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Restoring power to hundreds gains the attention of millions

February 8, 2010

By all accounts, moratoriums on terminating utilities during the coldest part of the winter is well established for local government entities and utility companies around the nation.  This has, in fact, been a practice with Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW) for many years –  namely, holding off on turning off power for those citizens who have been unable to pay their utility bills.

But the January decision in Memphis to restore power to individuals and families who have been without utilities is dramatically innovative  – a point proven by the national attention this move from Mayor Wharton, MLGW President Jerry Collins, and Shelby County Interim Mayor Joe Ford gained.

Jacqui Mosely, one of the many who was helped by the Mayor's office and MLGW

Paramount in sharing this initiative nationally, CNN News traveled to Memphis to cover this story and introduced Jacqui Mosley of Memphis,  a recipient of the services extended.  Since the airing of this original piece, CNN returned to Memphis to do a follow-up with Ms. Mosley, allowing her time to introduce herself to potential employers; Ms. Mosely’s inability to pay her utility was directly attributable to her being out of work.

During this follow-up interview, Ms. Mosely was also allowed to offer her email address to those individuals who were interested in contacting her about employment. Ms. Mosely reports that this allowance has generated over one thousand emails with well wishes and offers of assistance.

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