tv Annual State of Cities Report CSPAN June 12, 2018 5:24pm-6:29pm EDT
cities, education, jobs and race relations. mayors daniel rivera of massachusetts and jim strikland of memphis, tennessee, review the report. . >> good morning. i'm claerns anthony. welcome to nlc's headquarters here and we refer it to the city hall away the from home for most of our municipal officials around america. thank you all for joining us. we're here to learn about priorities of america's mayors. five years ago, we began this research when washington was
roried in dysfunction and today, things are not much different. but as you know, city leaders don't have the luxury of doing nothing. i leaed when i served as mayor in a small city in south flr for 24 aryewe dealt with issues of s to broad band to water and waste water issues. transportation infrastructure, police, opioids, race relations, city officials have to deal with those issues. so we lead and will in reed and you'll see cit mayors lead on issues that are important. that's why we started this verge to look at mayoral priorities from cities large and small and urban and rural.
we wanted to know what america's local governments were prioritizing and accomplishing. and to understand why these change over time. fast forward today. twhaen local leaders will continue to lead. and they recognize their important role in making sure america's cities function officially and effectively. let's hear how mayors are lead ing. >> prooifing to be the heart of themselves of a nation built on the promise of libber thety and justice for all. >> we will build safer communities and advance the cause of racial and soc justice. we need leadership not caught up
and it can see the future. >> we understand clearly. global warming, when koour national government fails. we have pay attention to a new category of infrastructure. digital infrastrture. >> if we want to remain competitive and we are in a global marketplace, technology e thmust beconomic driver of this city. >> we will invest to create jobs and opportunity in all neighborhoods to ensure housing and to equip families are tools to turn income into wealth. our cities have powerful voices that are representing citizens. when you were little, your mom or dad would ask you what do you
want to be when you grow up. most auch back then, they would say i want to be president of the united states. that's my fwoel. even was so proud. but today, you're asking your kids that and most often, they're saying i want to be mayor ofty. my ci we're looking at cities, what are the biggest issues facing mayors today. what innovations have ceased in chairs with each other. what's next for america's cities in the 250 million residents that call their cities home. but before we get to theesults of the state of city's report, i'd like to invite you to connect with nlc on our social
media channels. that's easiest way eck learn more from you and you can share your reflections about this event. lease information to for example to the future of cities. please connect wit us and we hope to see you through the year. you'll learn a little bit more about our convening a little later. we're hear to hear about state of america's cities and i'd like to sbruns christie, our drirectr to share results. more importantly, let's use this information to continue to improve our communities. thank you very much. thank you.
>> thank you, clearance. i asked my son who's 6 what he'd like to be when he gets older and to my great surprise, he did say mayor. it was pretty awesome. so yes, here we are in our fifth year. it's amazing to be here. it's amazing to have unpacked mayoral cities to see the consistencies of what mayors are talking about. our focus on state of thety speech is a unique one and a por important one as well. mayors use the speech to e reflect not only on the accomplishments, but it's really their opportunity to lay out the vision they have for their city and to also talk about how they're going to get there.
they talk about project plans. timeline and also the resources that they plan to commit. with that. this year, when we talk about the priorities of mayor, we're talking about economic development, infrastructure and budget and management as those top issues for mayors across the country. when we look closely, we find budgets. this is due to mayors offering more details on infrastructure plans this year. is points to mayors increasing view on infrastructure as not only a core local government function tha requires policy attention, but even greate policy attention than in the past. as well as strategy and resources like never before. however, it's important to note the top issues have remained consistent over time.
