Weekly Update: A time to Invest in Memphis

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Each week, we talk with leaders at the state level multiple times. One of the main messages we deliver regarding vaccine distribution is: “Send us as much as you can, and we will find a way to put it into arms,” and we absolutely mean those words. See the article featuring our Chief Operating Officer, Doug McGowen, for more information on this.

But, the reality is that the fault is not with the state or local governments, it lies with the manufacturers of the vaccines. In at least two news reports this morning, it was stated that vaccines will most likely be in shorter supply through March of this year.

All that to say, once supplies normalize—I want you to know we are ready to deliver vaccinations as quickly as possible to everyone in Memphis and Shelby County who wants to receive it.

But, in the meantime—be patient with us and know that we’re working as hard and as fast as we can to get shots into willing arms.

A time to Invest in Memphis: As you may have seen last night, I delivered my annual State of the City address.

In this year’s remarks, I covered three main topics 1) a recap of the past year and the road ahead, 2) a new violence intervention program, and lastly, 3) a transformative investment in Memphis.

Our new violence intervention program, Group Violence Intervention Program (GVIP), is a comprehensive and collaborative initiative aimed directly at interrupting the cycle of violent crime by adding new and significant resources to that work. GVIP has been developed from evidence based practices that have been demonstrated to work in other cities. At its core, it is a collaboration between innovative policing and focused deterrence work. It will be complemented by other non-police agencies who will perform intense violence interruption, intervention, prevention and outreach to the hundreds of individuals we know who are committing most of the crimes and the most at-risk youth.

Furthermore, needed services for those individuals and their families who are most likely to shoot or to be shot will be provided, (assuming they agree to turn away from criminal activities). These services will be designed to support the individual’s decision not to commit further crimes and to choose the right path in life. This is a targeted, more comprehensive approach directed at those committing the violent and other more serious crimes.

In addition to GVIP, we announced a major new project, Accelerate Memphis: Invest in Neighborhoods, an unprecedented $200 million investment in catalytic community projects in every neighborhood and every city council district from Smokey City to Orange Mound, Raleigh to Whitehaven, Klondike to South Memphis. This project will help restart our pre-pandemic momentum and accelerate our growth by improving the overall quality of life of Memphians and will help solve many of the stubborn problems we’ve experienced that are deeper than any single yearly budget can solve.

Over the last year, we have been dealt more fear, anxiety, and tragedy than many of us have experienced in our entire lifetimes. But, know this—I can honestly and whole-heartedly tell you I believe the future of Memphis is brighter now than it ever has been, and these projects are just the beginning.

New partnership, old partner: On Tuesday, we announced a new partnership with Kroger that will focus on second chances for those in our community who need them most.

For participants who have completed either Manhood University or our Women Offering Women Support (WOWS) program, Kroger has agreed to give them an opportunity for hire within their company.

In a time when good paying jobs are hard to come by for people with good credentials, imagine how difficult it must be for someone not so fortunate.

Kroger has always been such a great partner with us on so many other occasions, and I’m so excited about this new opportunity to help our Manhood and WOWS participants who have taken the time to better their lives.

Manhood University and WOWS were both created to help build character, improve communication, and strengthen leadership skills for men and women in Memphis. These programs are implemented by the Office of Community Affairs and the faith based community partners. The course is facilitated by participating churches and held at their individual locations.

New sessions of both programs will be starting February 9th. To register for Manhood University, go here. To register for WOWS, go here. For more information about this new partnership and who qualifies for participation, please reach out to the Office of Community Affairs at 901.521.2836.

Union Avenue MPD Precinct Development Opportunity: If you’re a developer or you know someone who is, you’re going to want to keep reading.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that the former Union Avenue police precinct located at 1925 Union is on the market for a private development opportunity. The former MPD Complex is comprised of two buildings totaling approximately 34,581 square feet located on roughly 3.65 acres. The former police precinct and auto repair building is 32,900 square feet and the freestanding motorcycle repair building is 1,681 square feet.

We are seeking sealed bid offers for the purchase and redevelopment of the property. This is a rare opportunity to own a major parcel of land right in the heart of Midtown.

For more information on the property and the sales process, please go here.

Enjoy your weekend!


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