Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update

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Thank you for your generosity.

And thanks to you, more than 100 deserving members of our society will get a fresh start on employment, housing, and any other barriers that they may encounter because of their past.

I’m referring to the fundraiser for the Better Memphis Fund that was held Monday night at Hattiloo Theatre. We raised over $55,000 -- 100 percent of which will go toward $450 fees for record expungement for nonviolent offenders. (More thanks go to Hattiloo founder Ekundayo Bandele for providing the space and for his very nice words of introduction; and to sponsors BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Da Silva-Chauhan Benefits Group, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Henry Turley Company and Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Advisors.)

If you could benefit from record expungement, or if you know someone who could, call our Community Affairs office at 901-576-6203 or 901-576-6507. Also, here’s some information on expungements from the Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk’s website.

And if you missed the fundraiser and want to give, here’s a link to online giving. I also send a special thanks to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for partnering with us and providing support.

I’m a big believer in this effort, and I thank you for believing along with me.

Good news from Nashville: If you heard or read my name in connection with the state legislature in recent days, it probably concerned de-annexation. But I wanted to share a victory we had on another front just this week, too.

The legislature approved a bill that would strengthen the Neighborhood Preservation Act, which is already a strong tool in our fight against blight. In effect, the bill requires owners of occupied properties to keep them in a fit and habitable condition. If they don't, they will be subject to civil litigation in Environmental Court.

We strongly advocated for this bill, which we think will be a vital piece toward preserving and enhancing neighborhoods in every part of Memphis.

And we were appreciative of the chance this week to share with a Senate committee why we oppose the de-annexation bill. We plan to be there again Tuesday when the committee convenes again.

Follow us: Just a quick reminder that you can stay in touch with what we’re doing on Facebook and Twitter.

Introducing the Memphis Youth City Council: I’m proud to report on the good work being done to start the Memphis Youth City Council, which will have its first full session during the 2016-17 school year. On Monday, we initiated a lottery to pick the schools that will elect student representatives to the body. Those elections will come next month.

Those schools include: Craigmont (District 1), Ridgeway (District 2), Whitehaven (District 3), Wooddale (District 4), Memphis Catholic (District 5), Mitchell (District 6), Memphis Academy of Health Sciences (District 7), Douglass (Super District 8-1), Hollis F. Price Middle College (Super District 8-2), Westwood (Super District 8-3), St. Mary’s Episcopal School (Super District 9-1), Memphis University School (Super District 9-2) and East (Super District 9-3). Plans are to cycle through all of the city’s high schools in the coming years to give students an equal chance.

Representatives will meet during the next school year, and they’ll have the opportunity to propose and debate legislation. They’ll also have a quarterly meeting with the City Council so that members can hear their concerns. Our Memphis Office of Youth Services is rightfully excited for the Memphis Youth City Council, which will engage its members in how a city operates. We’re hoping the process will be a memorable one.  

Mediation continues: I’m glad to report that all parties involved in the Overton Park mediation -- the city, Overton Park Conservancy and the Memphis Zoological Society -- met today in another mediation session.

The mediation process is meant to be thorough. That’s why you’ll continue to hear about more sessions in the future, and that’s why I remain hopeful we’ll produce a long-lasting plan to which all parties in the room have agreed. But it will not happen overnight, and we appreciate your patience as we work toward an outcome that our jewel of a park in Midtown deserves.

Here’s a fun event: Drop by A Taste of Memphis on Friday, April 1, from 5-10 p.m. at Tiger Lane. It’s an event to showcase neighborhood organizations, community development corporations and faith-based organizations, and it’ll feature entertainment and food vendors.

Have a great weekend: Our regular email is a day earlier this week due to Good Friday. Here’s hoping you and your family have a nice holiday weekend.


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