Weekly Update:


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We’ve been talking about our city’s momentum for a while now. This week, we’ve seen even more proof that folks outside Memphis are noticing it, too.


On Tuesday, it was announced that IRONMAN is bringing the newest IRONMAN 70.3 to Shelby Farms Park in October of next year. The course will feature a 1.2-mile swim, a 13.1 mile run inside the park, and a 56-mile bike ride that begins and ends in Shelby Farms, for a total 70.3-mile course.


And then yesterday, the City of Memphis and Renasant Bank announced that the Memphis convention and meetings facility will be renamed the Renasant Convention Center. The naming rights partnership, which takes effect immediately, runs for 10 years. The bank has the option to extend the naming rights for two additional five-year terms. 


The naming rights agreement provides guaranteed revenue for the City-owned building.  After the renovations are complete, Renasant’s logo will be featured on the exterior of the facility, complementing the all-new glass and paneled façade.




Any big project like this requires great partners, and we definitely have one in Renasant Bank. They see the vision and the momentum we have in our city and want to play a major role in our future. The Renasant Convention Center will be a building that Memphians can be proud of and visitors won’t want to leave.


Life’s about second chances: Reducing recidivism, and helping ex-offenders get back on their feet, has always been a priority and passion of ours. Four years ago, we partnered with the faith-based community and created Manhood University—a six-week program created to inspire men to build up their communities, find jobs, and create stronger relationships. During this program, participants learn to develop goal-setting, time management, financial literacy, conflict resolution, job readiness and communication skills. 


Over the last year, because of the success of Manhood University, we reallocated funds and created a women’s program called WOWS (Women Offering Women Support). This six-week program is delivered by community partners focusing on parenting philosophies, health and wellness, and financial literacy.


This past Friday and again on Saturday morning, I had the honor to speak to the most recent graduates of our Manhood and WOWS programs. To date, over 300 men have gone through our Manhood program and another 100 have gone through WOWS.


The future prosperity of our City depends on the investments we make in our citizens today, and I was proud to have been a part of their graduation ceremonies last week.


Memphis 3.0 Update: The Memphis 3.0 comprehensive plan process began in November 2016 and continued for more than two years. During that process, over 15,000 Memphians participated in hundreds of community meetings to share their input.


The plan was adopted as the City’s general plan for development by the Memphis & Shelby County Land Use Control Board in February and adopted by my Executive Order in May.


Since then, we’ve been busy, and I just wanted to give you a quick list of some of those completed items:

  • First round of expenditures from the Community Catalyst Fund were made on projects in the Raleigh (Austin Peay and Yale), Whitehaven (Elvis Presley and Raines), and Binghampton (Tillman Cove Apartments).
  • Launched the Community Coalition Building Program to support a greater level of community involvement in planning activities with the first areas of focus being Orange Mound and Binghampton.
  • Initiated the process to deploy first round of funding from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, giving priority to projects that are in and around plan anchor areas.
  • The Uptown TIF has been expanded to include three additional “nurture” anchors—New Chicago, Bickford area, and Smokey City. Eligible activities include single family rehabilitation, which was a major recommendation for this area.
  • MATA and the City were awarded a $12 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Memphis Innovation Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
  • The Memphis Fire Department has developed a facilities master plan that addresses coverage, population, resources, and response times.
  • Established free public wi-fi at all libraries and community centers.
  • Several vacant and dilapidated apartment complexes are in progress to be demolished in Whitehaven, Frayser, and Binghampton. They are all in or near anchor communities where district recommendations were to decrease blight and vacancy.

Public Safety: I just wanted to take a quick minute to applaud our 42 new Memphis police officers! This is an increase of 188 officers in the last 28 months.



And, I also want to congratulate the 29 firefighters who received promotions earlier this week.


On behalf of a grateful city, thank you for what you do every single day to keep us safe.


Changes: As we close in on the start of my second term, there will be some changes to my senior leadership team taking effect on Jan. 1.  Chief Legal Officer Bruce McMullen, will return to private practice full-time; Chief of Staff Lisa Geater, will retire from the city after 31 years; and Special Counsel to the Mayor Alan Crone, will also return private practice full-time.


Bruce was instrumental in the successful legal strategy to remove Confederate statues by selling two city parks to the local non-profit Memphis Greenspace. He increased the Division of Law’s spend with women and minority attorneys to 40 percent, and expanded the City’s efforts to fight blight and improve neighborhoods through our partnership with the University of Memphis School of Law.


Lisa has been invaluable to the City for more than three decades, serving with more than 45 City Council members during her tenure.  She has provided a steady hand and a calm voice through some of the most turbulent times in Memphis, smoothly transitioning into a leadership role in the mayor’s office to continue to shape the progress of our City.


Alan led our legislative efforts in Nashville, including helping to resolve the de-annexation issue.  He has given direction in our development agreement with Loews Hotels and has guided our process on the reimagining of the riverfront.


Through my first term, I had the honor to be surrounded by some of the most talented and dedicated public servants to champion our city. Bruce, Lisa and Alan, have been an integral part of my team, and their work and counsel have had an incredible, positive impact on city government and me personally. It’s with profound gratitude that I wish them well in all their future endeavors.


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