although we find that the prevalence of major issues does not change, it's the way that mayors are talking about ibs that does tend to shift. for example, what does it mean when the mayor of atlanta talks about budget and management versus the mayor of akron? to better understand the local nuances of each other, we dig deeper to sub topics. 182 detailed topics from 160 speeches from cities across population and geographic regions. mayors discussed 17 sub topic. some were grouped into the major categories and some were having
significant coverage if a mayor's speech, if they constitute 10%. on average, they talk about four major topics per speech. i'm going to share insights i those top three in 2018. economic development, infrastructure and budget and management issues. 58% of state of the city speeches significantly cover economic development. there's a general positive sentiment, they were talking about core issues like jobs and business development, retention. as well as neighborhood vitalization. all continue to be prevalent in mayor's speeches. this year, downtown document edged out all other sub topics for the top spot. places like west virginia, the mayor points to zones, the mayor
of kingston poke about development in the context not needing to development growth and jobs but also shared concerns about displacement and economic inequities. arts and culture was a prevalent topic. the mayor noted they should add to the existing eventualture that provides millions for the region and aracts and retains those looking for creative eck appearances in terms of where they want to live andwork. this year, in terms of economic development, we also uncovered economic transformation related sub topics, police. these are gaining traction in
56% discusseded issues. mayors are confident about the infrastructure issues they have control over. but express trepidation when talk iing about large scale infrastructure needs. the mt popular topic is a category, roads, streets and signs. everyone's concerned with where this is coming up here. is and mayors talking to the constituency about these issues. they spoke about specific plans. through our way finding project which saw the insulation of over 30 new signs.
our gateways downtowns in the near future. mayors are more likely to discuss public transit and linkages between infrastructure and economic growth. for example, atlanta mayor bottoms noted that the city will undergo the largest expansion of its public transit system in history mayor mike of detroit suggests that a first class bus system is critical. he will begin plans to expand the bus system. none would be complete without talking about everything there of. we are spending $172 million on streets and drainage i
improvements. yet this is not enough. we have more than $1 p billion worth of needs. we know from our analysis that little rock is not alone. the mayor goes on to sayities neigh wide have turned to the federal government asking for a true partner. 49% of state of the city speeches cover budget and management issues. this category includes sub topics like budgets and property taxes. they express a positive outlook and that they're making in efficiencies and so forth. but have concerns about factors that threaten to undermine their fiscal health. specifically for mayors and cities in the west, from mayors of larger cities.
issues range from local federal tensions like gun violence and issues like tax constraints and pension reform. but we know that regardless, mayors continue to press on and solve problems particularly around these issues for example, mayor of new york who is exploring revenues despite policies at the state level, expanded use of solar energy and a review of how city owned properties can generate new revenue for the city. the primary way that mayors in the nation's smallest cities are talking about budget and management issues is in terms of government efficiency and effectiveness. for example, using new examples to streamline pross and pet registration. they talked about the property tax.
for example, mayor adler addressed the 288% property tax increase for residents in just five years, saying when people say property taxes are too high or growing too fast, wee not talking about city taxes or county hospital taxes or hospital property taxes or school district property taxes. we're talk about state property taxes. in talking about the cap reductions, the a mayor in indiana noted this may be good news for property owner's wall let, but a burden to schools who must find a replacement for this funding. the mayor spent a lot of time in their speeches educated those on what it means when their property taxes are infl despite variations, one thing this makes clear is that mayors are problem solvers. they have aeen insight into
how they can affect change within their communities. as a nation, it's incumbent on us to elevate the voices of our mayors in cities larnl and small. with that, it is now my pleasure to welcome to this stage mayor jim strikland of memphis, tennessee. mayor rivera of massachusetts, my co-author and editor of city lab, who will lead the panel as they reflect on these findings. thank you. >> we are a sister sight of the atlantic.
asmentioneded, we have several mayors with us and anita from nlc. mayor rivera from lawrence. he's inoreast your population size is about 85,000. so one of this the things that christie ta started to get into they have different priorities. you're in that category. and mayor strickland, you're in memphis, 650,000 and in the south. that so reflects some of what your priorities may be.
i want to talk about how you frame your cities. so mayor, you started with the set up about what you call interesting times. it's everything from the federal government to teacher strikes to drug overdose crisis and everything in between. tell me what you meant when you framed your concerns of interesting times and the contest of federal and state issues. >> i'm not really talking to people. so i wanted them to, it's a normal set of circumstances. it's supposed to be an old chinese curse. after much thinking, it's not true.
