Weekly Update


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Plenty of statistics make a clear case for the value of mentoring — like how at-risk youth are 55 percent more likely to attend college if they’ve had a mentor.

But it’s hard for numbers to make a better case than the one made by Memphis State great Elliot Perry in Geoff Calkins’ Daily Memphian column this week.

Won’t you heed Elliot’s request? Visit grizzliesfoundation.com and make a real, 1-on-1 impact on our city.

Remember the road: Last week in this space, we went in-depth on how we’re attacking potholes — both in our response and in how we’ve increased repaving.

It’s also worth reminding you how many of the most prominent streets in our city are actually maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. You probably know that includes the interstates (I-40, I-240, I-55), but this list of state routes also includes:

  • Bill Morris Parkway
  • Covington Pike
  • Danny Thomas Boulevard/Thomas Street
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east of Second
  • East Parkway/part of Airways Boulevard
  • E.H. Crump Boulevard
  • Elvis Presley Boulevard/Bellevue Boulevard south of Union
  • Germantown Parkway
  • Getwell Road/New Getwell Road south of I-240
  • Jackson Avenue
  • Lamar Avenue
  • North Parkway/A.W. Willis Avenue east of Second
  • Poplar Avenue east of East Parkway
  • Second Street south of Chelsea Avenue
  • Shelby Drive east of Third Street
  • Stage Road
  • State Route 300 — I-40/Thomas Street connector
  • Summer Avenue
  • Third Street/B.B. King Boulevard
  • Union Avenue east of Second
  • Walnut Grove Road west of I-240
  • Weaver Road south of Shelby Drive

You can report these potholes by calling 684-5467.

We’ll also share with TDOT reports of potholes on state routes that come to us. So, as usual, please report in one of three ways:

  1. Call 3-1-1 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  2. Visit 311.memphistn.gov
  3. Use the Memphis 311 app

Free tax prep: Our partnership with the United Way of the Mid-South to offer free tax prep services kicks off tomorrow with an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. marathon at Southland Mall in Whitehaven. If you earned less than $55,000 in 2018, you may qualify.

Last year, United Way Free Tax Prep helped bring in over $12.08 million in refunds and some $4.27 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. You can learn more here or by calling 2-1-1.

Pension info: A few months back, we were approached by Epicenter about the possibility of investing $10 million of pension money into a fund for startups. Our chief financial officer referred this to our pension experts, who gave it a thorough study and advised against it. As a result, our CFO will not present this proposal to the committee that directs our investments.

Please know that, contrary to the way this was framed in one local media outlet, pension investment decisions never reach the mayor’s desk — for sound, logical reasons. I had and have no input in how we invest our pension money.

The local startup scene is important, and Epicenter is doing good work in this space. We’ll continue to look for ways we can partner — such as the 800 Initiative.

State of the City: I’ll be delivering the annual State of the City address Monday at 6 p.m. at the Links at Whitehaven. If you can’t come, I encourage you to follow along via the live stream, in real-time on Twitter, or by reading the full text we’ll post on the website immediately after.

We’ll be making some exciting new announcements. We’ll also be taking stock of the progress we’ve made on our challenges — and the hard work that remains. I’ve always said that my job is to celebrate our city’s progress while remaining clear-eyed about our challenges, and that’s exactly how I approach speeches like these.

Listen up: A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege to sit down with Madison and Joshua from Vision Prep Elementary for their podcast, Due South. I was so impressed with both students, and we had a great time doing the interview. Check it out here.

Honoring Dr. King: Across our city Monday, people found all kinds of ways to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here at City Hall, we hosted an event of our own — the Luminary Awards. We honored 1968 sanitation workers with Luminary Awards last year. This year, we chose 10 women who have long been involved in the fight for change in our city. (Otis Sanford has a nice read on the event and a list of the honorees here.)

I was proud to honor them all, just as I know you are proud that they stand beside us in our great city.

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