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Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update: April 12, 2019
Weekly Update: On crime, our upcoming budget, and improving trash service
Posted on 04/12/2019

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By now, you already know some of what will be in our 2019-20 budget proposal, which I’ll present to the City Council Tuesday. We’ve already talked about the 3 percent pay increase for public safety employees, the groundbreaking Community Catalyst Fund, the doubling of re-entry work, increased summer jobs for youth, and the fact that I will not propose a tax increase.

There’s more good stuff to come.

I’m proud of this budget, as it will fund new items and initiatives that will continue to accelerate the momentum of this special time in our city’s history — and continue the change you asked me to deliver four years ago.

Look for the news reports on the budget Tuesday. We’ll also send out a special email, and we’ll live-tweet my remarks at @MayorMemphis starting at 3:30 p.m.

Continuing the crime fight: The long-term reduction of violent crime remains priority No. 1 at City Hall, just like it is priority No. 1 for you. Our budget presentation next week will show that, but so have our actions these past three years.

A quick status report:

  • Rebuilding MPD: We’re at 2,081 officers today, up from 1,909 almost two years ago. We have 71 recruits training at the academy right now, and about 100 police service technicians who act as force multipliers.
  • Enabling our youth: From more summer jobs, free summer and spring break camps, increased library programming, and staffed play in parks, City government is intervening in the lives of young people like never before. On Tuesday, I’ll announce even more.
  • Building economic opportunity: Our new and increased programming for minority business growth has drawn national praise, and last year Memphis had the No. 1 job growth among major metro areas when compared to its 10-year average.
  • Seeking stiffer sentences for violent crime: We’ve been successful at seeking tougher state laws for violent felons possessing firearms, and have strengthened our partnership with the U.S. Attorney to increase prosecutions of violent crimes in the tougher federal system. I’ve also asked the state legislature to enhance penalties for road rage shootings.
  • Reducing recidivism: We’ve expanded Manhood University and created a new program for women, which, when coupled with the County’s work, means a doubling of efforts in the community for re-entry and skills building.

Following through on Elvis Presley Boulevard: When we took office, the 2012 plan to rehab Elvis Presley Boulevard — an important street for citizens and tourists alike — hadn’t gone very far. We dug in, worked on the tedious right-of-way issues, and this week I was proud to be at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the first phase of the project. It will totally remake Elvis Presley Boulevard, from resurfacing to sidewalks to streetscape improvements.

911 improvements: This week, Memphis became the first city in the state to implement a text-to-911 service, which can be a critical resource for reporting emergency situations. If you can, call 9-1-1. But if not, send a text.

We’ve shared plenty in this space about how 911 service has drastically improved the past three years, and this is another step forward. Thanks to Michael Spencer and our amazing crew members for improving how we serve Memphians.

Fixing trash service: Improving our solid waste service has been a priority of yours and of mine the past couple of years, and I’m proud to say we’ve made the right moves — like hiring unfilled positions and securing new equipment — that will make solid waste service better for you.

Here are the quick points you need to know:

  • Weekly garbage cart and recycling cart service is unchanged.
  • On your regular day for that service, you can put up to two bags of yard waste next to those carts, and we’ll pick them up.
  • Twice a month, though, also on your regular day, we’ll pick up more — items like big branches, lots of bags of leaves, old appliances, etc.
  • Waste Pro will continue to be the contractor in Cordova and parts of Hickory Hill.

You'll be receiving a magnet with all of this information, including which weeks we'll pick up your bulk items, in the mail soon.

The new service will start May 1.

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Each Friday, Mayor Jim Strickland sends his Weekly Update email. It's a recap of events from the week, a celebration of Memphis' successes, and a frank look at our challenges. To receive the Weekly Update in your inbox, sign up here.

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