somebody made it up and some english person. we keep using. it's really -- may you live in interesting times because in noninteresting time, thing rs cool. but in noninteresting time, it's like this. trz even though we're doing well and our city was strong, we're in this place where nothing that was normal before like federal grants for police officer, no more. a full response to what the national conversion isaming as academic. a shared financial public education. that's not coming either. so i wanted to make sure we
balanced our books and for listening time to address, the circumstances which we're doing has changed. one thing regarding your demographics is that you have long been a city of immigrants and remain so. bo cities are minority white. and different ways. you were called out and you had an interesting response. >> i don't know if you guys remember the american president in the lead actor, this fwi's not interested in telling you how to solve your problems, only who's to blame and who fto be afraid of. this week, the mayor, the governor of maine who's a colorful guy, the governor of new hampshire, who's trying to be a colorful guy, then the president all have this like book on how to begin up their base and let's quick lawrenkick
around. we don't just come back and say the answer to this crisis isn't that let's find out just where the drug dealers are. that's easy. how do we get these people into treatment. that's hard. it's expensive sh not pretty. doesn't show up good on a palm card when you go knocking on doors. that's a good picture. so we just went back and forth. i coul i don't want your white drug users in your community. i refuse to take the bait on that. clinton put new police officers on the street. why d't you p new police officers on the street? even george bush sr. put money into treatment. >> mayor, you said we don't get
involved in the partisan politics of the day. f later, our team shuts up, rolls up its sleeves and takes action. the tell me how you came to that phosophy and whether you feel you're turning the other cheek how you do that. >> maybe i have one advantage the mayor doesn't have. we've not been beaten up. so but we really do, i don'tet involved in national politics, i think the people elected me to solve their problems. which is hire more police, drive down crime, answer 911 calls bert. pave streets, fill potholes. clean up blight, create yjob opportunities and that's what we do. we're showg results. memphis, like many big cities, has lot of great things going on, but we have big challenges. the public wants us to be realistic about our challenges.
it's not just a everything's great. ignore what's going on over here. my job is equal parts cheerleader and optimistic about what's going on, but cleared out b about our challenges. to tackle our challenge, we've got to be on the same page. republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, black and white. rich and poor. so i think that's a good place to pivot and ask anita to context yulize. also getting to this topic of intergovernmental relations which as christie mentions, was a popular theme. you did the abl angel is srt report put out f. tell me what's encompass nd this notion of intergovernmental
relations. >> sure, it's definitely -- >> i think you have to turn it on. to you guys hear her? it is on. >> is is everyone here? okay. i think you're fine. >> okay. trz so i think just like mayor strickland and mayor rivera mentioned, it was about police lations and opioids, but some of the other topics we kept seeing were things like pensions and things like ability to tax. we saw that in several states that are finding it very frustrating to not be able to tax many visitors that are coming in. even memphis. you have so many visitor coming in every year, but it's frustrating because you can't really leverage all of the dollars that are being spent. and so those are some of the topic that is we kept seeing. i took a few more notes here.
i worked in indiana before i came here. just thinking even the property tax cap, christie mentioned, what kind of impact was that having in cities and how is it hurting cities in whchuwaka -- d your confederate monuments and the state was reciprocated or responded to that minetively, one might say. how do you think about actions like that as you try to not think about your relationship? >> well, i've been mayor for almost 2 1/2 years and we put a big priority on government relations, with our city
counsel, county government and federal government. and try to bill person relationships, try to tell the memphis story, thing that are going great, where we need help, and we've worked really hard on that. but, this past december we sold a couple parks and the private owners were able to remove three confederate statues, because we had the state law that said city government could not do that. so, we sold the properties and they took them down. and there were people who strongly disagreed with us in the state legislature. we try to stay on task all throughout this legislative session, which was basically january through may. work as hard as we can, take the criticism when we get it, but try to remain positive. we do -- i've never criticized other elected officials and even when they're criticizing me, because what i'm trying to reach
the end go, which is help memphis. and, overall the legislative season was good. we did take one cut of $250,000 to the bicentennial celebration next year and while we would have appreciated that money we live with the outcome. and while we got some other wins, some white legislation that's going to h us, transfer title, because that was an issue. and some other thing. we just got to keep moving ahead. we got to -- i try to do what i think is right, and i thought that was the right thing to do. we knew that there would be criticism and you just have to live with it and minimize it as much as you can. >> glass half full approach. >> yeah. >> all right let's -- >> mayors have to live glass half full, i mean, we just do, because it's a tough job and we have to balance our budge.
