tv Annual State of Cities Report CSPAN May 31, 2018 4:53am-6:09am EDT
and i had a sense it just led him to felt was not i helping my knowledge of the theory. lots of people thought his stubbornness in his later life was a reaction to his strictness . to this time his father made him revised something he wrote. this, butt resented he was a good boy and put up with that. when you read every mention of his father, they are worshipful. he never had an unkind thing to say about his father. >> sunday night at eight eastern. up next, a report on the state of u.s. cities, which looked at affordable housing, education, and race relations.
mayors from from massachusetts and tennessee. the event was organized by the national league of cities. clarence: good morning, i'm the ceo and executive director of the national league of cities. welcome to nlc's headquarters here and we affectionately refer to it as the city hall away from home for most of our municipal officials around america. thank you all for joining us and a special welcome to the folks joining us from around the country on facebook live. we're here today to release the fifth
annual state of the cities report, and to learn about the priorities of america's mayors. five years ago, we began this research when washington was mired in dysfunction and even today, things are not much different. but as you know, city leaders don't have the luxury of doing nothing. i learned that early in my life when i served as mayor of a small city in south florida for 24 years. we dealt with issues of potholes to broadband, to water and waist issues, transportation infrastructure, police, opioids, race relations, city officials have to deal with those issues on a daily basis. so, we lead and we will continue to lead, and you will continue to see city leaders and mayors all over
america lead on issues that are important. that's why we started this research, to look at mayoral priorities, from cities large and small, urban and rural. we wanted to know what america's local governments were prioritizing and accomplishing. and to understand how and why these priorities change over time. fast forward today, is washington any different? you may say yes or you may say no, but we know that local leaders will continue to lead, and they recognize their important roles in making sure that america's cities function efficiently and effectively. let's hear how mayors are leading, from mayors themselves . >> time and again america's cities have proven to be the beating heart of progressive
change and sustaining lamp lights of a nation built on a promise of liberty and justice for all. >> we will build safer communities and advance the cause of racial equity and social justice. >> we need leadership in the city, leadership that's not caught up in the moment, but can see the future. >> we have to understand we have to select our own people from global warming when our national government fails to do so. >> we have to pay attention to an entire new infrastructure, , digital infrastructure. >> if we want to remain competitive in a global marketplace, and make no mistake, we're in a global marketplace, technology must be the economic driver of the city. >> and we will invest to create jobs and opportunity in all of our neighborhoods to ensure dignified housing and to equip families with tools that turn into wealth.
>> as you can see, our cities have powerful voices that are representing their citizens. you know, back in the day when you were little, you know, your mom or dad would ask you, what do you want to do when you grow up, and most often back then they would say, i want to be president of the united states. that's my goal and everybody was so proud. but today, you're asking your kids that and most often they're saying, i want to be mayor of my city. these are the powerful voices that are leading our nation's cities. we're here today to look at cities across the country and answer some fundamental questions. what are the biggest issues facing mayors today? what innovations are cities trying out and sharing with each other? what's next for america's cities and the 250 million residents
that call their cities home? but before we get to the results of the 2018 state of cities report, i'd like to invite you to connect with nlc on our social media channel. that's the easiest way we can learn more from you and you can share your reflections about this event. we release research on finance to infrastructure to the future of cities. so, please connect with us and we hope to see you through the year. we're also hosting our annual city summit in los angeles, california in november, and you'll learn a little bit more about our convening a little later. so, we're here today to hear about the state of america's cities and i'd like to introduce, christie mcfarland, our director of research to share the results. i hope that you'll find this informative.
more importantly, let's use this information to improve our communities. >> thank you, clarence. six years old, what he would like to be when he gets older. to my great surprise and excitement, he did say, mayor. pretty awesome. year.e are in our fifth it is amazing to be here. the ebbs and flows of what mayors are talking about in cities across the country. our focus on state of the city is a unique one.
