Weekly Update


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I'll start today with a shout-out to the Memphis City Council, the 13 men and women who are our partners in improving this city. The council unanimously voted Tuesday to accept the $6.1 million grant we landed from the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, the one that will go a long way toward improving our police recruiting and retention efforts.

You’ve heard of that, right? We announced it almost two weeks ago, and it’s a big deal. In fact, it’s unprecedented -- $6.1 million to continue to follow up on our pledge to better compensate our officers. Some of them will be able to receive up to $7,000 in bonuses if they pledge to stay four years.

And that’s on top of pay increases we’ll propose in our budget, which, if passed, would be the third raise for MPD in 18 months.

We’ve seen private grants to police departments in other cities, but not on the scale of this one. I send a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who was involved in this, which is another example of how we like to think outside of the box to move Memphis forward.

Getting a fresh start: On Wednesday, I hand-delivered another set of checks to the Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk’s office, meaning that another 23 Memphians with nonviolent criminal records are getting expungements thanks to the generosity of Better Memphis Fund donors. Stacy Jacobson of WREG-TV did this nice story on our efforts, and we have another, even larger, group of recipients coming up soon.

Plan accordingly: We’ll be conducting emergency sewer repair on a stretch of Union Avenue in Midtown starting Monday and lasting through the 20th. Because this will require closing two westbound lanes, we’ll do the work overnight to avoid as much headache as we can. Work will begin at 8 p.m. each night and we’ll have lanes back open by 7 a.m.

Did you know? The United Way of the Mid-South offers a free -- yes, free -- tax prep and filing program for households with an income of $54,000 or less. Last year, the program brought more than $12 million in refunds to over 8,400 people across the Mid-South.

Call 211 -- our Memphis Public Library & Information Center's LINC 2-1-1 service -- to book an appointment. Even if you don’t qualify, could you help us spread the word by sharing this with your social networks and/or by forwarding this email?

Doing great work: Thank you to Eldra White and her staff at Memphis City Beautiful, which a few weeks ago was the recipient of the Richard S. Borys Award from the Vollintine Evergreen Community Association. The award recognizes public officials and agencies who contribute to VECA’s well-being. MCB has been a longtime partner with VECA, and helped organize a cleanup of a blighted property in the area on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Call to Action: You know by now that mentoring is one of the three options I laid out in my Call to Action. It’s amazing, really, the impact we can have on a young person with just one hour per week.

But rest assured I’m not asking you to do something I wouldn’t do. So a few weeks back, I went through the orientation session like everyone else. And last Friday, I had lunch for the first time with Taishun, a 7th grader at Grizzlies Prep. I’m excited to get to know Taishun better, and I’m excited for the impact we’re all going to make in our city.

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