Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share


Remember New Year’s Day?

At our inauguration ceremony at the Cannon Center on a cold, sunny day, we spoke of renewal, of an administration that would focus on our citizens, of working to get the job done to move Memphis forward.

Just three days later, Police Director Toney Armstrong told me he had an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. It was the first big challenge that was delivered to my office, and it was not the last one the winter brought.

You surely remember them: a rising violent crime rate, the Greensward, de-annexation, the specter of losing ServiceMaster, a stressed-out budget with more obligations than we knew.

So we did the only thing we knew to do: We got to work.

I thought of that this weekend, when I named Michael Rallings our police director. You showed me you agreed with that decision by the overwhelming support for Director Rallings, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that. The appointment was another good outcome from a situation that challenged us in the earliest days of our administration.

Consider some of the other outcomes from those early challenges:

  • Crime isn’t where we want it to be -- nowhere near it -- but our Part I crime numbers are actually slightly down year-to-date as compared to 2015. Nothing remarkable, but we’re moving in the right direction.
  • We continue to tackle the de-annexation issue both with the legislature and internally, but convincing the Senate to essentially kill the bill in March was the best possible outcome in what appeared to be an uphill situation.
  • Not only did we marshal the forces to convince ServiceMaster to stay, the company is moving Downtown to the former Peabody Place mall. What appeared to be quite the challenge in the winter has turned into a two-pronged success this summer.
  • After 30 years of disagreement over the use of the Overton Park Greensward for overflow Zoo parking, our compromise plan in just six months of time led to a path for a solution.
  • By working with the City Council, our 2016-17 budgets passed unanimously in just a matter of minutes -- an unheard-of accomplishment at City Hall. And recently, the Comptroller sent us a letter lauding our financial position.

(Not to mention the agreement that led to the demolition of the hotel that was vacant for 20 years at the ‘old bridge,’ or our improved standing when it comes to minority and women-owned business contracting.)

Now, before we go any further, know this: We’re not saying the mission is accomplished. We have too much work to do to even think about that. We’re doing what we did in January, which is rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.

But I do hope the list I shared with you shows you my administration’s commitment to tackle the hard things. I hope it shows you our brand of leadership -- that if we work relentlessly, and we work together, nothing is impossible.

Keeping my word: At the Greater Imani Cathedral community meeting on July 11, I pledged to answer all of the questions submitted on notecards. And on Wednesday, we posted those answers -- you can read them here.

On Thursday, I met with some of the leaders of the protest groups. The conversations were productive, and I’m thankful for the dialogue. As I have for the past month, I remain optimistic about this, as we’re all for the same things -- in fact, we’re already making progress.

Save the date: Our Workforce Investment Network is hosting an open house at its location at 4240 Hickory Hill on Aug. 31. You can learn more about how WIN can help you get a job. Call 636-7971 for more information and to RSVP.

Go Tigers Go!: Director Rallings and I had the opportunity to visit Coach Mike Norvell and the University of Memphis football team Monday night! The Tigers open their season at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Sept. 3 against Southeast Missouri State.


Congrats, Memphis Fire and Police: Our Fire Department promoted 24 of its members in a ceremony Thursday night; you can find the list here.

Members of our police force were in Las Vegas late last month participating in the 2016 Nevada Police Games, and they came home with many first, second and third-place awards -- so many that I can’t even begin to list them all here.



Mayor's signature