We are posting the resolutions, commentaries, and predictions of Memphians as they look to the year ahead. 

Ellis, Attorney, Butler Snow Law Firm, and Member, Downtown Commission:

Happy Birthday, Memphis!

Milestone birthdays should be celebrated as they represent more than just a number. 200 years of rich and transformative history for sure—but more than accomplishments and accolades for what has been done in Memphis– we really are championing the future—the tomorrows that will shape the next 100 years.

My hope for this is that everyone will look to tomorrow and the next day and figure out how each of us can make our more vibrant, more accessible, more attractive and yes, kinder!

Memphis is about its people and the welcoming and positive front door we open for newcomers and our own. There is a dignity that permeates our City that demonstrates a will to  do more and do it better. As we say Happy Birthday to the City we love and support, may we all continue to demonstrate and respect the dignity of each and every person in our wonderful community.

Together,  we make all things better!

, Vice-President, Community and External Affairs, Memphis Light, Gas & Water:

During the last few years, I have grown increasingly concerned about local news coverage.

Recently, I emailed the number one person of one of the TV stations and asked him to review his station’s website. I asked him, ‘Please click on the link below and let me know if you would visit Memphis after reading the headlines on this website – every story on your website is about crime/violence.’

I would love for the local media to go one day, I’m not going to ask for a week, but one day not to report on crime in Memphis. The kind of constant, bombarding of negative news/crime by some outlets can greatly impact economic development, tourism dollars, potential company relocations and growth of current companies, and flight from the Memphis area which negatively impacts our tax base.

When I visit other cities I always watch the news. In those cities with high crime rates,  I have yet to see their local news portraying their city’s high crime/violence on a regular basis.

As for my personal 2019 resolutions, which I normally don’t do, I plan to stay in my political lane and work on guidance and direction for our future young leaders. Also, I am hoping for peaceful, clean, competitive City elections.”

, Executive Director, Metal Museum:

My New Year’s resolution for the Metal Museum and for Memphis at large is to stop thinking of ourselves as the underdog.  There are great things in store for the Museum and for the city – and it is time that we lift our heads with pride as we look to the future.

, President, Neighborhood Preservation Inc.:

In 2018, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. (“NPI”) and our partners in the Blight Elimination Steering Team achieved two huge goals – passage in the state legislature of major improvements to our anti-blight litigation statute (the Neighborhood Preservation Act, T.C.A. 13-6-101-108), and passage at City Council of the international property maintenance code (or “IPMC”).  These two major new tools are the culmination of years of collaborative work, and will make it possible for Memphis to go farther faster in the fight against blighted properties in 2019.  I believe property owners will notice that the rules of the game have changed.  But there remains much work to be done.

In 2019, NPI has resolved to work with local government to strengthen the local land bank authority, the Blight Authority of Memphis, which I believe is a sleeping giant that will play a central role in transforming neighborhoods that suffer from disinvestment and neglect.  And we’ll be working with the state legislature, the title industry and the delinquent tax collectors in city and county government to pursue a scaled up solution to the thousands of abandoned parcels of real estate in our community that cannot be used because their title cannot be insured – in hopes of breathing life back into core Memphis neighborhoods.

In my experience, there has never been a more exciting time to work in Memphis on neighborhood revitalization!



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