Weekly Update


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You probably know by now of our commitment to expanding City contracting with minority and women-owned businesses, and the larger work of leading on this issue in the wider community.

Today, I’m proud to share something we announced earlier this week: The massive transformation of the Memphis Cook Convention Center will result in almost $50 million in spending with MWBEs — a record high for a City project.

We’ve already been named the No. 1 city for black businesses. Our 800 Initiative is doing real work in building capacity for minority businesses. And 10 other cities recently came to Memphis to hear what we’ve been able to accomplish and our vision for more growth.

We will continue to push to grow this work, as it’s a primary way City government can help build economic equity for years to come. Our community must continue to grow the capacity and variety of minority-owned businesses, so that City government and the private sector have more choices to grow what we spend.

Summer stats: Now that summer break is over and school is back in session, it’s worth looking back at some numbers that show how active our City assets were in shaping the lives of young people this summer:

  • We had summer-long attendance of 33,385 young people in our Explore Memphis program at Memphis Public Libraries — up from 24,924 a year ago.
  • Roughly 10,000 young people came to our new Friday Night Lights events at our community centers.
  • We had summer-long attendance of 15,173 young people in Play Your Park — that’s the program we started last year with staffed, free play in selected parks.
  • 2,801 young people were participants in our community centers’ summer camps, which we made free a couple of years ago and include literacy education.

All of this represents big improvements over past years. We’ve reinvested in our community centers, libraries, and parks to positively affect the lives of our young people, and these numbers prove it’s paying off.

Go, Memphis Public Libraries!: Speaking of our libraries, we are in a national competition with other cities to increase digital literacy. Click here to learn more about how you can participate and increase your usage of digital literacy apps.

See you Aug. 31: Like many of you, my Memphis Tigers football season tickets arrived via FedEx this week. I've been a season ticket holder for more than 20 years. When the Tigers kick off in two weeks, you’ll see new features at City-owned Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, all in the name of providing the Tigers the best home field advantage possible. Go Tigers Go!

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