Weekly Update

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Over the last several months, I’ve written in this space many times about the need for severe consequences for violent offenders. And I strongly stand by that sentiment.


In fact, here is yet another example of the weak current Tennessee law on violent criminals; a man convicted in 2019 for killing someone was released before he served his full sentence, and sadly, killed another man after his release. Fortunately, this law changed this year and takes effect today.


But, as I have also written about many times—we must give those in our community who want turn their lives around a second chance and a real opportunity to make it happen.


It’s why we created Manhood University and WOWS (Women Offering Women Support). These programs help to build character, improve communication, and strengthen leadership skills for men and women. They are administered through our Office of Community Affairs in conjunction with faith based community partners and held at their individual church locations.


Since inception, 1,066 men have graduated from our Manhood program that started in 2016. From January—June of this year, 155 have graduated, 76 are now employed, and 11 were hired by the City of Memphis.


Since its creation in 2019, 277 women have graduated from WOWS. From January—June of 2022, 51 have graduated, 29 have found employment, and three were hired by the City of Memphis.


Additionally, we have helped 179 individuals reinstate their driver’s license to the tune of $177,000, and we have completed 2,889 expungements to help enable a clean slate for those who need it.


Another area of focus has been our Public Service Corps. This program targets those having difficulty finding a job, specifically those with criminal records, and offers part-time employment opportunities to serve the community through various blight remediation efforts around Memphis. The end goal is to transition them to a career or educational opportunity. We have a complement of 100 Corps members, but only have 25 currently in the program. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, you can do so here.


Lastly, we recently launched Opportunity Memphis R3 (Rethinking, Rebuilding, Rebranding). This program is geared towards opportunity youth (ages 16-24, not in school and unemployed) and offers a guided path to further their education or prepare them for workforce readiness. To-date, we have had 29 participants, with 24 of those either enrolled in school, are awaiting admission to school ,working, or received State certifications.


The overwhelming majority of those who go to prison will sooner or later be back out in society. It’s incumbent upon all of us to help make sure they have the opportunity to choose the right path and the skills and support they need to stay on track.


136th Police Recruit Graduation: Rebuilding the Memphis Police Department has been one of the most complex and intensive issues we’ve worked on during our time in the mayor’s office. Last night, I had the distinct honor to welcome and congratulate 70 men and women to the Best in Blue, and starting tomorrow, another class of over 100 will be going through the academy.




So, again to our new graduates—congratulations and know this: My office is behind you, and all of our city is behind you.


Hoopin’ it up: As you can imagine, many days in this office are filled with serious meetings working to solve challenges or growing opportunities in our city. But somedays, you get to do something that is just plain cool.


This past Tuesday was one of those days. In partnership with Coca Cola and BODYARMOR, we are in the process of refurbishing 13 of our outdoor basketball courts (and two tennis courts), and we held the reopening of the basketball court at Halle Stadium hosting 100 of our summer campers that day for a clinic.


The kicker—global NBA superstar and Memphis Grizzly, Ja Morant, was the special guest.


The minute he stepped out of his car all the campers went nuts. It was a day those children will never forget (and neither will I).




Ja could not have been more generous with his time, and Memphis is lucky to call him one of our own. It makes me even more excited about what the Grizzlies will accomplish next season.


For more information about summer activities, you can go here.


Happy 4th of July: I hope you, your family and friends have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Please be careful if you’re out and about.


Stay cool and enjoy your weekend!




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