we have to balance our budget, we just can't abate things, we got to get things done. that pothole needs to be if i canned, that garbage needs to be picked up. >> and this is -- i don't know how you can impose on people any more. when you go grocery shopping, people are talking about their park, their sidewalk, their street and you can be at this thing where you're celebrating something very big and this big thing, and somebody will walk up to you and say, hey, you know my trash didn't get picked up today. >> yes. >> and you can't run from that. i don't know if anybody asked the president that or congress people, hey something big national didn't happen how come it didn't happen to me. but this is personal for people. >> to that end, mayor you did pivot from your intro, we'll address interesting times but balancing or budget something to that effect, to the point of
getting our finances and house in order. and in fact that was the focus of your own priorities and wen from there. so, amongst the things you articulated to being important to people are streets and -- >> sidewalks and streets. >> sidewalks, trees. >> what's funny, this tree thing, they weren't trees that somebody planted, they were weeds that turned into trees. some of them were trees that the city never maintained. you go knocking, you see that tree, it's not mine, it's going to fall on my house next fall. bpw doesn't want to take free trees down. we're going to go in there and take the trees that are hazardous to people's health and property. it's one of those thing where if you don't do it right, people will think government doesn't work. we can't have -- washington and the state legislature are going to have a message that government doesn't work so don't
trust them. a lot of people run on those messages but we can't. if municipal government doesn't work it's not very long before weave chaos. >> yeah. so, another one you talked about was housing and reinventing your abandoned mills, once was a miltown, it once was a factory town. what is the nature of the houses that you experience? is it an affordability issue, how does that play out? >> it's a couple things for us. we're a smaller city north of boston, they had gotten a jump on us for developing houses for mill building. i was concerning we'd be late to the game and tax the flow on an up kind of mark for housing. we kind of fought a little bit. because we are one of the fastest growing communities in the commonwealth in massachusetts, we definitely hao using. housing as a way to keep rents
down, a way to keep people from living two and three families. this is for instance, i know what a hot housing market look like but we didn't fknow what a housing rental look like, that's two or three people showing up in an arent. if you ever signed up for school you have to bring a bill to show that you live in the city. one was coming in with a cable bill, one, a gas bill, different names. even though we don't want the decemberty we feel density may vent fie our community. we have to get that under control. thetalarket is crazy for our city like barns. we sold single family homes in our community for $488,000. that may seem like a lot of money in some communities, it was sh a big deal. my director texted me and said something's going on here. we haven't seen a $488,000 in a
single family home in a long time. me anti-family unit as you worked toward what you call building up instead of billing out. can you talk about that? >> sure, let me back up. you said memphis is about 650,000 people which is slightly smaller than boston. but, we are 340 square miles, h utive times as large as boston and that's a real challenge in delivering services. memphis grew actually from the very beginning, 200 years ago by annexing, has very liberal annexation laws. and people would live out and go annexing and growing and growing. the days of annexation are over. we have now paid a price. we have no density, and it's hard to deliver services, public
transportation being a major one. so, we got to focus on our core in our neighborhoods and literally growing up instead of out. we are looking into deng, actually we're moving forward with i a shrinking the size of our city and really focus on sentives, including multifamily on the core city. we want -- we got to grow our city, not by growing the boundaries but by growing the population. that's our number one challenge in memphis, growing population, like many big cities that have sort of lost population over the last 50, 60 years. we got a momentum in that regard. a lot of people want to live in the urban area. when i was young most people wanted to live in the suburban area. it's a lot different now.
