Archive for March, 2014

by (RSS) Education | March 31st, 2014 3:27pm CST | 1 Comment

From Campaign for America’s Future: An article posted on Politico today adds new evidence of the damage being done to K-12 education under the guise of “school choice,” and how much many of us are paying to place some of our own core values under attack: about $1 billion across 14 states with school voucher […]

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The Tennessee House of Representatives unsurprisingly has passed another law that characterizes its anti-urban tendencies. This time, it’s a change in annexation law that would require approval at the polls by people in the area targeted for annexation.  With passage by the Tennessee Senate – which seems all but assured – the Legislature will have […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Trends and Issues | March 28th, 2014 3:01pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis Data Points: Minimum Wage, Per Capita Income, Jobs Growth, and GMP

To look at some interesting maps about minimum wages and per capita income, click here. Here’s a couple of facts from the maps: 1) Memphis, when cost of living is factored in, has the second highest effective minimum wage in the South – $8.49 (Tampa is $8.51). 2) Over five years, the per capita income […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | March 27th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Planning Needs Younger People’s Input

From Vancouver Sun: I’ve been attending public meetings about community planning and development for more than 35 years. I’ve sat through more than 300 public hearings about rezonings, community plans and development projects in municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland. I have attended probably double that number of open houses, planning committee meetings, design panels, neighbourhood […]

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by (RSS) Education | March 27th, 2014 12:13am CST | 4 Comments

For 30 years, the tail has wagged the dog when it came to capital funds for local public schools. That’s because the capital funding needs of schools in Memphis were always an afterthought – if they were thought of at all. Year after year, decade after decade, Memphis City Schools only got money for construction […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Trends and Issues | March 26th, 2014 3:06pm CST | Comments Off on Creating a DIY City

“Watch out, watch out, watch out!” a toddler yells, hoisting a toy truck to his shoulders. I step out of the way as he zooms down the sidewalk. I’m in Share-It Square, a revamped intersection in a verdant Portland, Oregon neighbourhood. The main street – lined with antique shops, shady porches and front yards resembling […]

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by (RSS) Leadership | March 25th, 2014 3:00pm CST | 1 Comment

From The Atlantic: Is America in an irreversible decline? Four years ago, when I came home after a long stay in China, many people viewed China as unstoppable, while America seemed to be falling apart. Fortunately, what I heard from economists, historians, entrepreneurs, and others I interviewed at the time were hopeful signs that have […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | March 25th, 2014 12:06am CST | Comments Off on Family Planning Needs New Shelby County Contract

Yesterday’s vote by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners asking the Luttrell Administration to rebid the Title X family planning was destined to go nowhere.  Supporters of former commissioner Deidre Malone and gadfly Kenneth Whalum were never going to give mayoral candidate and commissioner Steve Mulroy the political grandstand that passage of the resolution would […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 24th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Books From Birth Gives Children a Step Up

We got the following email from our friend Doug Imig.  It’s a message we should remember and a success story all of us should tout: Two years ago this month, Governor and Mrs. Haslam, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton gathered in Memphis to applaud the release of a research report that […]

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by (RSS) Leadership, Trends and Issues | March 24th, 2014 12:29am CST | Comments Off on Words for Guerilla Urbanism Movement in Memphis

Josh McManus was the leader for CreateHere movement in Chattanooga that we mentioned in last Monday’s post about guerilla urbanism in Memphis.  It set in motion an energy and civic entrepreneurship that are pivotal to Chattanooga’s recent burst of achievements.  Here’s a speech that he gave to the Chattanooga Rotary Club in August, 2008, that […]

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by (RSS) Poverty, Trends and Issues | March 21st, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on The Past Is Never Dead. It’s Not Even Past.

From Angry Bear: It’s always the same map. Here from Brad Delong is the map of the percentage who were slave by county in 1861   here is the corresponding area of a map of intergenerational relative income mobility by county from R Chetty 2014   Here is a map of male life expectancy at […]

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by (RSS) Poverty | March 21st, 2014 12:40am CST | Comments Off on Data Points: Poverty

State of Tennessee Poverty Rates: Overall                           — 17.3% Caucasian                     —  18%  — 905,967 people African-American            —  37%  — 399,225 people Memphis Poverty Rates: Overall                           —  26.2% Caucasian                     —  12.6% African-American           — 33.7% The inner city poverty rate in Memphis is 36%.  The inner city makes […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Neighborhoods | March 20th, 2014 3:00pm CST | 1 Comment

From Governing: Few urban problems are more insidious than blight. Vacant or dilapidated properties suppress property values, threaten public safety, chase away investment and hurt quality of life. Blight was a challenge for New Orleans even before Hurricane Katrina flooded nearly 80 percent of the city’s housing stock in 2005. By 2010, New Orleans had […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | March 19th, 2014 12:52am CST | 3 Comments

What’s most disconcerting about the regularly inflammatory behavior of the Memphis Police Associations is that its members end up looking not so much like dedicated public servants as a special interest group pursuing a scorched earth attitude that treats other city departments as enemies. Dependable victims to the overheated rhetoric are the facts, particular crime […]

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by (RSS) Poverty | March 18th, 2014 3:55pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis MSA #2 in Economic Segregation of Large Regions

From Atlantic Cities: By Richard Florida Debates in the U.S. over income inequality have taken center stage in recent years, but its existence in our cities is of long standing. Major metro areas have been magnets for both the rich and the poor since ancient times; in fact they owe a great deal of their […]

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Sometimes, it seems like we are asked to decide if we want to live in the anecdotal Memphis or the factual Memphis. The former is a place where we can feel that the city is moving in the right direction because of the cumulative impact of community-based initiatives and the latter is a place where […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | March 14th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Baltimore’s Revenue Base on the Rise as ‘Change to Grow’ Increases Population

From Sustainable Cities Collective: The City of Baltimore is in dire need of new residents. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to have her sights on so-called “new Baltimoreans” to fill the city’s empty houses. Baltimore’s current population of 621,342, while a spirited group, is not enough to support the services provided by the City. Gaining new […]

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by (RSS) Parks and Greening | March 13th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Platforms for Experiencing Nature

From Sustainable Cities Collaborative: Tree Wood / Tochihiro Oki Architects For millennium, designers of our built and natural environments have positioned the viewer in nature, setting benches in just the right spots with gorgeous vistas, or even creating pavilions or pagodas that offer both a respite from the world and a vantage point for engaging […]

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