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Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update: Feb. 15, 2019
Weekly Update: What the FedEx Logistics move says about Memphis
Posted on 02/15/2019

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Friends,


Tuesday was an amazing day for Memphis.

We saw one of our great corporate citizens, FedEx, plant its flag Downtown, quickly followed by yet another announcement of modern development that fits our “build up, not out” philosophy.

Yes, Memphis has momentum — but you knew that already.

Here are a few more takeaways from Tuesday that I want to share:

  • The FedEx Logistics move isn’t only a move of jobs from elsewhere in town. In fact, 339 of the more than 650 jobs that will eventually inhabit the old Gibson Guitar building are moving here from other cities.
  • The Economic Growth Engine of Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE), which executes on these deals, reports an expectation of $43.6 million in local tax revenue that will come as a result of this deal.
  • Downtown is on a roll, with roughly 2,500 in good, economy-of-the-future jobs landing in a five-block stretch of B.B. King Boulevard in just a little over a year. ServiceMaster’s move of 1,200 jobs into the old Peabody Place mall, secured in 2016 after we at City Hall got directly involved, has sparked a renaissance that continues.
  • Somera Road, partners in the Gibson building and the plans for the Clipper development next door, is out of New York City. So is the Tisch family, which plans to build the new Loews Hotel by the convention center. And many of the investors behind the massive, $950 million Union Row project are from out of town. I celebrate this, as it shows that Memphis is proving itself to be a promising market for investment. This continued growth of our reputation will help us unlock even more investment.

Making progress: Just yesterday, EDGE announced at its board meeting that the minimum wage for a job to be incentivized is increasing from $12 an hour to $13 an hour — a substantive move forward for equity that EDGE CEO Reid Dulberger and I worked to achieve.

This puts our incentivized wage at almost $2 higher than the living wage for Shelby County, which is $11.02 an hour.

Hard at work: Monday’s heavy rains brought more potholes, so we had 10 crews out this week filling as many as possible. We normally have two crews during non-winter months. I say thank you to these hard-working City employees, and I ask that you give them room to work when you encounter them on the road.

I encourage you to join the nearly 9,000 of your fellow citizens who have downloaded the Memphis 311 app to report potholes quickly. In January alone, 742 potholes were reported via the app — more than double the same month last year. To download the app, visit the App Store for Apple devices or the Google Play store for Android devices, tap 'Install,' and start reporting potholes.

It’s that easy, and it works.

Public safety update: As we continue to rebuild our police staffing, as well as implement so many other parts of our holistic strategy to reduce crime, we’re seeing encouraging signs.

For instance, we’re down about 7 percent in Part I (the more serious) crimes at this point this year compared to last year, thanks in large part to reductions in auto thefts, thefts from autos, and robberies.

In short, our strategies to rebuild MPD are yielding success. In the past 18 months alone, we’ve hired more officers than the entire six years prior. Thanks in large part to increased salary and improved benefits, attrition has fallen to levels much closer to the usual annual levels. We’re up more than 100 officers than our low point in mid-2017.

Our work continues. We currently have 108 recruits training in two different classes at the academy; most will join the force in March. And, just as you’re having your first cup of coffee tomorrow morning, 125 prospective MPD officers will be taking the test at the academy that’s part of the rigorous process to join the next recruit class. I’m incredibly proud of all of our efforts on this front, and of all of our team members who are making this a reality. Thank you, all.

Our next MPD recruiting class begins April 1, and you can learn more about how you or someone you know can join the Best in Blue by visiting joinmpd.com.

Yours,
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