we have momentum but we got to fix our challenges to really grow that. >> you made the point that i wanted to note that you had articulated population losses as quote/unquote the number one issue. do you anticipate that by building up the core you'll be drawing in younger folks who are interested? >> yes, but doing a lot of things but that's one of them. with the growth that we're having, incentivizing multiple families, getting younger people to move in. but also dealing with the issues that are causing people to leave, which is frankly crime an schools. we have to improve public safety dramatically. we've taken a lot of steps towards that, that's going to take a while. we got to improve educational achievement. that's a separate entities that run the schools but we have to support them as much as we can. because we have lost so much population our budget is statistic. you mentioned earlier, we don't
have an income tax in tennessee, we don't have a payroll tax. that's probably 80 to 100,000 people who work in memphis who live outside of mis and we can't tax them. that's taking advantage of our loads and infrastructure and we have to deal with thatnd coince them it's better to live inside the city. we have an aggressive plan to prove public safety even the schools are working particularly on early childhood educion, try to capitalize on the cool stuff going on to draw more young people. all that together over the long haul i don't think you'll see memphis stewart growing. >> so you guys are echoed the issues on i think a lot of cities have experienced, but particularly housing afoshlt and downtown -- one thing i wanted to ask you is what are some of the bigger cities or other cities not in this category that
are growing instead of losing population, experiencing those kind of problems? how are what some of they're talking about different? maybe homeless for example and other folks as well? >> yeah, there are a lot of folks. i was thinking more about the population growth and how we solve it in particular this ye. we didn'tee -- really the population lost we see that if a lot of rural areas, you aurban e areas. it could be a function as many mayo mayors don't want to highlight the negatives or it could be it's coming out in other ys, crimes, or proximity to the city center. maybe lack of arts and culture, that kind of thing. it's not that we're not seeing it in population growth per se it could be in different form. some of the successful thi that i'm seeing, especially massachusetts, knewton for
example comes to mind with these dockless bike sharing and bike sharing programs in general. i think more and more cities are trying to leverage those types of programs. and more of a neutral lane as well. like dockless sharing, you can throw your bike in the street and ready to go, more or less. i think that's cropping up in more regions, even in new jersey. >> are you interested in dockless bikes? yes. >> w do have a nonprofit in memphis start a bike share ten days ago. the city cooperated on permitting and so forth. the first two weeks has been a big hit. but, memphis is a -- i think a unique city, we have soul, we have vibe, we're a good city, good people. they've done it in a different way, it's not just in the downtown location. is bike share is in neighborhoods that are
struggling and in the cool hip neighborhoods and downtown. so, we wanted to show equity even in our bike share program. >> yeah, i worry about that, somebody want to get me on a bike, so i don't know. but, you know we actually have a prably have the highest e density of vehicles in the commonwealth as well because we have so many folks -- we're 6.780 square les. it gets tight quick. so yeah -- but everybody's doing itut don't think it will be long before we get a bike share as well. >> mayor strickland i want to turn back to you, public safety and also race. you have a majority black city and your city celebrated a major occasion this year as well with the 50th anniversary of mlk's death. you ran on a platform of improving public safety in
particular, and also that was something you talked a bit about in your speech. something you talked about in your speech were achievements around kin of efficiency of government and innovation, so 911 calls being improved, hiring new officers. how do you reconcile with some of those things, around the time you were elected your city was put under the supervision by the department of justice if y, you eluded in your speech the shooting of a black t also the racial tension surrounding policing? >> yeah, the doj at that time was not under their supervision, it was more of a vice led process which we asked to continue under the new federal administration, and it changed a bit from that process. but, memphis yans all over the city, black and white, democratic republicans, no matter where you live are really
sick of crime. there are ctain neighborhoods that hear gunshots every single day. i've had a motor tell me she's tired of sleeping in the bathtub to avoid any kindf o possible bullet going through the house. seriously.to take that and, we are fortunate in a way that while we always could improve the relationship between the police department and the community, aay and we work on that constantly. we have a very diverse police force itself. the police force is probably 60% african-american, and that's a huge advantage. when i talk to other mayors i can't believe how diverseur police department is, so that helps a lot. cior police t majority of officers, they want them patrolling their tired of the v crime and domestic violence is a hugeroblem. they want those people punished. they also at the same time want young people to go down the
light path and not the wrong path. we got to do more for kids, we got to give young kids productive to do when they're out of school. it's the right thing for their child and the right thing for the eire city. if a child gets a good education and after school have something productive to do we're building up that whole child. therefore it's less likely they go into a life of crime. then we're working real hard to give people second chances. if they have a criminal record and they qualify for expunge, i raise $7,000 of private money to help them get that record expunge. we helped 150 people to help them get their record expunge. the safety plan is broad based. it's more police officers, tracking down on the illegal use of guns, violent criminals. lifting up people, getting them job opportunities. tennessee is the only state in
the country that has free community college and tech schools. that's a huge advantage. whether your 18 or 68 you can go to free tech school. and you talk about economic dwi. the number one thing about economic development i've learned as my time as mayor is work force development. thanks to our state government making it free, we need to take advantage of that. the more people that have jobs the less likely they'll commit crimes. >> and that's more what people want, if you go to a crime scene they're talking to people, inevitably somebody says we feed to have something for these kids to do. it's more cops to fight crime, a better education for kids in the class rooms which means fixing the class rooms too, not just paying the teachers the right wage. and afterschool program, and gang intervention and also what
the domestic violence, who have domestic violence workers in the city doing preventive work. and people want that, they just don't want to be toughnime, they want thattoo. they want all thingrom homicide to cross walk and j walking to. >> and you mention the data, we measure everything. we've increased the youth involvement in our community centers and libraries after school b about 30% roughly, and we want to keep that going. there's a lot of great nonprofit, it is multifast, you t to do it all. >> mayor you jumped in there and meioned a lot of work your city's contending with a lot of things you mentioned in your speeches, the types of crime going down, homicides are not. in fact there was this shooting video ofew weeks ago that happened in broad daylight that was going around the internet as some of the violence you're experiencing in your community.