mayors views the state of the city speech to reflect on achievements and accomplishments of the city, to thank those who have supported the community, but it is their opportunity to lay out the vision they have for their city and to talk about how they will get their. about project plans, timelines and resources they plan to commit to do so. year, when wes talk about the priorities of mayors, we are talking economic development, infrastructure, budget and management -- as the top issues for mayors. when we look historically, we find that infrastructure, budget and management, housing are rising in importance. this is primarily due to mayors providing more details to infrastructure plans, increasing views on infrastructure as not only a core local government function requiring policy
attention but also greater policy attention man in the past, as well as -- greater attention than in the past. important to notice that the top issues have remained consistent over time. refine the prevalence of major issues does not change, it is the way mayors are talking about issues that tends to shift. it is how issues are playing out locally in different communities, that is also different. what does it mean when the mayor of atlanta talks about budget and management versus the mayor of akron? understand, the issues we dig deeper to examine subtopics. these are specific issues and tools and strategies for mayors to achieve priorities. detailed subtopics
from 160 mayoral speeches from cities across population in geographic regions. mayors discussed on average 17 subtopics per speech. subtopics were grouped into the major topic categories, major topics are coded as having specific coverage, if they constitute 10% of a mayor's speech. on average, 4 per speech. now insights into the top three priority issues for mayors in 2018. economic development, infrastructure and budget management issues. 58% of state of the cities speeches specifically cover economic development. there is a positive sentiment when mayors were talking about economic development. they were talking of core issues like jobs, neighborhood vital as asian. these continue to --
ization.hood vital i places like huntington, west pointed toayors opportunities in downtown. yorkayor of kingston, new spoke about growth in jobs and shared concerns around displacement and economic inequities. arts and culture was also prevalent, particularly in the economic development context. mayors talked about celebrating the authentic creativity and potential for the arts to spur economic development. michigan of lansing, noted that arts provided millions of dollars of revenue for the region and attracts those looking for creative experiences, in terms of where they want to live and work. uncovered we also
economic transformation related subtopics particularly thinking about technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. answer are gaining traction in speeches across the country in gave.es the mayors speeches discussed infrastructure issues. generally mayors are confident about basic local government infrastructure issues they have control over. whenexpressed trepidation talking about large-scale infrastructure needs support from other levels of government. the most popular subtopic is a category, bread and butter, roads streets and signs. everyone is concerned about traffic. mayors are talking directly to the constituency about these issues.
mayors have spoken in great detail about specific plans, timing and cost about dealing with roads, streets and signs. in bethlehem, pennsylvania, the mayor noted the city is becoming more accessible to visitors and , seeing the installation of over 30 new signs and 170 slated to be installed in the future. mayors of larger cities are more likely to discuss infrastructure in terms of public transit, equitable access and links between infrastructure and economic growth. for example, the atlanta mayor noted the city will undergo the largest expansion of public transit systems in history in order to provide options for working families. the mayor of detroit stressed that a first-class bus system is critical to economic growth and he will begin plans to extend buses within the city of detroit. no discussion of infrastructure
would be complete without talking about funding or lack thereof. the mayor of little rock as noted, that they are looking to the federal government for a true partner. speeches significantly cover budget and management issues. this include subtopics like operational excellence, as well as intergovernmental relation issues. generally speaking, mayors expressed a positive fiscal outlook and positive outlook in terms of improvements they are making.
they are concerned about factors that threaten to undermine fiscal health. we will talk about that more. is agovernmental relations top subtopic across beaches and specifically for mayors in cities of the west and larger cities. intergovernmental issues range from local federal tensions around the paris agreement, gun violence, local state issues, which focus on tax constraints and pension reform. regardless, mayors continue to press on and so problems around these issues. a mayor in new york is exploring the creation of sustainable alternative revenue despite restrictive policies at the state level, including development of vacant properties, solar energy and how city owned properties can generate new revenue for the city. that mayors in the small cities are talking
about budget is in terms of government inefficiency and effectiveness. for example, using new technology to streamline processes, such as licenses and pat registration. -- and pet registration. property taxessing increases for residents in the last five years. when people say that property taxes are too high or growing too fast, we're not talking about city property taxes or ornty hospital taxes hospital property taxes or school district property taxes. we're talking about state property taxes. in talking about state imposed property tax cap reduction, the said of a indiana city, this may be a burden to schools and municipalities that must find replacements for this
funding. mayor spending a lot of time in speeches educating constituents on what it means when their property taxes are in flux. despite variations in topics and themes, one thing this analysis makes clear is that mayors are inherently problem solvers. they have 18 key insight into how they can affect change within the community. insight into key how they can affect change within the community. pleasure to welcome to the stage, mayor jim strickland of memphis, tennessee, mayor daniel rivera of lawrence, massachusetts, my colleague and co-author, and the itylab, who will lead the panel. thank you. [applause] >> thank you a lot, that was a
great set up. b, wethe editor of cityla are a sister site of the atlantic, we cover the future of cities, so i cannot be more excited to talk to these guys. we will get into the nitty-gritty, of what we just talked about and what that means or mayors and cities. what that means for mayors and cities. just to give some context of lawrence, massachusetts. it is in the northeast. population size, 85,000. christie wasings getting too was various regions and sizes of cities have different issues. we will talk more about that demographic later. mayor strickland, you are in memphis,are in
in the south. i want to talk about one of the things christie said. the question of, how we talk about these issues. i want to talk about how you frame your speeches. they are different from one another. i will give some small quotes. mayor rivera, you started with a set up about what you called "interesting times. i will let you explain what that means. the federal government, teacher strikes, drug overdose crises and everything in between. we will get into that. tell me what you meant when you framed the concerns of your city through the lens of "interesting extentand to what federal and state issues are important in how you talk about your city. >> i am not really talking to
people, i am talking to people who want me to sit down fast. [laughter] i wanted them to get a sense that it is not a normal set of circumstances in which we are governing today. it is supposed to be an old chinese curse, and i found out that is not true, someone made it up, some english person made it up a long time ago. but it is a true quote. "may you live in interesting times." apparently in not interesting times things are not cool. through cable access, i want people to know, even though we are doing well and our city is strong, we are in this place where nothing is normal. like federal grants for police officers, no more. a full response to what the national conversation is naming as a crisis in the opioid
epidemic -- no response. a shared financing of public education and transportation across the commonwealth -- that is not coming either. i want to make sure we knew, even though we are addressing the balance book, the circumstances in which we're doing that has changed. >> one thing i wanted to note related specifically to your demographic, you have long been a city of immigrants and remain so. both of your cities are minority white, majority nonwhite. you were called out by president trump with the opioid crisis. you had an interesting response. the lead actor in the movie, the american president, says who is to blame for it?
