Weekly Update

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Before I get too far down the road in this week’s Update, I want to congratulate the new mayor of our city, Paul Young. With his many years of experience in public service, I know he will do an excellent job as mayor. He is someone I am honored to call a friend, and I could not be happier for him as he enters this next important chapter of his career and for what I know he will do for our city.

Congratulations to our city council winners below:

District 1: Rhonda Logan

District 4: Jana Swearengen-Washington

District 5: Philip Spinosa

District 6: Edmund Ford, Sr.

District 8 Pos. 1: JB Smiley

District 8 Pos. 2: Janika White

District 8 Pos. 3: Yolanda Cooper-Sutton

District 9 Pos. 1: Chase Carlisle

District 9 Pos. 2: Ford Canale

District 9 Pos. 3: Jeff Warren

Good luck to candidates in the run-off elections:

District 2: Jerri Green and Scott McCormick

District 3: James Kirkwood and Pearl Eva Walker

District 7: Michalyn Easter-Thomas and Jimmy Hassan

You've won hard-fought races, and speaking from experience, I know you’re tired but ready to get to work for a city we all love.

While I am still in office over the next three months, our administration will do everything in our power to ensure you have all the information and tools necessary to be successful when you officially start this journey after your swearing-in on January 1, 2024.

To all the candidates who ran in this year’s election—thank you. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Thank you for all the hours of work I know you put in to try and make a difference in our city. Please stay involved and please keep giving back. We need you. Our city needs you.

Fiber (and not the kind folks my age are thinking about):  Last week, I wrote about the incredible opportunity we have to provide the fastest internet connection available, fiber-optic cable (“fiber”), throughout our entire city. Over the next few weeks, I will highlight the different benefits provided through this incredible opportunity.

This week – economic development.  Let’s take a look at Chattanooga. 

In 2011, Chattanooga made fiber available to most of the city at one gigabit per second speed.  In 2015, the speed was increased to 10 gigabits per second, and last year, they increased the speed to 25 gigabits. One of the unique benefits of fiber is that the speeds can continually be increased as needed.

Chattanooga bills itself as “the world’s fastest community-wide internet.”

Has universal fiber helped Chattanooga?  According to a study from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, “the economic value of the fiber high-speed broadband and the smart grid, minimally exceeds $2.69 billion and 9,516 jobs over the period 2011-2020.  The jobs represent 40 percent of all jobs created in Hamilton County in that period.”

Not only will fiber help overall job growth in our city, but it will also help economic development throughout every neighborhood in Memphis.

As you may recall, we created the first comprehensive plan for the city in 40 years with Memphis 3.0. One of the purposes of this plan was to promote private investment in neighborhoods that have suffered disinvestment for decades.  We then created Accelerate Memphis, in part, to kick start the infrastructure investments into these forgotten neighborhoods that are needed to improve quality of life and attract private investment.

To entice an insurance agency or retail shop, the infrastructure (roads, lighting, etc.) needs to be in good shape.  One key piece of modern infrastructure is high speed fiber internet service. 

Here is a great example of what I’m referring.  Pastor Ricky Floyd has been working for years to revitalize the Frayser community.  He details how the current poor internet service is hampering the ability for commercial ventures to thrive in the neighborhood.

Right now, we have the unique opportunity to be one of the first large cities to have the “fastest community-wide internet” in the country. We are presenting the ordinance that will empower this type of innovation to the city council next Tuesday, and we will keep you up to date we move forward.

To learn more, go here.

Congratulations: I’m so happy to welcome the 37 new firefighters who recently graduated from Fire Academy Recruit Class 122.


Their class motto "All in. All heart. All day" is in accord with the character of your Memphis Fire Department. Welcome to the team!

Enjoy your weekend!


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