Weekly Update

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Each year at this time for the last seven years, I present the City’s proposed operating and CIP budgets for the coming year to city council.  This past Tuesday was the last time I do that. Over the course of the last eight years, we have faced some difficult times, which required difficult decisions and difficult financial choices.  But through it all, we have persevered, and the City of Memphis continues to make progress and gain ground, not only in our employment and tourism levels, but also in significant capital investments in every neighborhood across this great City.

Below are just a few notable items included in this year’s proposed operating and CIP budgets:

  • 14 percent pay increase to public safety employees (making them the highest paid in our area)
  • More funding for youth and youth programming
  • Increased funding for MATA
  • A new library to replace the old Levi Branch Library
  • Whitehaven STEM project
  • The Red Zone (Opportunity Zone)
  • $55 million five-year investment in the future of law enforcement, public safety, and transparency in field operations

I went into the field of public service to leave a city I love a little better off than when we came into office in 2016. While there are still issues to solve and problems to fix, in many ways, I believe we have done just that.

To read my full remarks, go here 

Gold Star Families:  On Wednesday afternoon with the assistance of the Woody Williams Foundation, the City of Memphis and generous Memphis sponsors, dedicated a memorial monument at Liberty Park right outside of the Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

 gold STAR

The Liberty Park Gold Star Families Memorial Monument will provide a place for Gold Star Families to gather in honor and remembrance of their loved ones and educate members of the community and all visitors to the monument about Gold Star Families and the sacrifices made by their loved ones in service to our nation.

 If you have a chance, swing by Liberty Park and check it out.

 A week full of events: This week I attended several events which show that programs for people of all ages are important investments in the quality of life for everyone.

First, last Saturday, I met with the families of the 14 – 15-year-old students in our summer program MPLOY.  Director Ike Griffith and the team at the Office of Youth Services provide these teens various career path options according to the participants’ strengths and interests, including soft skills training, entry-level positions, and internships.


We have doubled the number of positions for teens to be a part of MPLOY to 2,000.  For more information, go here.

 Also, on Saturday, I attended another HopeWorks Breakfast, which is held annually to fundraise for their life-changing work transforming people from prison inmates upon release to productive citizens with family-supporting careers.  How about these recidivism rates? 

 Nationally – 63%

Tennessee – 43%

HopeWorks – 9% for all reentry programs and 3% for those coming out of the Shelby County Detention Center


HopeWorks works.  For more information, go here.

On Monday night, I again attended the annual National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Memphis Chapter Annual Dinner where 12 high school and 2 college football players were honored “who are exceptional athletes and also excel academically.”  Also, Coach Gene Robinson of Germantown High School was awarded the Rex Award in memory of Coach Rex Dockery as an outstanding high school coach and leader of young men.


As I have said before, every teen needs to be in an after-school activity because it helps them grow into responsible, prepared adults.  To learn more about the City’s after-school activities, please go here and here

Enjoy your weekend and Go Grizz!!


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