Weekly Update: Finalizing Pre-K, moving ahead on 100 N. Main


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Yesterday was a historic day in Memphis.

Why? We took the final step in the process for the City of Memphis to fund Pre-Kindergarten, part of the road to have universal, needs-based Pre-K countywide. It’s a game-changer for our city and community, one that will reap dividends across Memphis for years and years to come.

When I signed the ordinance into law yesterday morning (photo below), I was quick to point out that it would not have been possible without our 13 partners on the Memphis City Council. This was a joint proposal from the administration and the council, and it sailed through with no objection or controversy.

Chairman Berlin Boyd and council members Kemp Conrad and Patrice Robinson were instrumental in pushing it along.

Thank you.

Remember this: A child who can read at third grade level in the third grade has a 90 percent chance of graduating high school, whether they grew up in poverty or not. This investment in Pre-Kindergarten will increase the number of kids who are prepared for that crucial year. And we’ll see the positive impact from it when they leave high school with a diploma and are better prepared to take advantage of the opportunity in our city.

Here's our Thursday announcement.

And here's our article from March that explains how it'll work.

Signing Pre-K law

Also Thursday: It took something as big as Pre-K to knock this item from the top spot in today's Weekly Update, but it's still pretty impressive. We signed a letter of intent Thursday with an investment group to work on a deal that could bring the vacant 100 North Main tower Downtown back to life and add a second convention center hotel.

It’s a big deal, particularly when coupled with this group’s plans to build even more in the block surrounding 100 North Main. If we can complete this deal — and we’ll only do so if it makes sense for the City — we’ll have made a huge step in remaking the north end of Downtown. More than that, though, the new jobs and economic impact will have ripples throughout Memphis.

Stay tuned.

Another Manhood University class: I’ve written about our Manhood University program in this space before. It’s changing lives in Memphis by teaching men skills including conflict resolution, financial literacy, and how to find jobs.

A week ago, we graduated another 60 men from this program! I’m proud to see how Manhood University is changing lives in Memphis.

Thanks, Denise: A quick thank-you to Denise Pratt at First Pharmacy Services. She received a grant recently to be able to donate some 6,900 doses of Narcan to our police and fire employees. They’ll now have ample supplies of this drug to administer to overdose patients who are in dire need.

Pardon our paving progress: Our proposed 2018-19 budget makes a third consecutive increase in street paving — double what the City was doing just four years ago. Thanks to Joyce Peterson at WMC-TV for highlighting our increased paving work this week. As always, our paving map will show you where we plan to pave next.

Welcome to the Alliance: You probably heard that the Alliance of American Football chose Memphis as one of its host cities for the league, which begins play in 2019. I’m so glad the AAF has chosen to invest in Memphis.

As I said at Thursday’s news conference, the Alliance’s choice of Memphis only further confirms that outsiders see what we’ve been seeing for a while now: Memphis has momentum.

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