Friday, June 27, 2008

Continuing The Discussion: What Would You Do?

We're continuing the discussion we began Wednesday and hope you'll join in.

Inspired by the Memphis Flyer's cover story of two weeks ago, we want to know how you would answer this question:

What would you do if you were in charge of Memphis?

You can post your response here or join in the comments on Wednesday's post.

5 comments:

Santo said...

Start a campaign called “Live Where You Live,” encouraging Memphians who might otherwise run away from the problems of the city (by relocating to the suburbs) to stay and stand to face those challenges in their neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods are not disposable. Ideally this would warrant government action and policy changes, but to be realistic I’m thinking of something that is free of bureaucratic or political affiliation. A simple and clean grassroots effort. For those of us raising families a commitment to this city involves risk and legitimate concern. Might some of us be more willing to take that risk if we knew we were not alone in doing so? Would you send your kid to the neighborhood I you knew I would? What if you knew there was a whole group of Live Where You Livers who would too?

Santo said...

Start a campaign called “Live Where You Live,” encouraging Memphians who might otherwise run away from the problems of the city (by relocating to the suburbs) to stay and stand to face those challenges in their neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods are not disposable. Ideally this would warrant government action and policy changes, but to be realistic I’m thinking of something that is free of bureaucratic or political affiliation. A simple and clean grassroots effort. For those of us raising families a commitment to this city involves risk and legitimate concern. Might some of us be more willing to take that risk if we knew we were not alone in doing so? Would you send your kid to the neighborhood school if you knew I would? What if you knew there was a whole group of Live Where You Livers who would too?

Exile On South Main Street said...

1. Merge the City and County Governments, schools, and police forces.

In no particular order...

2. Reopen precincts and co-act units in neighborhoods throughout the city. Combine them with code enforcement offices, so that residents have a "one stop shop" for their public safety and code enforcement needs (could also be great places for free tax help, voter registration, etc.)

3. Visit Nashville with a contingent of several hundred high performing charter school students to testify and force a change in charter school law. Make these schools the dynamic, functional neighborhood institutions that they can and should be.

4. Make our city's contemporary arts and music scene a priority. Try to find a way to work with our local non-profit community development industry to create mini-neighborhoods of affordable housing for working artists and musicians. As much as I love South Main, it represents a missed opportunity to me because so few artists can afford to live in our vaunted "arts district." Maybe we engage artists/musicians in renovating existing housing stock throughout the city in exchange for free or discounted rent?

5. Create a good-natured competition among our local advertising/marketing agencies to see who can develop the best rebranding campaign for Memphis--one that is targeted TOWARD MEMPHIANS. What is great about our city? How do we communicate that to people who already live here? How do we make our own citizens our own best ambassadors? Although the CVB would have you believe otherwise, Memphis is more than fatty foods and old musicians. Who can do the best job of proving that?

6. Invest in free municipal, city-wide wireless internet access.

7. Require PILOT businesses to commit their employees to a certain number of volunteer hours in public schools (caveat: I stole this idea from my wife because I think it's genius.)

Zippy the giver said...

As a person who has been in the real music biz, I find the opportunities for me to make money here disappointing and the political atmosphere that affects it equally so. If I had moved here only for my job I would have moved away a long time ago. I can't think of one god musician I know that has moved here that hasn't voiced the same opinion, unsolicited. That music commission has had long enough to produce some fruit onthe vine and I see none. I haven't given up though, it's not an option. There are good people here, it just takes so long to find them.

Anonymous said...

1. Consolidate city and county governments.
2. Remove any disincentives to live in Memphis (financial/educational/safety).Make it cheaper to live in Memphis than in the suburbs.
3. Attempt to revitalize what were once solid middle class neighborhoods (whitehaven, oakhaven, parkway village, raleigh, etc.),shifting attention from high profile areas (downtown, etc.). This will "spread the love" where it is needed most.
4. Create zero tolerance policies (like was done in NYC) for graffiti, code violations, etc.
5. Clean the asbestos from East High school and make it the best school, public or private, in the metro area. Attract all of the high achieving students that have left MCS to return.
6. Help the homeless find shelter, intensifying campaign against soliciting.
7. Turn pyramid into aquarium, better than Atlanta's or Chattanooga's.
8. Create greenbelt/bike trail along rail line, as proposed. Complete the deal. Police with bike patrols and cameras to ensure safety.
9. Develop light rail along train route from Collierville to Downtown.
10. Remove the stain of self enrichment and duplicity that has dominated politics in our fair city for many, many years.