caseve had the unfortunate where the governor of maine, a colorful guy, the governor of new hampshire, trying to be a colorful guy, and the president in upthis book on how to g their base. let's kick lawrence around. let's find out with the drug dealers are but -- how do we get these people into treatment? that is hard. people fail, it is expensive, it is not pretty. it doesn't look good on a card when you knock on doors. say,use -- we could easily i don't want your brown and black drug dealers in our community -- i could say i don't want your white drug users in our community. i don't take the bait on that.
senior put bush money into treatment in a railway. -- in a real way. >> mayor strickland, you had a different approach. i will quote from your speech. "we don't get involved in the partisan politics of the day. our team shuts up, rolls up sleeves and takes action." tell me how you came to that philosophy and whether you feel your turning the other cheek to federal and state or how you view that? >> maybe i have one advantage the mayor does not have. we have not been beaten up by anyone. [laughter] i don't get involved in national politics, partisan politics. i think the people look to me to solve their problems -- hire more police, answer 911 calls better, fill potholes, create
job opportunities. that is what we do. we are showing some results. memphis, like many cities, has great things. we also have big challenges. the public wants us to be realistic about our challenges. it is not just, everything is great, ignore what is going on over here. my job is equal parts cheerleader and optimistic about what is going on but also clear eyed about our challenges. to tackle them, we have to be on the same page -- republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, black, white, rich and poor. we go out of the way to focus on what we have in common as opposed to what divides us. pivott is a good place to and ask anita to contextualize. what i asked you about was, how
you framed his speeches but also getting to the topic of intergovernmental relations, which is increasingly popular. anita, you did the analysis for the report. tell me the things that are encompassed in this notion of intergovernmental relations? --definitely, >> can you hear her? >> it is on. >> ok. strickland and mayor rivera mentioned, it is about police relations and opioids but some of other topics we cap seeing over and over again were things like pensions and ability to tax. we saw that in several states, that are finding it frustrating to not be able to tax visitors. even memphis, so many visitors
every year but it is frustrating because you can't leverage all of the dollars being spent. those are some topics we kept seeing. i took a few more notes. of, i funding, just kind mean i work in indiana before i came here and just kind of thinking through the property tax cap, christie mentioned, what kind of impact is that having in cities? and how is it hurting cities in what they can actually tax and how they can support use in the communities? >> mayor strickland, one mark question -- one more question on intergovernmental relations. one of the things your city did this year which you mention in the state of the city, which was to remove confederate monuments. the state reciprocated or responded to that punitively, one might say. how do you think about actions like that as you try to not
think about your relationship? >> i have been mayor for 2.5 years. we put a big priority on intergovernmental relations, with our city council, county government, state government, federal government. trying to build personal relationships, tell the memphis story, where we need help. we worked hard on that. past december, we sold a couple parks. the private owners were able to remove two, three confederate statues. we have a state law that said city government could not do that. we sold the properties and they took them down. there were people who strongly disagreed with us in the state legislature. we tried to stay on task throughout the 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. i never criticized elected officials, even when they are criticizing me because -- what i am trying to -- i'm trying to reach the end goal, which is to help memphis. overall the season was good. cut of $250,000 to the bicentennial celebration next year. while we would have appreciated that money, we will live with the outcome. we got other wins. usht legislation, will help transfer title to property. some other things. we have to keep moving ahead. i tried to do what i think is right, and i thought that was the right thing to do. we knew there would be criticism. you just have to live with it
and minimize it as much as you can. >> glass half full? [laughter] >> mayor's have to live glass half-full. we just do. it is a tough job. we have to balance the budget, we have to balance our budget. we cannot just debate things. we have to get things done. that garbage needs to be picked up, that pothole needs to be fixed. doesn't matter what people are talking about at the national or state level. when you go grocery shopping, people are talking about their part, their sidewalk, the street. you can be at this thing where you are celebrating this big thing, inevitably someone will walk up and say, my trash did not get picked up today. you cannot run from that. i'm not sure anyone asks the president or congress that -- how come something didn't happen
