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Rardy

Memphis FastForward

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Memphis FastForward is the $61 million plan to boost the quality of life of Memphians in 4 areas over 5 years: crime, education and workforce development, government efficiency and economic development.

The plan is supported by the city and county mayors and heads of the city's largest companies (including Methodist and FedEx).

About 400 businesses invited to the Aug. 20 event will get an in-depth look at Memphis Fast Forward, particularly the economic development portion of the plan. They will also learn how much money the public and private sectors have raised , said John Moore, president and CEO of the Memphis Regional Chamber, which will be responsible for implementing much of the economic development portion of Memphis Fast Forward.

The next morning, attendees will have a FedEx-delivered package describing the plan in detail and a request for a financial commitment.

"We will be able to say say we've raised the bulk of the money from the public and private sector and we want you to participate," said Moore. "You certainly don't want just a small percentage of the community participating. You want as many people as possible to participate and that has been one of the great things about the plan."

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Good move! Anyone wanna guess what neighborhoods will be focused on? I wonder if this will just boost all the revitalization efforts that are already going on (i.e Binghampton, Airport, Graceland, U of M) or if it'll work on areas not focused on yet.

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^

Because better jobs bring a more educated, wealthier population which in return gives a higher quality of life to the city.

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Good move! Anyone wanna guess what neighborhoods will be focused on? I wonder if this will just boost all the revitalization efforts that are already going on (i.e Binghampton, Airport, Graceland, U of M) or if it'll work on areas not focused on yet.

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Good move! Anyone wanna guess what neighborhoods will be focused on? I wonder if this will just boost all the revitalization efforts that are already going on (i.e Binghampton, Airport, Graceland, U of M) or if it'll work on areas not focused on yet.

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Another article in the CA about FastForward

Memphis seems to have had more success lately with public-private partnerships like this. It seems as though they've actually got something to work with.

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What concerns me is the quote that getting that new legislation proves what can be accomplished when they are committed. While it's a good step, the only results that matter are the crime statistics. I have a little bit of an issue if progress is measured through anything but crime statistics. Laws don't matter if there is no reduction. So while it's a great step, the quote appears to set the bar somewhat low, imo.

Or I could just be reading too much into a quote. It wouldn't be the first time.

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What concerns me is the quote that getting that new legislation proves what can be accomplished when they are committed. While it's a good step, the only results that matter are the crime statistics. I have a little bit of an issue if progress is measured through anything but crime statistics. Laws don't matter if there is no reduction. So while it's a great step, the quote appears to set the bar somewhat low, imo.

Or I could just be reading too much into a quote. It wouldn't be the first time.

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What concerns me is the quote that getting that new legislation proves what can be accomplished when they are committed. While it's a good step, the only results that matter are the crime statistics. I have a little bit of an issue if progress is measured through anything but crime statistics. Laws don't matter if there is no reduction. So while it's a great step, the quote appears to set the bar somewhat low, imo.

Or I could just be reading too much into a quote. It wouldn't be the first time.

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I'm also a little bit confused about this. I read the article and there are a few offhand sentences about the crimefighting initiative within Memphis FastForward, but clearly the focus of the article and the program is on job creation and job growth. I'd very much like to see crime statistics go down as well, but I'd hardly say they are the ONLY statistics that matter. If the unemployment rate does go down, and/or the poverty rate also goes down - surely that's a success too?

But I think I might be misunderstanding you. Sorry if I've misread...

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Memphis Fast Forward sounds interesting. Does anyone know where we can get the report/plan?

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I'm not sure I understand, but my read was that they're saying that the first step was toughening legislation, which they've done. The next step is stepped up policing, and all the rest of their initiatives. I didn't get the feeling they were saying they were done...at all...

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I read it as they were patting themselves on the back for getting the tough legislation. I'm kind of at a wait and see approach to see how successful they are in reducing crime. The proof is in the crime stats going down, not in passing new legislation. The legislation is a tool toward getting toward the goal; it to me is like a construction company saying that obtaining the tools (hammers, cranes, whatever) necessary to do the job "proves what can be accomplished when we're committed," when the actual proof is in the buildings built on time. I mean, it's certainly progress. I'm not disputing that. Just . . . I don't know, it's really troubling me to see that they are so ready to pat themselves on the back.

