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Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update: Nov. 2, 2018
Weekly Update: Let's help Officer Creighton
Posted on 11/02/2018

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Friends,


Back in the summer, MPD officer Jeff Creighton was injured when he was struck by a drunk driver while on duty. We’re all grateful he survived. But, he has a long road ahead of him, as he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

He was in a rehab center out of state, and his family often traveled back and forth to be with him. This, as you might imagine, is quite costly. A GoFundMe page has been launched to help defray the family’s expense, and I’m asking you today to donate, if you can, and share the page on your networks, too.

All of Memphis is behind you, Jeff.

Using data to better serve you: To deliver the kind of responsible, efficient government I promised when running for mayor in 2015, one of the most important principles is to have plenty of smart, focused data — and to make decisions based off of it.

Three years in, I can confidently say that we’re doing just that. I was reminded of that this week, when we had our monthly meeting of division directors and deputy directors — our cabinet, of sorts — to review how we’re delivering services to you.

To me, it isn’t just that we’re measuring how long it takes to answer a 911 call (from 59.7 seconds when we took office to under 8 seconds now) or how many people are participating in our programming at our libraries (up 51 percent this fiscal year). We’ve been doing that since day one, and we’re continually looking to do more.

The most important thing I’m seeing is how it’s become contagious. Every division is looking to find more ways to measure more of what we’re offering, all so we can make more informed decisions about how to best deliver services to you. This week’s meeting went longer than scheduled, in fact, because of so many people piping up with ideas about how to make data work better for citizens.

Our team does not govern by anecdote or by which way the wind is blowing. We put our heads down, ignore the partisan politics of the day, and get to work to ensure your tax dollars are helping improve our city. That’s the bottom line. That’s why you elected me. That’s what you deserve.

Now, as for the data itself? We continue to see positive signs, such as:

  • Major violent crime is down year to date, and the moving average of police officer headcount is up.
  • False alarms are down 20.6 percent, allowing us to better use police resources.
  • The number of times Memphis Animal Services had to perform euthanasia for time and space reasons is down 69 percent year to date.
  • Library program attendance is up 51 percent fiscal year to date.
  • Almost 15,000 more Memphians were employed in September 2018 than in January 2016.

As always, we are incredibly transparent with this data. Never before has local government shared more with citizens about its work. You can find the data 24/7 here, or review the point-in-time monthly report here.

Accelerating economic growth: With billions in development and thousands of newly employed Memphians, we have momentum in our city. But we can accelerate that growth, which is exactly what stakeholders in our city’s economic development conversation have been talking about for some time now.

You probably know by now that my style is to work behind the scenes to gain consensus on issues, and this is no different. I don’t chase headlines; I chase outcomes.

This week, I was honored to be invited by County Commissioner Willie Brooks to discuss with his committee our ongoing work to build a set of improvements. We’re close to nailing them all down, but before we do, I want you to know the principles that have guided our work:

  1. Economic development is bigger than just process — it's one of many areas we focus on to make Memphis better.
  2. Workforce is our most pressing economic development challenge.
  3. We can improve business attraction, but...
  4. ...economic development isn't all about that — it's also about helping existing businesses in Memphis grow.

Keep those principles in mind as you hear details of our plans soon.

Yours,
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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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