Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So, What Would You Do?

We want to continue a discussion that was begun by the Memphis Flyer a couple of weeks ago. It asked nine people for their ideas about what they would do if they were in charge of Memphis.

Here’s the link to all of the ideas. We're posting what was printed from us below, but here’s the question for you:

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

We’re always telling you what we think, so tell your ideas to us and others so we can have a conversation about what Memphis needs to be doing to move in the right direction.

Just for the record, here’s what one of us answered to the question in the Flyer article:

At the risk of being branded for civic heresy, I'd like Memphis to adopt Nashville's attitude. I admit that I've never really "gotten" Nashville, but I nonetheless grudgingly admire something imbedded in its civic culture — ambition.

I was in Nashville shortly after its school district was placed on the state's "high priority" list. There was a palpable outrage among city leaders that such a thing could happen there, and they vowed to do something about it. Here, more than 100 of our city schools do not meet state benchmarks, but there's a pervasive sense that that's just the way things are in Memphis.

In Nashville, better decisions flow from this ambition and sense of purpose. Its political and business leaders simply refuse to accept second best or any suggestion that they shouldn't set national standards. It's hard to imagine a Bass Pro Shop inhabiting a signature building there.

When Nashville wanted to build a symphony hall, it did not append one onto a convention center so it could finagle hotel-motel taxes. Instead, it built a symphony center that is a monument to its cultural commitment. When it came time to build a new central library, it built it as a reminder of the importance of urban design — and downtown.

The magic in Nashville isn't the result of consolidated government. Rather, the magic is found in a special strain of leadership that brings all civic resources, public and private, to the table to solve problems. And yet, Memphis needs consolidation, not because of promised savings that are unlikely to materialize, but because we need to do something to shake up the status quo and send the message to the rest of the nation that things are changing here.

We begin by being brutally honest, because troubling national indicators should inspire a new sense of urgency and a new way of thinking. We need action on all fronts. We need Highway 385 to be a toll road. We need to attack teenage pregnancy by getting serious about handing out birth control. We need to eliminate all tax incentives for low-wage, low-skill jobs. We need to find the best urban school superintendent and pay whatever it takes to get that person here. We need to get more city school students to college graduation, because they are the best predictor of our future economic success. We need to transform our riverfront from a stage set trapped in time to a vibrant magnet for talent.

We need to rationalize our tax structure. It's simply not right that the less you make in Memphis, the more you pay in taxes as a percentage of income. It's intolerable that city taxpayers pay a disincentive to live here and pay for programs and amenities that are regional in nature. If we move regional services to the regional (Shelby County) tax base, the Memphis tax rate can be comparable to Germantown's.

These things don't require that much money. They do, however, require ambition.


anti-socialist said...

1. Build ginoromous skate park to appeal to the creative class.

2. Nip sprawl in the bud. Nip it!

3. Stop I-269 in its tracks.

What do I win?

fieldguidetomemphis said...

First, Smart City, the commentary in the Flyer was superb. Great work, especially regarding the tax structure.

Per your comparison to Nashville, I have spent some time thinking about what the difference is between our two cities, and I think it can be narrowed down to one period in time: desegregation. It seems that the fate of Nashville has been so different from Memphis in large part because James Lawson started the lunch counter desegregation campaign there, and it was incrementally successful, whereas in Memphis we don't have such a successful legacy to recall and in some sense we are still waiting for that political opportunity moment (which with efforts like Common Ground seems imminent).

I digress...

Some things that Memphis should do:

First, we need to undertake a comprehensive review of the Raquel Pinderhughes study on Green Collar Jobs in Oakland/Berkeley. It would be a great way to quantify the local industries and give Memphis something else great to talk about, akin to Sustainable Shelby. I've already taken more than a cursory look at the study and we have a tremendous opportunity here.

Green Collar Jobs is a great strategy for a community whose assets include a huge workforce that is undereducated and underemployed and underpaid. Rita Harris had a great op-ed in the CA earlier this week about this very thing.

I really believe that once we get people to work in jobs that pay a living wage, with benefits and a career ladder, that are not exploitative of the workforce or the environment, so many other social problems will right themselves.

The other thing we should do is convert Overton Square into a park with grass. That huge parking lot is such an eyesore, and it's driving away businesses. I use the Memphis Crime Mapper all the time and that parking lot attracts theft. Wouldn't it be great if it were a Park-n-Bark, a fenced-in area where people with dogs could come frolic? With trees for shade and water fountains? Something more attractive to look out on from the patio at Sidestreet rather than concrete. A place to stroll after seeing a play at Playhouse on the Square...

