your environmental sensitivity as evidenced by your answers in the Club’s questionnaire and the discussions that our committee members have had with you.”

Jim Maynard representing the Memphis Stonewall Democrats said: “Novella Smith Arnold has demonstrated a strong commitment to fighting AIDS and supporting people with AIDS. Henri Brooks did not respond to the Memphis Stonewall Democrats questionnaire, but Novella Smith Arnold did … We hope Democratic voters in District 2 will choose a more progressive candidate, one who supports equal rights for everyone.”

For more information, go to
For a PDF of the Sierra Club letter, click here.

Breaking: Commercial Appeal endorses Novella

To my friends and supporters:

I was heartened and pleased to open the paper this morning and find that the Commercial Appeal has endorsed me for for County Commission, District 2. What a way to start the day!

In today's endorsement editorial, they wrote:
Arnold, a prison chaplain and social activist, has good ideas about addressing urban sprawl, updating development codes and reducing the county's debt.

Click here to read what I had said to the newspaper (Adobe PDF).
She's also been a tireless advocate for sometimes unfashionable causes, including AIDS prevention and conditions at the Shelby County jail. Also, we believe Arnold would be better at building consensus, a useful trait on a commission that has sometimes been sharply divided.

Thank you, God!

Thank you, Commercial Appeal, for your vote of confidence in me!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Take advantage of early voting

Novella urges you to take advantage of early voting.

This is the largest ballot in Shelby County history, with over 300 candidates in over 140 positions county-wide. New electronic voting machines are being used. Depending on your precinct, the entire ballot could span as many as 23 screens (pages). On August 3rd, lines could be very long.

There are advantages to you as well. During early voting you can vote in any of the 18 locations, regardless of your actual precinct. If you have changed your address since you last voted, you can change your registration on the spot and vote in your new precinct.

Be sure to bring ID showing your name, your current address, and your signature. For address, it might be a current utility bill. Photo ID is not required.

Click here for a map of District 2 showing the early voting locations within the district. (Adobe PDF file)

Click here to go to the Election Commission's Web site for more information. (Opens in separate window.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Novella Smith Arnold to Leave Beer Board


Novella Smith Arnold Will Leave the Shelby County Beer Board to Campaign for County Commission

May 4, 2006 -- After over 23 years of service, most of it as chairperson, Novella Smith Arnold has announced her decision to leave the County Beer Commission. Her resignation is to be effective after the regular meeting on May 18.

She leaves the board in order to devote full time to her campaign to win the District 2, Position 2 slot on the County Commission. She was unopposed in the Republican primary election on May 2.

Ms. Arnold communicated her intentions to the Board’s attorney, Tom Russell. In her resignation letter, Ms. Arnold said she had delayed leaving until the May meeting in order to accommodate the St. Jude’s Golf Classic, whose organizers are requesting a temporary permit for the event starting May 20. No other applicants are currently scheduled for that meeting.

“St. Jude’s annual Golf Classic is critically important to Memphis and Shelby County,” Ms. Arnold stated. “I could not do anything that might jeopardize a quorum to act on their Beer License application. Besides, I love St. Jude and I am pleased to have them turn out to be my last item of business before leaving.”

The County’s Beer Commission is an unpaid board composed of regular citizens, who are appointed by the County Commissioners to staggered terms. The board reviews and approves applications for on- and off-premises sales of beer. Occasionally, the board assesses fines or suspends the licenses of establishments that have permitted sales to minors or other violations of rules.

“Because it’s a job with no pay, and most of us are pretty busy with our regular jobs,” Ms. Arnold wrote, “it has been notoriously difficult to get people to serve – and, once appointed, to show up. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and love to the current board members for their dedication and helping to keep a perfect record. To the best of my recollection, we have never held a meeting and failed to have a quorum.”

“I would also like to express my gratitude to you, Tom, and to Deputy Sheriff Butterick for all your help the past several years. Working with you has been the greatest pleasure,” Ms. Arnold concluded.