Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update

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By now, you surely know that we’ve made city contracting with minority and women-owned businesses a big priority in our administration. To that end, let me share a great development that happened last week.

In bidding for another phase of renovations at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Brandon Construction, a certified minority-owned business, was awarded 36 percent of the larger project -- an estimated value of just over $1 million.

There’s plenty of credit to go around for this collaborative effort -- Joann Massey and the entire staff at the Office of Business Diversity & Compliance, the city purchasing department, Stephanie Alexander of the Memphis Area Minority Contractors Association, and others.

And make no mistake, increasing the city’s MWBE spend is a goal I share with many others. Said City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove, whose leadership on this issue I appreciate: “This company is one of many that I hope the city will embrace with open arms, giving our African-American companies that are ready and able a needed opportunity.”

Our MWBE efforts are intentional. For example, each city division is working with our MWBE director to outline its MWBE goals and how it plans to achieve them within its budget presentation.

Paving schedule: We want you to know that we’re aware of some delays with certain street repaving projects. Our rainy spring has interfered somewhat with our schedule, and even when weather does permit, we occasionally experience some underground utilities issues.

That’s been the case in spots on Yates, White Station, Whitten and Mount Moriah. We’re putting urgency behind completing those jobs as soon as conditions improve. Weather permitting, we hope to complete those jobs within the next two or three weeks.

We know it’s frustrating, and we appreciate your patience.

Quickly: There’s a lot to cover today, so let me rapidly share a handful of items:

  • We’re looking for city employees to sign up to be mentors in our Urban Fellows summer internship program. You can learn more and sign up here.
  • Drop by Court Square Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., where more than 50 local attractions will be represented -- along with live music and food trucks -- as part of the Tourism Party in the Park. Here's something you may not have known: According to the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Memphis welcomes some 10 million tourists per year, spending more than $3.2 billion and generating more than $135 million in taxes.
  • Congratulations to attorney Steve Barlow, who leads the way in fighting blight in our city, for winning the Memphis Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” award for public service.
  • This week, I signed a pledge committing the City of Memphis to having a welcoming environment for breastfeeding mothers. It's part of a promise I made during the campaign. 
  • Next Thursday at noon, the city will host a National Day of Prayer event in the Council Chamber for people of all faiths.
  • And did you see how quickly our Engineering Division acted when a citizen asked a question about a four-way stop? Good job, all.

Rest In Peace, Rev. Kyles: In closing today, I hope you’ll all join me in remembering the life and legacy of Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, who passed away Tuesday night. I spoke with his wife, Aurelia, on Wednesday, and extended my condolences on behalf of a grateful city that’s a better place today in part because of Rev. Kyles’ life work.


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