Here's what should go in Overton Square (the empty building at the corner of Madison & Cooper): a yoga studio, a bakery, an art gallery, a coffee shop... I can picture it. Can you?

What would someone have to do to promote such an idea?

Anonymous said...

On desegregation in nashville vs. Memphis: it's my belief that Nashville had less strife over race simply because their African American population is much smaller than that of Memphis and blacks in Nashville were never the political or economic threat to the power structure of Nashville that blacks in Memphis were, due to much greater numbers. Having said that, it's tragic for the city of memphis that Henry Loeb was such a recalcitrant reactionary a$$ about dealing fairly with the sanitation strikers. One wonders if our post MLK era city would have charted a different course if we had a different, more intelligent and forward thinking mayor and business community at that time. Oh well, that's history....

Harvey said...

1. Hire a full time Kipp Academy Coordinator to facilitate Memphis as the city selected for expansion of multiple Kipp Academies in the City.

2. If I am mayor then I would hire Willie Herenton and Nick Clarke as my two top advisors and not let them leave the room until they figure out how to work with each other.

3. Commission a feasibility study to figure out if it makes sense to create a light railway transportation system that connects Frayser, Downtown, Raleigh, East Memphis, Airways and Midtown.

4. Buy the Sears Building at Watkins and North Parkway.

5. Have a study done on the building (under 40K) to figure out its potential uses.

6. If it makes sense to use the building as a college, offer Crichton College tax breaks to occupy the building and offer it to them to own if they pay 30 years of rent at $140,000. per year.

7. Hire 5 sub superintendents at $150,000 per year. These superintendents would be over a geographical "sub school district" and would report the to the superintendent. Have superintendent mentor these "sub superintendents" with an eye towards 1)Having one of them be the next Memphis superintendent and 2)Memphis becoming a factory for future superintendents in other districts.

These are just a start and some may seem silly, but those of some of the things I would do.

A Field Guide to Urban Memphis said...

Points 3 & 4: Can we wrangle local talent into undertaking the feasibility studies? There are really smart & capable people at UM - brand new faculty in the last couple of years - who would be uber-capable and excited to do something like this. It's a perennial disappointment when studies are commissioned from absentee firms when there's local talent to be tapped - and besides, the locals are invested in the city.

Points 4 & 5: Junkyard Memphis had looked at the Sears Building as a possible site for a hip & happenin' place akin to the St. Louis City Museum.

Anonymous said...

1. hire louise mercuro (looking for work, I believe) to develop a plan.
2. buy sears tower.
3. seal up all skateboarders inside with 100 sheets onion skin and 100 pencils with no erasers.
4. ms mercuro can teach said youth the pleasantries of planning over a two year period. eating excess pigeons caught in building.
5. get mr hairinton to name building for nick clarke-call it 'Clarke Tower West' or something.
6. declare plan not afro-centric, or something.
7. start over.

simple, and works on several levels. :)

Harvey said...

Field guide,

I totally agree on the locals leading the study. You are right, because they are invested in the city they are more qualified than some "Joe 3 postgrad degrees" from Boston or New York. I'm not saying we pull any Memphian off the street(Read: Prince Mongo), but the U of M faculty are not just anybody.

Plus, it seems that the powers that be would be more accepting of a report that came from locals rather than outsiders.

Anonymous said...

I would focus on making Memphis an alternative energy manufacturing hub. Our proximity to the river and train frieght, plus cheap, clean water, relatively inexpensive electricity, and a large workforce could be major competive advantages. I would try to get solar, wind, and hydro manufacturing plants to locate in the Firestone area (after just about the entire area is leveled). I'd also create a mass transit rail line using the pre-existing, unused line that runs from second street to the Bungalow-Crump area. The city could work it's way east redeveloping these neighborhoods. A nice thing about these neighborhoods are their close proximity to the Wolf river. You combine mass transit, new urbanism, and short walk to a large nature area. The city has already rebuilt Manassas high school and is building a new High school in Bungalow-Crump, so some educational infrastructure is in place. With Peak oil coming, energy manufacturing will be an increasing sector of the economy, plus it will be cheaper to live in the city than out is suburbs. Memphis has a narrow window to prepare for the changes coming.

Aaron said...

Anon: 3:46. Great plan

Harvey said...

