Weekly Update


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As you may recall, our first comprehensive planning process since 1981  Memphis 3.0  launched in October. And since that launch, the Memphis 3.0 team has been hard at work  both in gathering public feedback and researching the trends of our city.

In a set of three meetings that starts next week, along with some critical decision-making meetings later this summer, the Memphis 3.0 process is kicking into an important phase.

At the three “Show-and-Tell” meetings that start Thursday, the Memphis 3.0 team will pore over every bit of those research trends — into areas like job growth, patterns of investment and demographics. The goal is for you to let the data sink in, so that we can make some more challenging decisions in a few months about how we want Memphis to grow.

The data — especially when you see it on a map of Memphis — is worth knowing. In fact, it frames the very challenges our community needs to address through Memphis 3.0. A history of slow growth; lack of planning for land use, density and transportation; and social and economic inequity deserve a clear and inclusive plan to guide our city into its third century  a century focused on expanding opportunity and prosperity.

These will not be decisions we’ll make in some conference room at City Hall. These meetings are in the open so that you can decide. That’s the beauty of this public input-heavy plan. So I encourage you to visit us at one of three meetings:

  • Thursday, June 22: Stax Museum, 926 E. McLemore, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 27: Ballet Memphis, 7950 Trinity Road, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 29: Brooks Museum, 1934 Poplar, 5:30-7 p.m.

Memphis 3.0 is a big deal; I can’t stress this enough. It will allow us to grow strategically, and allow us to plan for the best future for our city. This is a long-term investment of time and energy into the future of Memphis — which is exactly why you should take part.

Explore Memphis this summer: Did you know that a library card from our Memphis Public Library & Information Center will allow you free admission this summer to attractions like the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art? Learn more here.

Another big step for Memphis: You surely remember how excited I was about this time last year, when ServiceMaster announced its intention to keep its corporate headquarters — and 1,200 good jobs — in Memphis. It was a double-win of sorts, what with ServiceMaster moving to one of our highest-profile empty buildings Downtown, the former Peabody Place mall. Landing this deal was a major priority of my first few months in office.

On Thursday, ServiceMaster cut the ribbon on its innovation center — signaling the arrival of the first wave of employees that will occupy the building. The majority of move-ins are yet to come, but as of today, you can see some high-tech ServiceMaster employees doing what they do at the corner of B.B. King Boulevard and Peabody Place.

It’s a major statement not just for all of Memphis, but particularly for the momentum of tech jobs in our city.

Thanks again, ServiceMaster!

Recognition for Finance: We recently received the highest honor in the realm of government finance  the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting  for our comprehensive annual financial report. This is a significant accomplishment, and it’s a testament to how seriously the men and women of our Division of Finance  particularly Director Brian Collins and Budget Manager Richard Campbell  take their roles of stewards of your money.

Thanks, Kresge: As your mayor, I’ve come to appreciate even more the role of philanthropy in creating a better Memphis. City government can’t do it alone, after all.

That’s why I’m so grateful for our ongoing relationship with the national Kresge Foundation. As part of its American Cities practice, the Kresge Foundation this week announced $1.3 million in gifts to 10 local organizations that are working to make Memphis a better place.

In the top 10: GoodCall recently ranked 835 towns and cities across the country to determine which were the best cities for first responders  and we came in No. 8 among large cities!

GoodCall ranked cities for first responders based on salaries, the cost of living, available jobs, crime rate and other factors.

Coming next week: I’m so excited about Thursday’s My Brother’s Keeper Opportunity Summit, which will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Our administration sought this partnership with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which has delivered jobs, job training and other opportunities already in both Detroit and Oakland.

You’ll hear much more about this next week  and you’re probably already seeing a lot about it if you follow us on social media. Visit mbkamemphis.com to learn more.

Prayers for Laylah: We close this week on a somber note, and that’s the recent fatal shooting of 2-year-old Laylah Washington. I’m sure you’ve heard about it.

As a city, our hearts break for the family. And as your mayor, my heart hurts for the violence that claimed Laylah’s life, and the lives of others lost. This underscores exactly why reducing violent crime is our No. 1 priority  not just for the broader future of our city, but for the families like Laylah’s who are grieving today.

May Laylah rest in peace, and may God bless her family.

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