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Priorities Include Prosperity

November 16, 2011

Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. went before The Commercial Appeal‘s editorial board earlier this week, citing prosperity, government efficiency, youth, and neighborhoods as his priorities for the new term.

“The war on poverty is the crusade for jobs,” said Mayor Wharton. “It’s not enough to eliminate poverty; we have to grow into prosperity.”

The mayor talked about the innovative measures already begun — the Family Rewards program, the Innovation Delivery Team, and the Bank On initiative — and the importance of having the business community on board to help people move out of poverty.

Editorial board members posited the idea of poverty as a commodity in Memphis, with both business enterprises and social services existing because of the city’s demographics.

“Capital is going to flow where it gets the best return. That’s why we need to focus on prosperity instead of poverty,” the Mayor said. 

In addition to prosperity, the Mayor said he would be focused on more efficient government, including the creation of a 311 system and a realignment of certain city divisions.

“We’ve got to put our house in order,” he said. “Companies in the private sector have been doing things for years we thought we were immune from, and we’re not.”

He also mentioned a more concentrated focus on youth, from cradle to college and beyond, and neighborhood improvement, including a continued fight against blight.

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