Anonymous 3:46. That is some good stuff. Can you elaborate a little more on the idea of the city redeveloping neighborhoods and moving towards a new urbanism slant. What does that look like? Are you talking about gentrification of these neighborhoods or is something else at work?

Anonymous said...

Having 385 as a toll road is smart. Tax the exurbs for it's real use ... quick and easy commuter conduit for the rich around the city to the airport.

Overton Square does not need to be a park. We have Overton Park three blocks away. The square needs to be a dense mid-rise conglomeration of new office space, living space and retail for Midtown (the true example of New Urbanism in Memphis as always.) Midtown needs an injection of smart new digs for creative offices and living.

I love the idea of the Sears tower as a Museum. How about a subsidized open space for art collectives, non-profit headquarters and housing for those artists and volunteers/activists? To get an office there or space you have to commit to the development of the Watkins/Cleveland corridor from Orange Mound to Frayser. The Sears Tower goes from being a towering ornament of decay to a towering ornament of progressive action. The word "action" would be the operative word there.

How about a University of Memphis busline (instead of a 4 million dollar railroad pedestrian overpass) that covers the surrounding neighborhoods and cuts down on the lame 2 mile commutes of some students. Makes the apartments along Southern even more enticing and opens up more areas for students to rent in the Sherwood Forest neighborhoods that have been sliding for 10 years now. Oh, have the busses run every 10 minutes instead of 45 minutes too!

Get rid of those warehouses on Broad and open up the north side of that street to some cheap retail and housing developments.

Get a damn grocery store in Uptown!

Put bars and restaurants all over Mud Island and let the River Museum move over somewhere in downtown and let the Island be what it can be ... a great entertainment district that will eventually be the site of casinos when the state of TN pulls it's head out of it's a$$.

Zippy the giver said...

If I ran Memphis,
One big thing I would do is look at all the damage that MCS, MLGW, and the City Council Members have caused in Memphis and I would put a number to it. I would break the damage down by income not generated by citizens, property value damage, businesses that died due to blight, police inaction, and the general lack of City Officials doing their jobs, and after I fired or dismissed them I would warn them that if they ever resurfaced running for office that a lawsuit for al those damages would also resurface and be prosecuted, jointly and severally. I would have that made law. I would make it a law that if they do not operate in integrity (temperance, paying bills, etc.)of the city that they be dismissed without hearing.

Since I can't go back and change the past and being an apologist wouldn't be appropriate for any change I would scratch them off the list.

I would not go looking for some knight in shining armor to come and save any civic function, I would instead look to retraining us to have more effective core values that would support creative thought.
Barking about how sour lemons are doesn't get you lemonade, adding a lot of sugar because somebody told you the lemons were more sour than they really are gets you an undrinkable mixture too.
We need to be trained to realize our potential, not in some un-rigorous ad hoc way, but, demonstrably effective ways proven to work. This would have to be administered by an outside force to avoid polluting the process with an agreement reality created by someone with an agenda.

If I ran Memphis, these are the things I would do:

I would sell MLGW and I would take the profits and put some Vertical and Horizontal Axis Wind, Solar, and Solar Heat Powered Sterling motor Generators and distribute them around the city for free electric for city services, I would absolutely power all city functions from this system , each city bldg. having it's own plus generating power into the system, and cut the tax burden to near nothing. It's time the City ACTUALLY BENEFIT the citizens. If you run it right there will be no need for handouts to those in need.
MLGW's billing practices are highly suspect and the lack of accountability and accurate record keeping should be looked into by the federal government.
I had it proven to me by a meter reader and two supervisors that meters were read correctly by their people and MLGW consistently over billed "as guestimated". I was informed that they do this to large targeted areas. I thought my bill was high, so, I asked my neighbors because I just could not fathom the "conspiracy". The neighbors confirmed their bills were also WAY TOO HIGH. So, the meter reader hand wrote a letter stating that he had read the meter and that the bill was a lie. I took that to customer service and they immediately called his supervisor and threatened his job. Something is very wrong there.

Homes need to be retrofitted with AC units with hot water heater assist, (the hot coil wraps around the hot water tank). We don't need to be selling any AC units not designed that way.
We could put solar hot water cells on the roofs for heating and hot water. This technology is fully developed and sold regularly. We can build them here.
SOLAR LIGHTS in the house can be gathered with a roof reflector system and brought into the house via fiber optics then distributed inside and assisted by bulbs. This technology is fully developed right now and already has distributors. The patent is open. We can build systems here.
We can manufacture and deploy passive heating panels made from old metal security doors that heat to 120 degrees and run them off sunny south walls. This technology exists and is commercially available now. We can manufacture them here.
Begin purchasing 100% electric vehicles for city services.

