Weekly Update: Why I'm excited about Memphis 3.0


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You have my word: We will never, ever, stop striving to be brilliant at the basics when it comes to delivering core city services to you, our customer.

But I want to spend our time together today making sure you’re aware of something that goes hand-in-hand with that commitment. We are building our future through a series of strategic and deliberate steps, working every day to amplify the momentum that we’re starting to see in Memphis.

Enter Memphis 3.0.

We talked about it briefly last Friday, but we’ll talk about it more now. Memphis 3.0 is our two-year process to create the city’s first comprehensive plan since 1981. We’re calling it Memphis 3.0 for good reason -- we’ll begin acting on this plan just as Memphis celebrates the start of its third century in 2019. The timing is perfect.

I view Memphis 3.0 as a roadmap to growth and a guide for investing in our neighborhoods -- with a common theme of providing equity and opportunity for every single Memphian weaved throughout.

When finished and adopted, we’ll use Memphis 3.0 not only as input into how we use land, but as a guidebook for how we direct investments. The findings in Memphis 3.0 will influence how we make capital improvements -- those long-lasting dollars we spend on infrastructure. That’s how Memphis 3.0 works when the rubber hits the road. Memphis 3.0 will help tell us, for instance, how best to turn fading properties into real opportunities for the community and assets for their neighborhoods. Think of the railroad bed-turned-Greenline, for example. Or think of how Rodney Baber Park in Frayser is being redesigned. Memphis 3.0, with your input leading the way, can be a vehicle to drive this transformational change.

And the best part is this: The plan’s backbone will be input from you. We will ask people in neighborhoods what's important to them, and we will craft an action plan to enable it to happen.

This is about crafting a real, sustainable vision for our collective future -- not simply a nice slogan without action. Memphis 3.0, and its thorough findings, will guide our course for years to come. We know that change in a city is inevitable -- but we can decide who we want to be and how we want to grow.

This is about Memphis taking action -- and taking its destiny into its own hands.

As you can probably tell by now, Memphis 3.0 is important to me. I urge you to visit the website, read the coverage of it in the coming weeks -- and by all means, attend one of the neighborhood kickoff rallies that start Nov. 28.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Nov. 28: Ed Rice Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 29: Riverview Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 30: Gaisman Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 1: Hickory Hill Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 2: Sexton Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 3: Orange Mound Services Center Complex, 10 a.m.
  • Dec. 3: Whitehaven Community Center, 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 5: Raleigh Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 6: East High School, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: Pipkin Building at the Fairgrounds, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: McFarland Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 9: Bert Ferguson Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: Cossitt Library, 10 a.m.
  • Dec. 10: McWherter Senior Center, 2 p.m.

Don’t forget to vote: Election Day is Tuesday, and no matter who you’re voting for at the top of the ticket, I ask for your careful consideration of a city charter amendment that resides near the bottom of the ballot. I’ve explained it at length here, but I’ll boil it down to this: Voting ‘for’ the amendment means you’re ‘for’ Memphis getting its fair share.

I’m voting ‘for’ the amendment, and I hope you do, too.

Learn more Monday: You’ve heard the word “deannexation” quite a bit this year, and particularly in recent weeks as the Strategic Footprint Review Task Force’s work has come to the fore. If you’re interested in learning more, Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen will lead a discussion on deannexation Monday at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. It starts at 6 p.m.

Thanks, 311: I spent some time Wednesday visiting with the operators in our 311 call center -- and I even took a few calls. We know that 311 is often the front door of our city, and I appreciate what these employees do to resolve your requests.

Remember: 911 is for emergencies, 311 is for city service issues and 211 can help connect you to community services.

Thanks, Magicians!: Last Saturday was Homecoming for the University of Memphis, Rhodes College and LeMoyne-Owen College. And I’m honored to share that I was named grand marshal of the LeMoyne-Owen homecoming parade!

LeMoyne-Owen Homecoming


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