for me. it is very personal. >> mayor rivera, you didn't pivot from the intro in the , by addressingty interesting times, balancing the budget or something to that getting our house in order and that was the focus of your own priorities. amongst the things you articulated as being important to people are streets. >> sidewalks. >> trees. they weren'tthing, trees that someone planted. they were weeds that turned into trees. owned and never maintained. you see that street? it is not mine -- you see that tree? that will follow my house. -- fall on my house. on somespend money
trees, we will go in there and out but it isds one of those things that if you don't do it right, people think government doesn't work. washington and the state -- a lot of people run on those messages but we cannot. it municipal government doesn't work, it is not very long before we have chaos. >> another one you talked about revamping thelso abandoned mills. lawrence was a meltdown, a factory town -- a mill town, a factory town. is it an affordability issue? >> we are a small city north of boston. there are bigger cities. i was concerned we were being
late to the game, and catch the wrong end of an upmarket for housing. are one of the fastest growing communities in the commonwealth of massachusetts, we had to do housing. it is a way to keep rent down, from keeping people living to our three families -- i know what a hot housing bubble looks like. we did not know what a hot rental market looks like. two or three families living in an apartment. with there coming in cable bill, the gas bill, different names. we have to -- we do not want the density, but we feel density might gentrify the community. we are building more housing. the rental market is crazy for a city like ours.
forold single-family homes, $488,000. that may seem like a lot of --ey to other communities >> mayor strickland, you also mentioned an interest in multifamily units as you work buildingat you called up instead of building out. can you talk about that priority and how housing plays into it? >> let me back up. you said memphis is 650,000 people, slightly smaller than boston. we are 340 square miles. five times as large as boston. that is a challenge, in delivering services. from the very beginning, 200 years ago by annexing, liberal annexation laws.
people would move out and annex. the cap growing. -- it kept growing. the days of annexation are over and we have paid a price. we have no density. it is hard to deliver services, public transportation being a major one. core,e to focus on our are neighborhoods, and literally growing up instead about. we are looking into dme annexing and shrinking the size of our city, we are focused on incentives, including multifamily on the core city. city, not byow our growing boundaries book by growing the population. to me that is our number one challenge in memphis. growing population, for a city that like many big cities has lost population over the last 60 years. we have momentum in that regard,
like a lot of big cities, young people want to live in an urban area. it is the opposite from when i was young. we have $13 billion of development in our area. we have momentum but we have to fix our challenges to really grow that. >> you made the point that i wanted to note, you had articulated population loss as the quote unquote number one issue. do you anticipate that drawing up the core? >> by doing a lot of things, that is one of them. the growth we are having incentivizing multifamily, getting young people to move in. also dealing with the issues that are causing people to leave. which is crime in schools. we have to improve public safety dramatically.
we have to approve educational achievement. that is a separate entity that runs the schools but we have to support them as much as we can. because we have lost so much population, our budget is static. we don't have income tax in tennessee or a payroll tax. there is approximately 80,000 to 100,000 people who work in memphis, who live outside of memphis and we cannot tax them. they are taking advantage of our infrastructure, we just have to deal with that and convince them it is better to live inside the city. we have an aggressive plan to improve public safety. schools are working on early childhood education, trying to capitalize on the stuff going on to draw more young people, all of that together over the long haul, you will see memphis grow. >> you have echoed some of the issues that i think a lot of
cities arts printing, in -- are expressing, but housing affordability and downtown revitalization are big themes. downtown revitalization. what are the biggest cities are other cities perhaps not in this category that are growing instead of losing population? how is what they are talking about or the same, some of the topics, i would imagine, our homelessness. there may be other focuses as well. focuses.are a lot of i was thinking about population growth and how we saw that this year. really, population loss, we see that in rural areas, urban fringe areas. the fact we wasn't -- we we not seeing that may be a function of mayors not wanting to highlight the negative or it is coming out in many ways, crime, or proximity to the city arts andaybe lack of
culture, that kind of thing. it is not that we are not seeing it in population growth, per se, it could just be a different form. i think that is definitely cropping up in the northeast region, even in new jersey. >> are you interested in -- >> we have a nonprofit in memphis, just our bike share 10 days ago, the city cooperated on permitting. memphis is a unique city.