what do you think is the one or two thing that you're looking towards? or what do you think is the causes around that issue? >> just like we can't hide from the stuff that's reay in peoples' faces every day, i refuse to take control or take responsibility for stuff that isn't really in that lane. so, when a young kid can go into new hampshire or even as far as maine, and buy a gun and bring it back and sell it in lawrence for a lot of money, and that gun is on the street, i can't really control that. people are like, how do you get the guns off the street? well we put a lot of police officers on the street and vehicle stops, in a way that doesn't invade civil rights, that's a refleio on the amount of illegal guns we have on the street. we had the worst homicide we had in i think 15 years number last year. a bunch of them were domestic
violence but a bunch of them were violent crimes. what we try to do is be responsive, the police department both be respoe t itself also the neighborhood. we dooor knocking. after there was a homicide in the neighborhood we'll go talk to the neighbors. sometime they'll ask, you know, what took you so long. when it happens in a quiet neighborhood you think why would i pay that attention just outside of basic services in that neighborhood. but, it is a problem, for me that could be solved at the national level. although we can do some stuff, like corral people -- becaus buy bullets too for our police officers. we can say, follow up uso buy your bullets and your gun for our police officers -- you have a lot more police officers than i do -- you can look at buying contend gennesy and make them look at policies around selling guns if a different way at gun
shows. we never done it but i think jersey was trying to do it. >> how how many mayors -- not how many, but others talk about guns thissier -- >> exactly. so i was thinking about all the different topics that came education for our-out, program, communityrograms in the parks, especially -- parks and recreation as you all may know was a subtopic for us. the way in which mayors are talking about parksseone different, depenng on where you are on the size of the population. one of them is educating our youth, finding them a place where the youth can go and play just be kids, learn fromach other. there's different types of after school programs. for the older youth makes me think about the tuition free program that was prevalent this year. across a few cities in the united states, like detroit, i think mayor doug mentioned that
last year as well, i think these are great opportunities where it's not just, you know lik, one incident in the neighborhood. these are overarching plans that cities can implement. lastly, in terms of the gun violence, i feel i have to mention this, unfortunately school shootings came up, at least about ten speeches or so and they specifically mentioned the parkland shooting. our sample size is only up to mid-april. if we keep going, especially for many of those cities that give speeches in july, august, accept, i'm sure we'll hear about the recent shooting as well. that's something that especially i find that mayors are calling on federal action. it's basically in the vain of, hey what's going on, we're struggling in these cities, what can you do about it? and there's cities like d.c. where the mayor is trying to pass legislation to ban bunk
stops. so, i think mayors are trying to take action in their own hands and implement gun violence where ever they can. >> a lot of people bring their kids and they see a needle on this ground, for that to them feels like crime. we spend a lot of time cleaning up the parks making them usable. >> what we've done is decades ago when memphis -- the parks had city employees in the parks working with young people programming. it's been going on for decades. we're bringing it back this summer, i believe it starts next week, in 20 of our parks with four employees in each of the parks, with sports, arts, programming, against make them safe and give young kids something to do. >> sometimes all they feed is a
ball and they'll be there. >> it's good in the parks characterized as being health issue. you guys are talking about it as a public safety issue, which of course it is also an initiative was mentioned amongst a bunch of cities to get a park within like a half mile of a return, is that right? >> yeah. >> let's talk about health threat. do you think about parks whether you think about health, how much is a priority for you guys? >> i don't know, i'm the west poster child for this conversation. >> the two of us. >> i think about it as not just the parks but for us it's about the food. so, we have an awful restaurant scene we're trying to get it going. it can't be the bodegas and markets, those are small restaurants if a neighborhood run by a family. in that neighborhood for five
