Archive for June, 2010

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 30th, 2010 12:10am CDT | 14 Comments

This could be Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s “McChrystal moment.” Sometimes, people step over the line, try to blur well-understood lines of responsibility and ignore common practice.  Sometimes, leaders have to draw a line in the sand and say enough’s enough. President Barack Obama did it with General Stanley McChrystal.  Now, Mayor Wharton needs to […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 29th, 2010 7:38pm CDT | 1 Comment

Carol Coletta stopped by to talk with The Real Story during the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in San Francisco in early June. During the interview, Carol suggests that the image of the American Dream has to be reworked because the underpinnings of the idea either no longer exist or need more relevance to today’s lifestyles. Her […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 29th, 2010 3:11pm CDT | 8 Comments

These days, many people, even those with a cup half-full attitude, consider Commerce Square the symbol for downtown Memphis.  It’s less than half-full and its future is in doubt. But for us, it’s just as much the signalization poles at intersections.  They are symbols that remind us of the benign neglect that has characterized downtown […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 28th, 2010 12:10am CDT | 5 Comments

Someone emailed last year to ask what we would do to set a “creativity movement” in motion in Memphis.  The answer came quickly: “Appoint Jeff Nesin the Memphis czar of creativity.” That’s because we don’t know anyone who understands the importance of creatives and the creative economy more than the gifted president of the Memphis […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 25th, 2010 10:00pm CDT | 1 Comment

They are called the Greatest Generation, the generation that sacrificed so much, accomplished so much and gave so much to a grateful nation. Sixteen million American men and women fought in World War II. As they started coming home in 1944, the United States created the GI Bill, a historic piece of legislation that established […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 25th, 2010 9:52pm CDT | 15 Comments

Leadership Memphis president/CEO David Williams writes an op-ed posted below in contributors posts about the importance of the Talent Dividend for our city.  It reminded us of some ideas that came out of a panel curated by our colleague Carol Coletta about what cities should do to connect talent to place.  We hope you’ll post your […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 23rd, 2010 10:29pm CDT | 22 Comments

Memphis City Council – the Rodney Dangerfield of local politics – does so much right and gets so little credit for it. Bill Morrison is the architect of this year’s budget resolution.  Jim Strickland pushes for more cuts in costs.  Shea Flinn is courageous enough to demand the kind of honest debate that illuminates issues. […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 23rd, 2010 5:21pm CDT | 17 Comments

I was in a meeting a few weeks ago when we talked about finding a new executive director for our nonprofit group. It dawned on us as we talked that in Memphis, we are always talking about diversity and we’re always talking about making sure African-Americans are represented. When do women get their turn? It […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 22nd, 2010 5:49pm CDT | 13 Comments

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton is right when he says that the new Unified Development Code (UDC) making its way through legislative approvals is “the beginning, not the end, in creating the kind of city and neighborhoods we want.” More to the point, he said during his campaign that even after approval, he will continue to […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Shelby County government | June 21st, 2010 12:31am CDT | 31 Comments

Interim Mayor Joe Ford’s billboards say that he is the “People’s Voice” and that may indeed be the case judging from his apparent lack of basic information about government and public policy. Once upon a time, one of Memphis’s original characters, Cliff Tuck, ran Shelby County Intergovernmental Coordination Office.  He was a policy wonk before […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 19th, 2010 7:36pm CDT | 1 Comment

Memphians regularly don’t recognize what is distinctive about us and what we are doing right unless we get outside validation. We should be getting that validation today in spades.  Our own Ballet Memphis is featured prominently and positively today in the New York Times and Washington Post.  It was validation enough that our ballet company […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 18th, 2010 12:14am CDT | 5 Comments

To wrap up what ended up as a week posting about education, we reprise a post from November 11, 2009: It’s nothing short of hypocritical for us to wring our hands over the D’s and F’s given to Memphis City Schools students in the Tennessee Department of Education report card. After all, that’s exactly what we […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 17th, 2010 3:01pm CDT | 6 Comments

UPDATE: Newsweek has admitted that it blew it, and White Station High School is now #1,090 out of the top 1,600 high schools in the entire U.S. The written statement from Jay Mathews, Researcher and Contributing Editor with Newsweek Magazine: “Newsweek made a big mistake in leaving White Station High School off of its 2010 […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | June 17th, 2010 12:17am CDT | 1 Comment

If urban school districts like ours had a dollar every time somebody said, “Children are our future,” they’d never have a funding problem.  Unfortunately for these districts, Americans are long on platitudes and short on support.  That said, we begin with the obvious: children are our future.  Or more precisely, well-educated African-American students will in fact […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 16th, 2010 12:30am CDT | 7 Comments

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton has an ambitious agenda that he laid out during his campaign, but the goal he set recently surpasses all of them for its audaciousness: To make Memphis one of the country’s best-run cities. That is of course why he supports consolidation to correct the broken business models of both Memphis […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 16th, 2010 12:04am CDT | 1 Comment

When I first moved here 10 years ago next month to become pastor of a church, one long-time resident of Memphis (though not native to the Bluff City) sought to enlighten me about the challenges I would face.   She said, “Memphis is a religious city, but not a spiritual one.” It took awhile for that […]

Read More →

There may be other cities that have done more in the past to improve their schools, but if you’re looking for ground zero for school reform for the future, it’s hard to think of a place more qualified than Memphis. We were reminded of this special moment in history for Memphis City Schools again Friday […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 14th, 2010 12:05am CDT | 13 Comments

Say it out loud – yours, mine, ours – that’s how we should view the merger of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Consolidation would leave the functions of government outside of Memphis alone. The six smaller municipalities would have their levels of services/taxes decided by themselves.  The unincorporated areas would be subject to annexation by […]

Read More →