I would put all pension plans to 401K-style plans that require no further money from the citizens once vested. That way you can open as many as you're willing to invest in till you retire costing the citizens nothing. Take that excuse away for raising taxes.

I would consolidate the schools and the tax base to one base. I would abolish the School Board and City Council since they have proven to be impotent at creating success and very wasteful with pensions and state funds and unaccountable to oversight. They have created parochial infighting, racism in the Boardroom, and destroyed entire districts. That is unacceptable and it must end.
I would begin keeping stats on educational excellence per school, per grade, per class, and get rid of those who can not deliver results, but, I would take the individual students for a second assessment after they prove to be trouble to put them through mandatory additional training.
I would take two full weeks of school and put all students and teachers through a self actualization course that would have them work cooperatively to generate excellence on purpose in grades and citizenship from the ages of 8 on up in every school in every neighborhood. Two weeks to successfully generate excellence is CHEAP! With the money saved on Board members salaries and pensions and utilities it would be NO PROBLEM.
I would start year round schools, all of them. LET BOTH PARENTS WORK ONE JOB.
I would integrate a public service school into the curriculum complete with projects to affect neighborhoods.
Every School would get a playground, a generator system, a community garden, a track and field (where possible) and after school coaches for sports and academics FREE TO ALL.
Make all school system records public other than students personal identification records and get a 100% transparent reporting and budgeting system.

Chief of Police would be an applied for job regardless of who is in power, no more appointees. That is not meant as a slant against the current chief, he just should not ever be beholding to a political entity.
Real-time cameras would be deployed on a statistical basis throughout high crime areas to help identify offenders and facilitate arrests.
I would change the laws for sexual offenders, they get life. Murderers are easier to rehabilitate and not one instance of a successful rapist or child molester has ever been garnered.
Gangs and offenders with guns would be treated as domestic terrorists since that's what they are.
I would make it mandatory that we hire enough prosecutors for the case load required.
3 years is a long time for an offender to be out on the streets committing more crimes while awaiting trial.
Bail amounts would rise considerably.
Judicial Oversight would become mandatory to stop corruption on the bench.
I would make sure we have enough judges also, a new jail would be necessary too, outside the city center. It would have a retraining center and a farm. It would have the required wind and solar generators.Rehabilitatable inmates would be required to take a retraining course, learn to farm, and take on multiple projects that would require an ability to succeed in life in a legal way. They would be assessed to determine if their was an educational deficit that could be addressed also and that would be made available after retraining. Blue Crush would stay in operation and we would hire the appropriate amount of officers for our city. No more making an economy out of doing nothing about crime.

Juvenile offenders:
Any juvenile offender and their parent would have to attend retraining classes and complete them and a community project successfully in the neighborhood the offense took place to be released.

Inmates would be responsible for making wind generators and farming during their retraining course.
There would be mandatory oversight for all departments of MPD to ensure they are doing the job in an unbiased way and that the job is getting done.

Pretending not to have seen a crime being committed and refusal to testify gets you one year and suspension of your voting priviliges in addition to any contempt of court jailtime,
Not reporting a crime when you were definitely a witness gets 1 year and suspension of voting priviliges.

Reinstate the Loitering Law.
Electronic police reports on EVERY CALL. Helps pinpoint statistical based deployment of resources including cameras.
Copies of police reports should be free to the victims of crime!
1. A law that states that if 3 to 5 unrelated neighbors complain that a
tenant, or, a landlord in the case of multiple tenants in multiple
dwellings, or, pernicious thugs at the same rental address under any
landlord's administration including community associations and Memphis
Housing Authority, the tenant will be ejected immediately demanded to
vacate the premisis and neighborhood by at least 4 miles within 24 hours
of notice to vacate and if the landlord puts another thug in that
address his property will be seized, emptied, and sold to (neighborhood
block club has right of first refusal) a screened buyer or torn down or
rehabbed for non rental occupation.

A law that states that anyone caught using minors, children to mule
drugs around a neighborhood to hide it from police gets a mandatory 5
year sentence with no parole for first offense and add 1 year per year
the minors are under the age of 18.

A law that states that you can not put a building with rents below
market value enough to promote undesirable tenants, destroying the
neighborhood and harming the established rental market pricing for that
area. One problem is that some landlords are asking $300-$400 below the
average rental price.

