Weekly Update

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You hear the word “partnerships” often said by government officials. I want to highlight some of our best partnerships—active neighborhood associations!


This past Monday night, I met with the North Parkway-Forrest Neighborhood Watch Association.  Association president, Mary Warren, and other residents reported dangerous and illegal activities inside the now-closed Carnes Elementary School. They also mentioned high grass and mounds of trash and debris behind the building.

By 9:30 the next morning, residents witnessed the Memphis Police Department arresting five people-- three wanted on felony charges. Memphis Code Enforcement officers were also there noting the building conditions. Before lunchtime, Memphis Shelby County Schools had been alerted about the blight and security issues.

I commend Colonel Dennis McNeil, Major Alvin Clark, and officers from the North Main Station along with Memphis Public Works Director, Robert Knecht, and Memphis Code Enforcement officers, as well as Steve Shular my Special Assistant for Neighborhood Concerns. They demonstrated “partnership” in action. It’s a commitment we’ll continue with neighborhood association leaders across our city.

Enough is enough:  Between 1/1/22 – 5/31/23, MPD arrested almost 2,400 people for car theft and theft from cars. I have written about this issue here, here and here just to name a few.

While the system is not transparent and complete data is nearly impossible to calculate, veteran prosecutors and many real examples indicate that few—if any—of these criminals are punished or rehabilitated. I’m sick of it, and I know you are too, but the only way it will change is by stopping the “Revolving Door” that is too often our criminal justice system. It will take everyone—city, county, state government, and the general public—working together to do it.

President Lincoln said, “In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed.” This is still true today. Please let your voices be heard.

An unnecessary burden: I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but as we’re nearing the end of budget season, I want to reiterate my stance—we do not need a property tax increase. In July of 2026—three years away—City government will experience a dramatic reduction in our annual debt service payments by roughly $50 million a year that will go back directly to the general fund.

As it stands today, we already have the highest combined city/county taxes in the state. See below for reference.


With some type of tax increase (either wheel tax or property tax) imminently coming from Shelby County government, to raise your City property tax by 10 percent (or any amount at this time) is unnecessary and overly burdensome to our citizens and to potential economic development opportunities in our area for years to come.

A good visit: Earlier this week, the City of Memphis Multicultural Advisory Board hosted Consul General Yoichi Matsumoto, Consul Shoko Matsuoka, and Ms. Nola Novak for its June board meeting in the University of Memphis Senate Chamber. The meeting took place alongside a tour of the Rose Theater which will be the venue for the upcoming screening of the movie "Persona Non Grata", a movie that portrays Chiune Sugihara, the only Japanese individual recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, for his heroic efforts during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination.


This screening, sponsored by the Consul General and hosted by the Multicultural Advisory Board, will take place on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at the Rose Theater as an extension of the Memphis Japan Festival and International Day of Tolerance celebration.

New Memphis Firefighters: Yesterday, I was happy to welcome 24 firefighters to the Memphis Fire Department, one of the best in the country.


Many of these graduates served as firefighters in other states, and we are thankful they moved to our community.

Enjoy your weekend!


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