Weekly Update

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As you may have seen this past Tuesday, history was made at your Memphis Police Department. For the first time ever, the department will be led by a woman. It’s also the first time since 1978 that someone from outside the department will lead our officers, and that special someone is Chief CJ Davis.

We’re at a critical point in policing, and Chief Davis has the experience, the compassion, and the vision to improve our department. She will begin her new position in Memphis on June 14th.

Thank you to the City Council for its approval earlier this week and to her sisters at Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for being there in support of Chief Davis.

chief davis and mayor

chief davis

For a brief bio on Chief CJ Davis, you can go here.

Supporting those who support us: Recently, I presented City Council with an operating budget for next year of nearly $716 million. It is limited in growth from this year’s budget, but I believe it balances the challenges we face in what still remains a very uncertain time. In the same instance, this budget acknowledges the hard work our city employees, particularly police and fire, have done over the last year and continue to perform today.

Originally, I had proposed a two percent raise for all commissioned members of our police and fire departments, and I am still proposing that raise. In addition to that two percent and with the help of American Rescue Plan Act funds and an unexpected increase in sales tax revenues within the public safety referendum fund, the employee associations and I agreed to a 9% bonus of basic salary for all sworn police and fire personnel to be paid out over two installments—this summer and winter. And, we will follow that up with a retention program with the opportunity for another 9% payout in both 2022 and 2023. Although we cannot offer the same retention program to all employees, we have proposed a one-time bonus for all other City of Memphis employees.

Together with the moderate pay raise that is proposed, we believe that this will make us much more competitive in recruiting talent and will be a significant influence on retaining valuable and experienced members of both police and fire.

Two very important notes—this is budget neutral to the City’s general fund and was accomplished with the assistance of the employee associations.

Honored by Congress: Earlier this week, Memphis 3.0, the City’s first comprehensive plan for growth since 1981, was selected by Congress to receive the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) 2021 Charter Award in the Metropolis, City, and Town category. CNU’s Charter Awards are recognized as the nation’s top award for urban design, placemaking, and community building.

Thanks to John Zeanah and the Division of Planning and Development for the hundreds of meetings and the thousands of Memphians who participated in them to make this plan a reality.

Excellence in Economic Development: For the second year in a row, the economic development efforts of EDGE and the Greater Memphis Chamber have been recognized as one of the nation's top 25 economic development partnerships receiving the prestigious Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development.

Commencement: On Tuesday of this past week, I had the pleasure to do something I haven’t done in over a year—speak in person to a graduating class. My good friends from the Southern College of Optometry reached out earlier this year to ask if I could give the commencement address to the class of 2021, and I gladly accepted.


As an added bonus of speaking to the graduates, the college surprised me with an honorary degree. I don’t think it qualifies me to start giving free eye exams, but still very thoughtful of them to include me in this special moment for the school and its students.

Vaccines: As a reminder—vaccines are still the best way to combat the pandemic and get us back to normal. For information and locations to get your shot, you can go here.

As I close out this week’s Update, I want to say happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers out there, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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