A law that states that if you are a convicted felon you can not hold
any public office in Tennessee and if you are under indictment or
investigation or pending any trial, you can not vote on any issue and
must take a leave from any public service position.

A law that states that if you are a gang member you can not hold ANY
public service job including and especially POLICE OFFICER.

A law that states that if you threaten a person with death and a
racial or religious epithet is uttered in the threat you will be
prosecuted and do jail time of at least 2 years no parole.

Background checks and disqualifications from housing applicants for criminal records indicating drugs, rape, child molestation or endangerment, domestic violence or assault, aggravated assault, stalking, DUI, open warrants, prostitution, any recalcitrant criminal behavior, or any type of felony.

Make all defendants wait in a waitingroom nowhere near plaintiffs or state's witnesses or victims.

I would fire the current election commission and hire a group of people who can get a handle on election fraud to take over, higher requirements for poll workers, i.e. no criminal records.
Anyone found tampering with or benefitting tampering with an election is disqualified and barred from voting forever.
Death and incarceration records must be immediately electronically reported and linked with election records, no more long "fudge period".

Once it is fitted for required city generators it would probably become viable and be able to expand it's capabilities. I would also demand that stats be kept accurately so that ineffective staff gets retrained or let go.


I would have a light-rail line that used the freeway system and branched into neighborhoods shadowed by electric city buses that would all meet at designated pool parking lots with bike racks recharging stations for electric vehicles.


The current policy of booking one venue only downtown would be abolished. The Pyramid would become a booked venue or be sold. The road structure would be changed downtown to facilitate the timely entry and exit to multiple working entertainment venues downtown to the freeway system without clogging downtown streets.

I would abolish the Music Commission since it has destroyed many opportunities rather than enhance them.and merge it with the film commission, tax incentives and other such incentives would have a regular role in enticing moviemakers to film in Memphis and recording artists to record here. I would also stop them from providing free services in a free market and destroying people's livelihood with "bad ideas" akin to communism.

Of course, that isn't all and it's only a start and it's only from my point of view and a few others.
One of the biggest things it all filters through is, "If Memphis is so right about all the things it does the way it does it, why are we in last place trying to convince ourselves we aren't?"
We need to think of solutions not based on anything currently happening as a solution in Memphis right now. We also need to address the core issues of our disfunction as a city down to the personal level. There was once a "human potential exploration" movement and it looks like it passed Memphis by a long time ago without setting foot here.
We should put that in too.

Anonymous said...

I'm 3:46.
I read about how well Charlotte, NC is doing redeveloping areas of their city along their rail lines. Memphis a vast amount of space in north Memphis. The populations in these areas, especially in New Chicago have dropped by close to 2/3's over the past 25 years. you already have the sewer lines and infrastructure in place.

Here is the problem the city faces, energy prices will continue to rise. (There may be short term fluxuations because severe recessions may drop demand.) If we attract alternative energy manufacturing, we will be ahead of much of the rest of the country as the switch from fossil fuels occurs. But, and this is a big but, we have to do it quickly because as energy prices goes up there will be less and less money available to invest in infrastructurual changes. Does anyone think Memphis will be in a better financial condition in 2013 than it is today? It won't and by that time we will be competing with other cities for those renewable energy manufacturing plants. We have advantages, (water, transport, labor force, cheap electricity), if we invest in attracting manufacturing companies now it will create positive momementum to bring even more companies in as the trends picks up speed.

As for gentrification, I don't have a very negative opinion about Hope VI projects and section 8. Some modifications can be done to better track people and coordinate supportive services. Some gentrification will happen like in Uptown, but here is the most thing you can offer lower income people in Hyde park and Douglas-Bungalow, access to economic opprotunity by providing fast public transportation and close proximity decent jobs.

We reached the zenith of globalization a couple years ago. Shipping costs and rising wages in china, have started to shift manufacturing again. In a decade or less you are going to see relocalization of production and the suburbs will die. (They already are starting to now.) We have to move quickly on this. Forget convention centers and shit like that, tourism isn't going to be what it used to be either becuase of fuel costs, look at the future and prepare.

Zippy the giver said...