bucks you get a huge plate of rice and chicken, you can feed your family on five bucks. you can't beat that. but as you know a large plate of white rice, with a lot of salt it's not good for you. sometimes there's no green on the plate. we are getting money to the to invest in refrigeration but also get some greens into people. but naturally there's that in our culture, we are a majority hispanic community, puerto ricans, dominican, guatemala lands, we dhave tt stuff naturally in our community, it's expensive. when you go shopping in any parking lot to shop on the outside, it's really expensive, there's no poultry. and vegetables that stuff is expensive, you can blow all your money on the outside.
>> on regar health, tennessee our counselors are responsible for health. they fund the public hospital, we try to support them. we worked with blue cross blue she'll, they are sponsoring one of our parks. and they're going to put a lot into making us fit. track, 100 yard dash, facility. we are partnering with the nonprofit community and county government in green ways which are places where people wit walk and ride their bike from the eastern part of our crow al way down to the river, on the west end, it's about 30 miles or so of paved path ways. we think it's important. >> understood. okay, we're going to take questions if about five minutes, i want to aler people to start thinking about your questions. s othe' topic i feel in this
which we barely talked about, which i know is a major part in economic development. revitalization of number one, and then there's jobs. mayor strickland, you particularly have had discreet initiatives around jobs and equity. i know you were focused on initiative around contracting for giving more crack contracts to minorities. >> let's set the stage, you talked about memphis, we are city, 65% african-american. yet, if you add up all the business transacted, not just government, but us going to the grocery store and buying insurance, all the business trans acted in memphis, only 1% of that business go to african-american owned businesses.
that's not a sustained model. for the health of memphis we got to do better. we have a three-fold plan, first of all the city had to do better. only 12% of our contracts went to mwbes. if our first year we increased that to 21%. this is our second fiscal year, we're already at 21%, we're twieing to push that higher. government don't do that on their own, we don't spend enough money to lift everyone. we have to grow and diversify the businesses that african-americans own. we have a couple propel programs which basically it's tudors and mentors and advice on how to grow businesses. yesterday, we announced a partnershiit christian brothers university, a local college. and fedex, great corporate citizens in memps, and hopefully we'll get some other
partners, to really put money into roughly 800 businesses owned by african-americans that are kind of stuck. they've reached a plateau between start up and really big growth. they might have two employees, but with a little access to capital through loans or grants, or through education, they could get 10 employees. so, our goal, we put all this money together, couple of million dollars, we're hoping to grow that fund in partnership with the academics and people who are trying to build businesses. with a goal by 2023, we -- we don't want to overpromise and jurn deliver. so grow their businesses by 10%. they've hit a plateau, so, let's get in there. we're all going to shoot by getting that big business,
thousand jobs. wouldn't that be great if 800 businesses grew by more employees, that would be huge. and it's the right thing to do because past discrimination, that i have not had access to capital, which is one of the big things. and thank goodness, cooperate citizens of memphis agree with us. i'd be remiss if i didn't mention jo an massy sitting out here as you'll foe, s's driving the issue on this program. >> can you top that? >> no, i don't know if you guys -- with you did an amazon 2 video. we're not that big. even though we have a regional economic development, and the core of that is our community where we have a bunch of workers. it's always been a place with people work on our city seal, two workers, there's a damn, i
would say there's a beaver but there's not a "b" and work has been a big part of our community. even if you have a business around our community, workers are going to come for lawrence. we're not trying to sell to bigger organizations -- >> letlet's say your company, starbucks in the news. instead of places one -- i guarantee you it's not going to fail because we have the depose bl income with the cities around the city of lawrence is so huge, people are going to come and buy your product there. they're not going to buy -- but they're going to work in those places. people from around the community are going to come in and spend their money in those places. we do that fir thing, try to sell to the marketplace if there's a bunch of base hits that we have, and be smarter