vibe, we are ad good city, good people. differentdone it in a way, not just the downtown location. this bike share in neighborhoods that are struggling and the cool, hip neighborhoods and downtown. we wanted to show equity even in our bike share program. wantworry somebody might to get me on a bike. we actually have a problem with vehicles. areave so many folks and we 6.7 square miles and there is 85,000 of us. quick. tight everybody is doing it, so i don't they get will be long before we get a bike share. nicole: i want to turn
public safety and 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 and that was something you talked about in your speech. one of the things you talked about were achievements around kind of efficiency of government 911 callstion, like being approved hiring new officers. how do you reconcile some of those things around the time of your alike -- around the time you were elected, your city was put under supervision by the department of justice. something you also alluded to in your speech over the police shooting of a black teen and the racial tension around the shooting.
advice-ledore of an
process which we asked to continue on to the new federal administration and it changed a bit from that process. memphian all over the city, black and white, democrat, republican no matter where you live are really sick of crime. there are certain neighborhoods that hear gunshots every single day. i had a mother tell me she is tired of sleeping in the bathroom to avoid any kind of a lit going through the house -- bullet going to the house. we have to take that seriously and we are fortunate in a way couldhile we always improve the relationship between the police department and the community and we work on it constantly, we have a very diverse police force itself. 60%police force is probably african-american and that is a huge advantage. when i talk to other mayors, i
cannot believe how diverse our department is. that helps a lot. the vast majority of citizens want more police officers. they are tired of the violent crime and domestic violence is a huge problem. they want people punished. at the same time, they want young people to go down the right path and not the wrong path. we have got to give young people something productive when they are not in school. it is the right thing for the child and the right thing for the entire city because if a child gets a good education and after school has something productive to do, we are building up that whole child and therefore, it is less likely they go into a life of crime and that we are working really hard to get people second chances. if they have a criminal record and qualify for x bunch, i raise ge, i raisefor expun money to help people get that.
our public safety plan is broad-based, more police officers and cracking down on the illegal use of guns and lifting up people, getting them job opportunities. tennessee is the only state in the country that has free community college in textiles. are 16 it -- whether you or 68, you can go to free tech school. the number one thing about economic development i learned, it is workforce development. we have a huge opportunity 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 are to commit crime. you ever go tof a crime scene after a homicide and the next day you are talking somebody says, we
have to have something for these kids to do. a better education for kids in the classroom. not just paying the teachers the right wage. after school programs across the community and gang intervention and also, have domestic violence workers in the city. people want that, they don't just want to be tough on crime. they want it all things from homicide to cross walking and jaywalking, too. mayor strickland: you mentioned the data. we measure everything and we have increased our youth involvement in our community centers and libraries by about 30%, roughly. there is a lot of great nonprofits. it is multifaceted, you have got to do it all. , you jumpedr rivera in there and mentioned what you are contending with in your
city. some types of crime are going down and homicides are not and there was a shooting video a few weeks ago that happened in broad daylight that was going around the internet as emblematic of some of the violence you are experiencing in your community. think think is the one or two things you are looking towards or what are the causes of -- around that issue? mayor rivera: just like we can hide from the stuff in people's faces every day, i refuse to take responsibility for something -- when a young kid hampshire or maine and buy a gun and bring it back and sell it in lawrence for a lot of money and then that gun is on the street, i cannot really control that. how do you get guns off the street? we put more police officers on the street and do more vehicle stops in a way that does not infringe on rights.
for me, that is a reflection on the amount of illegal guns we have on the street. we had the worst homicide i think in 15 years last year and it is just -- a bunch of them were domestic violence, but most of them were violent crimes related to the opioid epidemic, selling drugs and people fighting with each other. we try to be responsive to the crime and the neighborhood. we do door knocking after there is a homicide in the neighborhood, we will talk to the neighbors and sometimes they ask, what took you so long? a quiethappens in neighborhood you think, why would i pay that great of attention outside just social services. it is a problem that, for me, can be solved at the national level although we can do some stuff like corral people -- we , too.llets
if you want us to buy bullets and guns for police offices, you have -- that are have more police officers. you can make them change their policy around selling guns in a different way at gun shows, stuff like that. we have never really do it, but jersey was trying to do it. are mayors many -- talking about guns -- i was thinking about all the different topics, education for youth and programs, community programs in the parks, especially parks and recreation as you all may know from the report, was a sub topic for us. the way in which mayors are talking about parks is different depending on where you are in the population and one of them is educating our youth, finding them a place where they can go and play and be kids and learn
from each other and there are different types of after school programs. for the older youth, it makes me think about the tuition free college promise programs that were prevalent this year across a few studies in -- cities in the united states. i think these are great opportunities where it is not just one incident is the neighborhood -- in a neighborhood, these are overarching plans cities can implement and in terms of the i feel i have to mention this, unfortunately school shootings came up at least about 10 speeches or so and they specifically mentioned to the parkland shooting and our sample size was only up until mid april. if we keep going, especially for cities that give speeches in july, august, september, i am sure we will hear about the recent shooting. -- mayors areing
calling on federal action. what is going on, we are struggling in these cities. what can you do about it? and there are cities like d.c. where the mayor is trying to pass legislation to ban bump stocks. i think mayors are just trying to take action into their own hands through on the ground programs and try to implement gun violence policies wherever they can. parts think --he parks thing is related to the crime thing. people see a needle on the ground and to them, it feels like crime. we spend a lot of time cleaning up parks and making it usable. mayor strickland: decades ago --n memphis, the parks had city employees in the parks working with young people programming. it has been gone for decades and we are bringing it back this summer in 20 of our parks with
four employees in each of the parks with sports and arts and any kind of programming to activate the parks, make them safe, and give young people something to do. mayor rivera: sometimes all you need is a ball and someone to be there. nicole: it was interesting in the park and -- report and parks were characterized as being an issue. you guys are talking about it as a public safety issue, which it is. an initiative was mentioned a bunch ofunker -- cities to get a park within a half-mile of each resident, is that right? you think about parks when you think about health, how much of a priority for you guys is health and what are your initiatives around that? mayor rivera: i am the worst poster child for this conversation. mayor strickland: the two of us. mayor rivera: i think about it not just the parks, but for us, it is about the food.
