Weekly Update

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Over the last couple weeks, I’ve written a few times in this space (and we were recently recognized by the White House for our work in this area) about our Opportunity Memphis R3 program. As a reminder, it is geared towards opportunity youth (ages 16-24, not in school and unemployed), and it offers a guided path to further their education or prepare them for workforce readiness.


I want to take moment in this week’s Update to share another story to demonstrate the importance of this program and the impact it is having on those who go through it.


Samina Taylor lost her mom ten years ago to a senseless act of violence. She was only ten years old. In her life, this determined young lady has experienced things most of us can’t imagine. But despite her struggles, she continues to fight to make her mom proud.


Through our program, she was able to shadow at Riverview PreK - 8th grade school and is determined to become an educator one day. She has recently applied to Southwest Tennessee Community College for the Fall, and we are looking forward to an acceptance letter any day now.


Trust and courage are traits that many of us had time to develop over the course of lives, but not everyone is given that luxury. Ms. Taylor shows us the true importance of why these two traits must be earned, guarded, and protected. While Samina is still in the process of rebuilding, I have no doubt that she will be an amazing educator one day soon.


Most of our program participants are overcoming significant obstacles, and I admire their effort. Samina and all our participants, thank you for your hard work. Keep it up!


Brighter days ahead: Last year, I told you about our plan to convert all 84,000 streetlights in Memphis to LED bulbs. At the time, I had just tasked our team with this important project, and we were in the early stages of soliciting bids from companies to work with us and MLGW to begin the process. Now, we’re ready to start the work.


By doing this, we will be bringing much needed and significantly improved lighting to every neighborhood in Memphis. See the images below for examples of a “before and after” from similar projects across the country.





Increased and better lighting is helpful for navigation, and more importantly, it serves as a deterrence for criminal activity. With these new lights, no longer will criminals have safe harbor to operate under cover of darkness and prey on our citizens in dimly lit parts of the city. Stay tuned for more updates as we move forward with this important project.


Hitting the links: The FedEx St. Jude Championship recently announced the inaugural Soul-in-One Celebration, which highlights Memphis music, food, fashion, and culture. This event will kick-off Memphis’ annual PGA TOUR stop on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at TPC Southwind.


This year marks Memphis’ first time hosting a FedExCup Playoffs event as golf’s postseason begins at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. With this elite event played in the hometown of both FedEx and St. Jude, we as Memphians should show our pride and join in on the fun during the Soul-in-One Celebration.


The Soul-in-One Celebration is open for the public to enjoy from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tournament Drive located between No. 13 green and No. 14 at TPC Southwind. This will be a great showcase of our city to fans locally, nationally, and globally as a day dedicated to highlighting the heart of our city.


National Intern Day: Yesterday, we celebrated national intern day at City Hall.




Through our internship program, we’re able to give these young people a realistic look into what it means to dedicate your career to being a public servant. I was happy to be able to spend some time with the group to offer some words of encouragement and to share my thoughts on service and what it’s like to serve our community through the mayor’s office.


Enjoy your weekend!




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