I guess the bottom line for me is I think it's too early to reach the conclusion that they've accomplished anything tangible toward the goals they're setting, or to determine what is proving what.

I've revised my conclusion, I think it's more a communication/interpretation issue between me and the person quoted. I don't like his phraseology. I will assume he didn't intend for it to sound like I am interpreting it. I nitpicked his quote a little/way too much. But man that quote irked me.

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Ah...I see what you're saying. I can see how you could read it that way. Maybe I'm wrong, but the way I read it was that they were patting themselves on the back for changing Gov. Bredesen's mind about that legislation...

You're right about crime stats. Like they say, the "proof's in the puddin'." :P

But I am encouraged by the fact they've set some pretty lofty, quantitive goals for themselves. In a way, they're asking for accountability in this by being so public about it. I know "one of the safest communities our size" is rather vague, but it's also rather specific too.

And there's no doubt about what 45,000 new jobs mean. So they've got A LOT of things to live up to their word on, which is exciting to me because they seem willing and motivated.

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I am always on board for high expectation and goals for the city. I just don't want a repeat of Memphis 2005, which after an auspicious start, sort of fizzled. It had some great achievements, such as leading the state in capital investments and breaking the 1 billion mark in such investments much earlier than anticipated. But some of it was also fools gold.

No fools gold here. It's gotta be on the up and up, transparent, legit achievements. The city deserves nothing less. Certainly we don't deserve illusions.

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Cool plan! I love memphis but most people around the state who do not live in memphis have a degree of dislike for it. But not me!!!

Hopefully I can visit there this fall when the weather cools down...

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Hopefully I can visit there this fall when the weather cools down...

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Yet another article in today's MBJ>>

A committee of the Memphis City Council has agreed to give Memphis FastForward $1.5 million, and Shelby County is expected to do the same. Another $15 million will come from private sector.

This funding is for the economic development aspect of the program.

The $1.5 million requested from the city will go towards the group's projected first year budget of $20.3 million. It has a five-year projected budget of $63.6 million.

The private sector will be asked to commit to the remaining $15.8 million not covered by the city, county and state in the first year, Shorb said.

That effort, while it has been quietly underway for months, said Taylor, will now pick up steam over the next 60 days. Around 25 of Memphis' largest employers and 50-75 second-tier companies will be targeted and asked to make some financial commitment to the new plan, called Memphis Fast Forward, Moore said.

Shorb said the initiative will give the city what's its been lacking: a clear economic development road map for Memphis and Shelby County.

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If it does, that's fine. It would help get our unemployment rate down. Honestly Gonzo, is there anything about Memphis that you like?

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Please don't start on the "OMG, HE SAID SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT MEMPHIS!!!!!" witch hunt. It's old, and it doesn't accomplish anything. "Negativity" isn't harming the city, it's the inability to provide criticism without having labels and accusations thrown your way, as they serve as an impediment to the critical viewpoints needed to bring about change.

Saying that anything that brings the unemployment rate down = good is a shallow argument. The statistic itself is flawed as it is (it only counts those actively seeking unemployment benefits - it's more politically agreeable that way. The rate can actually drop with a greater number of people out of work.) Furthermore, the quality of a job determines the employee's quality of life. If the former is questionable, then the latter will be almost certain. If these jobs aren't going to help the workers and help the city, then what's the point of spending the money and taking the time on a feel-good measure that tackles the problem from a superficial angle?

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At this point I don't know how we can know what it is because the plan is unavailable publicly. There have been a bunch of press-release style articles, with the same brochurish talking points, but the primary source is not to be found, at least by me. Memphis Tomorrow's Fast Forward page is empty and the Memphis Regional Chamber's website is not searchable (I can't find a search field anywhere). Not only are the goals vaporware at this point, but the plan itself is vaporware.

If it surfaces, the plan should give us a better idea if Doctor Gonzo is off the mark with his criticism and/or Rardy with his enthusiasm.

If it has surfaced, can someone provide a link?

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I am not sure that I see too much negative criticism in gonzo's posts as I do constructive criticism. Honestly I completely agree with him. Also, even though memphis tomorrow and the chamber has not listed what exactly memphis fastforward will entail doesn't mean we cannot discuss it.

Now as for the type of jobs this program is going to bring to memphis, why not work hard to bring high paying jobs to the area. I agree that it would be a waste of time to bring menial jobs to the city. Reading everyone

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