we have an awful restaurant scene, we are trying -- awesome restaurant scene, we are trying to get it going. and forhe neighborhood five dollars you get this huge plate of rice and fried chicken and really, you could feed a whole family on five dollars. a large crate of white rice with a lot of oil and salt is not really good for you and there is not really green on the plate. we are doing a bodega market on your street program, getting money to invest in refrigeration and some greens. cultural -- we are majority hispanic community, puerto rican, dominican, guatemalan, we have that in our natural communities, but it does not translate here and it is expensive. when you go shopping in any
,arket to shop on the outside what they tell you to do, it is really expensive. milk, poultry, vegetables. that stuff is expensive. mayor strickland: regarding health, in tennessee, our county governments are 6 -- responsible. we try to support them, but we walk -- work with blue cross blue shield sponsoring one of our parks and they are going to put a lot into making us more --, tracks, 100 yard facility and we are partnering with the nonprofit community and andcounty government greenways, which are places where people can walk and ride their bike from the eastern part of our county all the way down to the river, which is on the west end. i forgot how many miles, probably 30 miles or so of paved
pathways. we think it is important and we play mostly a supporting role to the county. nicole: understood. we are going to take questions in about five minutes. about youring questions. there is one topic i feel remiss we barely talked about. i know it is a major part of economic development although apparently downtown revitalization was a number one. mary strickland, you, -- mayor strickland, you have had issues around jobs and equity. previously you were focused on an initiative contracting for -- giving contracts for minorities and now have a new initiative i believe you announced yesterday. mayor strickland: not in anticipation of this meeting. nicole: i am giving you the platform. set therickland: let's stage. you talked about meant this, we are 65% african-american.
if you add up all the business transactions, not just government, by going to the grocery store or buying insurance, all the business transacted in men since -- percent goes to african-american owned businesses. that is not a sustainable model. we have to do better. we have a threefold plan. first of all, the city had to do better. only 12% of our contracts went to mwbes. we increased that to 21%. we are -- are already at 21% and we are trying to push that higher. the government cannot do it all, we do not spend enough money to lift everyone. we have to have the private sector do more and we have to grow and diversify the businesses african-american zone. we haven't -- african-americans own.
we have a program, basically tutors and mentors with advice on how to grow as this is an yesterday we announced a partnership with christian brothers university and fedex and hopefully we will get other partners to really put money into roughly 800 businesses owned by african-americans that are kind of stuck, they reached a plateau between startup and really big growth. have two employees, but with access to capital through loans or grants or education, they could get 10 employees. our goal, we put this money together, a couple million dollars and we hope to grow that fund in partnership with academics and people trying to build this this is. we increase revenue by $50 million, a 10% growth.