than the market because the markets are sometime lazy. if you show them how to make a million dollars, everybody want to see but if you show them how to work for it, they're like, i don't know how much work i want to make. and then, secondly, we do invest in the work force, that's the biggest thing we saw, lauren where people work. if y c from guatemala or from the dominican republic and you need english as a second language, we're going to have that available. we spend a lot of money getting seats in class rooms from community base organizations, to the colleges, community colleges to provide english as a second language for everybody from 21 years old and up. that's fundamental need for that. we focus on both the sides. and luckily for us we are seeing
a growth in the small business sector, they're doing two and three at a time, which is amazing. >> c i tie in cou points there? >> yeah and then we'll take questions. >> we had certain areas in memphis that are booming and we want to that growth. we also want other areasf our city to get that economic momentum that we've got. that's going to take more effort. we've the first strategic growth plan in memphis in 40 years, so how can we grow these other areas so every resident in memphis can feel this boom. >> everybody by the city, that's incredibly difficult, the bureaucra bureaucracy wants to do what they want to do. so, that's difficult to do. and others said, well, are you
trying to give this dude a contract, i'm like, no i'm trying to get money to the community, which looks like me trying to give this dude a contract. and i'm not trying to do that. >> thank you for explaining the significance of starbucks, which i did notice -- so -- >> dthe only driver through. thank you right. >> with that we'll open it up to questions. yes. do we have a -- hs got the mic, okay. >> brian charles governing magazine. mayor strickland you talked about dense fieing memphis and getting people to come back into the city. how do you balance that against like, maintaining your black population in place? how do you bring in new workers without causing type of gentry fie case that pushes yourck population out? >> memphis is 20 years away from that. we have so much land, available housing -- i know it's an issue
in other cities, not in memphis. the growth that you see going on in memphis is repurposing abandoned buildings, so it's not moving the smith family out and moving young hipster in. it is repurposing an abandoned building. we've had that over and over and over. there's a lot more room to grow. because we're 340 square miles there's a lot of just available la. now, we've also tried to work and incentivize affordable housing too, we know that's an issue. we're partnering with the the church of god in christ in memphis on affordable housing industry near the maple temple. and we incentivize through the board on a building if aforceable housing. we got both. at some point a mayor after me
have to deal with gentry fay occasion, but that's not an issue now. >> that's a hard thing to do because you don't want to control the market. you can't say hey, don't sell your property -- for us it's people moving in from boston, and don't sell your house for this huge am of money you've never seen in your life just because the family's white or affluent. it's hard to do. c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today we to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cae or satellite provider. this coming thursday
democratic and republican members of congress will face off in the 57th annual coressiol baseball game f charity. the game will be played at nationals park. live coverage begans 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span three. you can also watch at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. sunday on q & a, a documentary discussed, "hit and stay" a film of resistance of activists who protested the vote father and moth vietnam wo vietn vietnam war. >> it made the public think well if they're against the war maybe i should reconsider it myself, and that was a turning point for the anti-war movement.
>> they're action clearly didn't end the vietnam war, but i don't see how you could argue that it didn't help in the draft. the head of the selective service said publicly they felt they were under attack. so, i think it clearly, you can draw aine from what they did to the draft ending in '73. >> sunday at 8 eastern on c-span's q & a. sunday night on "after wards" bil talk about his book. >> who is one of the most persuasive guests -- >> john mccain. >> on what subject? >> on several. he was brutally honest, willing to take on his own party.
i wrote a book critical about barack obama which is called "buyer's remorse" which i got a lot of crap from. if john mccain felt his party was not living up to what he believe the republican party to be, he was willing to say say. >> watch "after words" sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 book t.v. federal railroad administration had ronald betory update rail safety. and progress on positive train control or ptc, an automated system designed to stop trains if certain dangers, such as excessive speed or potential collision are detected. he testified before a