Well, you're going to have to get rid of the non-representatives" currently representing that area first.
The crime in that area is ridiculous. The Racism in that area is "off the chain". There are a LOT of vacant properties in the area but the neighbors that have stayed behind aren't that great, they are mostly the section 8 crowd. Section 8 is bad. It's a quantifyable fact.
I would say that even in places where suportive services were better tracked, the program is stil a big loser because it does not focus ANY attention on the core issues of the people inviolved. If you don't train them to be able to see opportunity and mentally equip them to actually be able to successfully take advantage of that oportunity (not via handouts) then it is NOT an opportunity, it is another failure reinforcing excersize they don't need.

Aaron said...

I'm 3:46: You're on the money again! I love the way you cut to the chase and focus on what the positive actions that must be taken.

As you with yourself, I think Memphis is strongly poised to move back into the manufacturing sector of materials involved with generating alternative power. However, what must change is the mission of the company. A new business sector with the same corporate philosophy of being the biggest, the best and returning the most the shareholder is not going to change our economic condition- it's will merely continue to put money in a select group of pockets.

What we also need are new companies that exist to serve their local communities. What does this look like? Companies should be partnering with government organization to work towards empowering their employees with property ownership and have ongoing educational classes that teach employess how to downsize their consumption habits and be leaders in their own communities.

Humans are faced with learning to once again be better stewards of the earth and we are seeing this with the alternate energy sector growing. But will we learn to be better stewards of our fellow humans during this energy evolution. Will our souls continue to co-evolve with our technologies?
( MLK touched on this).

Zippy the giver said...

Aaron, you're turning it into a "hope" for the future instead of a future.
We have a HUGE population of ex-convicts here right now, that can't get a job.
Lots of ex-cons re-entering---new industry needing to be born,----retraining program to teach success and value needed THAT PAYS A LIVING WAGE----- city in need of MAJOR BUDGET TRIMMING-------Utility in need of total restructuring------It all equals a surplus in tax revenues and a possible removal of taxes.
When you aren't generating convicts due to a more enlightened society that gets paid enough, you don't need a big jail or a lot of stuff that makes that happen, when you retrain the ex-cons you have they don't go back to jail and they don't make more aspoiring inmates because they have found real value not being one or doing that. You would have to get the new working school systems to happen at the same time too because they could destroy all the good work if left the way they are.
I bet 50% or more of Memphis is ex-cons, I'm lowering the numbers from my personal experience of Memphis. We are making more exponentially every day. We don't do an "effective" job of retraining them at all for many different reasons including badly designed, or , undesigned, programs and lack of trainers.
That said, we could train those getting out in the manufacture of the very energy products that ANON 3:46 spoke of. We have plenty of wind, year round, in Memphis. Wind power generation is going to be useful here, hydro-electric could be useful, geo-thermal is the big one.
Energy smart (on a different paradigm than the current definition of the moniker) product manufacturing could be done here and we could teach Vo-Tech classes on modification of existing HVAC units to include hot water assist, (currently used in Canada), There is also a solar hot water assist that can be coupled to a very large tank, using the HVAC cold return to assist built in food refrigerators, different roofing techniques and products to lower heat transfer to buildings, train them to be valuable contributions to society that can get paid doing it and I bet you have a 3 way winner.


Steve said...

I'm old enough to remember segregation and, frankly, Memphis actually had desegregated peacefully and rather successfully. It wasn't until the sanitation strike in 1968 that Memphis acquired a bad reputation in civil rights. And that occurred years after desegration of public accomodations in Memphis.

I'm not sure exactly how Nashville got the great rep for civil rights when in fact, when the lunch counters were being desegrated in the late 50's, the Nashville cops were busting heads with the best of them.

That sort of thing never occurred in Memphis which at least up through the mid-sixties was considered a civil rights success story.

Zippy the giver said...

Not to turn this into an argument, but, all that happened in Memphis was the signs came down, there are vast areas of town that are BLACK, and they don't want to integrate. That isn't success. Sanitation workers still don't have what they needed. That isn't success. Curches are the most racist places in Memphis, I know that is being addressed but it isn't the only thing by a long shot. Gangs that you have here are also promoting racism. You also have a great deal of Nation of Islam activity in poor areas happening here.
ABSENCE of anything else.

Anonymous said...

3:46 here again.

Aaron in reference to:
"A new business sector with the same corporate philosophy of being the biggest, the best and returning the most the shareholder is not going to change our economic condition- it's will merely continue to put money in a select group of pockets."

I would suggest you look at the Mondragon Cooperative in the Basque region of Spain. Started in 1956 by a priest and it now has 150 companies ranging from financial to manufacturing. One word to describe the Mondragon is "amazing."