Weekly Update

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If you haven’t gotten yours, there’s no better time than the present to get it done.

As restrictions continue to be lifted, it’s more important now to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated. To date, nearly 40 percent of Shelby Countians have received at least one shot, and we’re kicking it into overdrive to help make sure those numbers continue to increase.

We know for many (even though wait times are short and locations are plentiful) it’s still not always convenient to get in your car, head out to one of our vaccine locations, and get your shot. So, we’re taking our efforts to an even more grassroots level. Much like I did in my campaigns for political office, we will be going into the neighborhoods knocking on doors, phone banking, and directly targeting those zip codes with lower vaccination rates to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to be protected from COVID-19.

A crack in the system: As everyone has seen by now, the Hernando DeSoto Bridge (I-40 bridge) has been shut down indefinitely by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) because of a fracture in one of the steel beams in the center of the bridge.

To remind everyone, TDOT is the lead agency in this operation, and the City of Memphis stands ready to further help in any way we can. Our administration has been in constant communication with state and federal officials since the discovery of the fracture on the I-40 bridge. As it stands, traffic is moving around the city smoothly, but residents and visitors may encounter slow-moving traffic in some areas.

The I-40 bridge is extremely important to our region and the nation as it a major artery for interstate (roughly 50,000 cars and trucks a day) and river commerce. To put the importance of river traffic into perspective, we’re the fourth-largest inland port in the nation. In 2018, the total weight of products that moved from Memphis was 11,056,000 tons. The total on the Mississippi River in 2018, from Minnesota to the Gulf, was 557,577,000 tons.

All that to say, the importance of understanding the seriousness of the situation and getting a timeline for use is imperative. Please be assured that all appropriate agencies are working to restore the bridge as quickly as possible.

As an aside and not to get political, but this should serve as one major reminder that our country’s infrastructure is aging and needed repairs are inevitable. I hope the federal government can find a bipartisan solution to this increasingly pressing issue for us here locally and for the nation as a whole.

New leadership at Memphis firm: Former Chief Legal Officer for the City of Memphis and my good friend, Bruce McMullen, was named Managing Shareholder for Baker Donelson’s Memphis offices. With over 25 years of complex litigation experience defending large corporations and businesses, Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge to this role, and I couldn’t be happier for him.

Congratulations Bruce!

City of Memphis blood drive: This week the City of Memphis and Memphis Fire Department have been volunteering and donating blood through Vitalant (formerly LifeBlood).

The turnout has been amazing and beyond expectations. Many thanks to Melundee Scott with the City of Memphis team and Deputy Director Colin Burress with the Memphis Fire Department team for their efforts.


Every donation saves up to three lives. If you or someone you know would like to donate blood, you can find a location here.

Never Forget: I was honored today to take part in our annual memorial program for those law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. In 2020, three officers died from COVID-19—Patrolman Bobby Montgomery of the Memphis Police Department, and Deputy Jailer J. Smith and Captain A. Jackson of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Our thoughts and gratitude are with the families of these public servants who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our community.

Have a great weekend!


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