it is realistic, i think. we don't want to overpromise and under deliver. they have hit a plateau, so let's get in there. we are always going to shoot for getting the best -- big business. wouldn't it also be great if 800 businesses, each group by two employees? 1600 new jobs. that would be huge and it is the right thing to do because of past discrimination, they have not had access to capital, which is one of the big things and thank goodness our corporate citizens of memphis agree with us. i would be remiss if i did not mention joanne massey. she is our champion in driving this issue on our internal contracting and this program. mayor rivera: we did and amazon
video and we have to get with other communities around us, we are not that big. we have a regional approach to economic development and in the core of that is our community where we have a bunch of workers. say -- has been a big part of the community, so we try to get people to remember that. even if you have a business around your community -- workers are can ago to bigger organizations. ,et's say your company starbucks is in the news. how many starbucks are going to fail in a year? instead of placing one in a place you might fail, just place it in lawrence because we have disposable income with cities around the city of lawrence, people will buy your product and
they are not going to buy wegmans or whole foods, but they will work in those places and people around the community are going to come in and spend their money. we do that first thing and try to sell to the marketplace, there is a bunch of base hits in lawrence and be smarter than the market because the market is often very lazy. theyu had a work force, are like i do not know how much work i want to make. it is just a little bit more effort even though we are placed between 93 and 95 tennessee -- highway. lawrence is a place where people work. for us, if you come from guatemala or dominican republic and need second language skills just to get the job even at the bodega, even at the pharmacy, we have got to have that available. getting a lot of money these classrooms from community-based organizations to
the colleges and community colleges provide english as a second language from a -- for everyone from 21 years old to the kids in the school system. both sides. luckily, we are seeing a growth in the small business sector. mayor strickland: can i tie in a couple points? nicole: quickly and we will take questions. mayor strickland: we have momentum in memphis and we want to continue that growth. we also one other areas to get that economic momentum we've got and that will take more effort. strategice first growth plan in memphis in 30 years, memphis 3.0 going on right now -- going on right now. mayor rivera: the diverse a vacation of the money spent by the commute for the city is incredibly difficult. the bureaucracy wants to do what
the bureaucracy wants to do. because in past lives other elected officials, there was a lot of corruption, waiting your way through that, that is difficult to do. everyone says, are you just trying to get to the contract. no, i am just trying to get to the community. note tothat is a great end on and thank you for explaining the significance of your first starbucks, which i did notice in your state of the city. with that, we will open it up to questions. yes. she has got the mic. >> i am brian charles, governing magazine, mayor strickland, you talked about gentrifying memphis. how do you balance that against maintaining your black population in place?
how do you bring in new workers without causing the gentrification that pushes the black population out? mayor strickland: memphis is 20 years away from gentrification. we have so much land and so much available housing, we are a long way. i know it is an issue in other cities, but not in memphis. the growth you see in memphis is repurposing abandoned buildings. it is not moving the smith young,out and moving hipster in. it is repurposing and abandoned building. we have that over and over and there is a lot more room to grow. because we are 340 square miles, there is a lot of available land. we have also tried to work and incentivize affordable housing. we know that is an issue. we are partnering with the church of god and christ on affordable housing initiative
near the mason temple and we incentivize through a board, the building of affordable housing. we have got both and, at some point, a mayor after me may have to deal with gentrification, but it is not an issue now. mayor rivera: that is incredibly hard to do because you do not control the market. you just can't say don't sell your property to this -- for us, it is people moving in from boston and then moving to us and they say, don't sell this house just because the family is white or because the family is affluent. it is hard to do. questions, let's start with this lady in the front. i believe there is a mic coming your way. i am with the international
economic development council and i am sorry i came late, traffic from hell. mayor strickland: you need to move from memphis. >> i have done a lot of work in memphis over the last couple years and i taught a course about two years ago in downtown revitalization and one of your city council was there and came up to me afterward and just loved it and i could tell he was a convert. youst want to say i applaud both for all the work you are doing and really glad that economic development came up so high in the list this year in the study. good a big change for the in terms of our membership, bringing up black economic developers and i think that is a very good sign, they are good role models for their communities. our chairman of the board is black and from temp up. our next chairman of the board
is a black woman who ran economic development for the state of new jersey before the state of texas. best ande some of our brightest members on our board right now are black americans and other minorities. is good and change we are also helping bang the drum. thank you. nicole: thank you very much. -- we have this woman right here with the glasses. >> i am with common purpose health and i know health is on the list. everything we have been talking about today is essential to achieving the goals the health care industry has been after for quite some time. i am curious as to how you are partnering with health care providers and some of the community health plans and others who are focused on that sector. specifically from memphis, there
faithtrong and a model health partnership taking root across the nation. i am curious to hear a little more about that and how some of the things you are focused on as mayors are reaching across the silos up sectors to improve health? mayor strickland: i will touch on what you mentioned. the faith community in memphis has really stepped up and there are two systems where they have a preferred clinics driven -- neighborhood clinics driven by people's faith and they are top quality health care facilities throughout the city. let me talk about one of our challenges. i spoke to the memphis psychologist association. the question is, what are you doing for mental health? the honest answer was not much and we need to.
