Weekly Update


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This past Monday, we started the fourth fiscal year since we came into office back in 2016. Plenty has changed since then — so much so that earlier this year, we were selected as just one of seven What Works Cities, “a U.S. standard of excellence in city governance.”

A few weeks back, I wrote in depth how we’ve worked to bring change to City government through the budgeting process. Just this week, we saw another piece of that change: Our contracted crews were laying down new asphalt on North Hollywood Street on just the third day of the fiscal year, thanks to our team changing processes back in the winter to accelerate paving projects.

On the first week of this fiscal year, a few more selected highlights of how we’ve worked and continue to work to improve City government:

  • We’ve hired more police officers in the past two years than the previous six years combined, and today have 170 more officers than our low point. After years of no pay increases, public safety employees have received raises ranging from 9.75 percent to 11.75 percent.
  • MATA now receives $5 million more in funding.
  • We’ve increased library operating hours and programming, and more than double the youth are participating in programming than were in 2016.
  • Seventy-five percent more young people have summer or year-round jobs.
  • Our pension is fully funded this year, the first time since 2006.
  • Our new Community Catalyst Fund and Affordable Housing Trust Fund are huge wins for all neighborhoods, bringing investment where our city needs it most.
  • Our 2018 initiative to have universal, needs-based Pre-K is well on its way to granting access to any child who needs it. Our partners at Shelby County and the school system have worked hard on it as well, and Pre-K is about to be a reality.
  • We’ve doubled street paving allocations from the levels of just five years ago. We’ve already paved more lane-miles this year than in each of the entire years of 2014 and 2015. Working with the City Council, we’ve increased paving funding every year.

Thanks in part to an efficient, committed City government that works to enable the private sector to thrive, job growth is happening. Wage growth in Shelby County is ahead of places like Dallas, Nashville, and Houston. And just this week, we learned our May employment statistics: Unemployment is at 4.0 percent, the 28th consecutive month under 6 percent; and now some 22,500 more Memphians are working than were in our first month in office.

Truly, Memphis has momentum.

Honoring America: Here’s hoping you had a wonderful Fourth of July! The American dream of opportunity and freedom has made this the greatest country in the world. The American spirit was alive and well when I visited celebrations in Greentrees, High Point Terrace, Kirby Woods, and The Village yesterday.

And while we’re at it, happy 40th birthday AutoZone! You're one of the best companies in the country, and I thank you for making Memphis home.


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