before i became mayor, i never heard the term mental consumer. our firefighters and police officers have to deal with that issue a lot and i noticed a lot of the crime is driven by that. as a community, we are not doing a very good job. i am meeting with that group in two weeks. i know it will come down to how can we afford more treatment? up --of challenges end they get stopped because we don't have enough money to do it. i am sure there are things we can do better on that issue. it affects poverty, homelessness, crime, all of those issues and it is a big challenge we need to do better on. us, toivera: for piggyback on what the mayor is saying, it is not the role of municipality to deal with mental health. we are ill-equipped. i worry we will have a disease outbreak we will have to deal
.ith, like smallpox i have to figure out how to treat people if that happens. until health is something we just don't have the resources to deal with and i think there have been all kinds of calls for national support on the need for mental -- resources to deal with and i think there's all kinds of calls on the basis of the opioid crisis. we don't have the money to do that. i know that my community has $80 million. that's not even close. the other theme you're creating the culture of health as important. we have a very apt to community for women who are out there every day just working against domestic violence, opening up our parks in our neighborhoods. we were rewarded the johnson foundation creating a cultural war. it had nothing to do with it.
we got to do that a lot. but what i learned from the conversation is we inadvertently with moms in our neighborhoods and it's twice in august we open up and you couldn't bike and walk and jog, escape, zoom by. it's the one time to one time that they've got to assume that in public. but of course everybody afterwards proved they probably shouldn't be eating. i think that's a piece of it nice in creating these small wins. lastly i'll just say we also have massachusetts so if your hospital spends a lot of money redeveloping hospitals, they have to give a percentage of that.
>> so many hands. i'm sorry to say that i think we have to wrap it up there. i hope that the mayors will figure out afterwards to take some of your questions. thank you all for participating in this discussion. i've been fascinated and could go on for a long time. brooks is coming up next. [applause] >> good morning, everyone could -- everyone. before we close at affecting the state of the city's event, i want to thank mayor strickland and rivera for making the trip to d.c. to contribute local expertise to the conversation. let's have a warm round of applause. [applause] i also want to thank nicole
flatow for moderating the panel and asking all the right questions. let's give it up for nicole. [applause] last but not least, think christie commended, clearance and ever one else who worked tirelessly in the background to make this come together. this would not have been possible without them. let's put our hands together. [applause] i know what you might be thinking. we've attended this event and looked at the report, but what is next? we have learned that economic development, infrastructure, budget and safety continue to top the list of agenda priorities for u.s. mayors. in 2018, opioids, broadband have all emerged as hot topics. we've also learned that intergovernmental tensions are especially popular concern this year. cities taken small content with tall actors to do more with less , help more people comment spammer programs, the duo with
less money and less support for the federal government. in some ways it the same old story. when we have a crises like the open epidemic, test like the opioid epidemic -- like the opioid epidemic, climate change starts to feel more dire in some ways more absurd good luck lake on american cities have been the ones who aren't afraid to forge ahead with no roadmap that exist. in annapolis this does grow from here, the government and social service agencies are using something called the vetfinder to court industry might treatment. meanwhile, in san jose there's a plan in place to all inhabitants either low or no charge. finally, 229 cities have signed on to the campaign, promising to uphold the paris climate agreement regardless of what the federal government decides to do. yes, cities can do many things on their own but it's not nearly enough. we are a nation of cities ultimately to have real lasting positive change, we need federal levels and we are lucky to live in a place where each individual can speak up, vote and demand more.
our future if we work together is bright. please never settle for less. thank you for coming today and stay tuned on our website and social media and work with cities across the country. thank you very much. [applause] [indiscernible] >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. david op this morning, sullivan, european union ambassador to the u.s. discusses u.s.-transatlantic relations and susan willie talks about
retirement landing and financial literacy. utah republican senator mike lee discusses his new book written out of history, the forgotten founders fought big government. be sure to watch ashington journal live it -- watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. >> live thursday on c-span networks, at noon eastern on c-span, a conversation on social media and how it influences political debate and democracy in the u.s. hosted by the cato institute. at 9 a.m. on c-span2, alan albright sits down with washington post columnist david ignatius to talk about the trump administration's foreign policy including the current talks with north korea about a possible summit. at 10:00, a forum on how to use intelligence to assess cyber threats to organizations and
companies on c-span2. words,ay night on after cinnamon edit just syndicated columnist argues that tribalism, populism and nationalism are threatening american democracy. mr. goldberg is interviewed by the editor of commentary magazine. >> you posit that western civilization as we understand it or contemporary american west and emma craddock civilization is unnatural. what do you mean? >> if you took humans and clear them up all of our civilizational education and put them in the natural environment, we wouldn't be having competition about books, we would be teaming up into little bands and troops, sending ourselves against animals and of the bands and troops.
that is what our nature is. that is the point of lord of the flies. and lord of the flies have these kids are the pinnacle of western civilization, these kids from a boarding school and the second you put them back into the natural environment, they go tribal and become superstitious, they attack each other. that is humanity. >> watch after words, senate night at 9:00 eastern on c-span's tv. salesassador nathan discusses the agency's strategy to counter violent extremism. after his remarks ambassador sales to questions about military and civilian efforts to fight extremist groups. this event was organized by the hudson institute.