A specific example of the above lack of advocating behavior can be found in the historical meeting agendas of the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) that was born out of Memphis Corporate Community Leadership’s advocacy. EDGE, who is the parent of GMACW, meets monthly to abate Memphis/Shelby County taxes for corporate/real estate PILOTs. But for some reason the pitiful GMACW Board staffed by EDGE Board members could only manage to meet one time in the last year to take up local workforce development. Where is the advocacy for workforce development?
With the legislative leadership window quickly closing with a soon to be departing experienced Shelby County Commission, local legislators have the unique opportunity to proficiently lead, curate and craft local economic development policy. Co-Chairs Commissioner Heidi Shafer and Councilman Berlin Boyd can take the lead by scheduling the Joint Council / Commission EDGE meeting to take up the oversight work that has not occurred over the past seven years.
Economic growth will only come when the Memphis Corporate Community Leadership makes the plea for comprehensive economic development and local legislators lead the effort while practicing vitally needed oversight.
Memphis can only reverse current economic trends with increased hands-on, overseen and targeted philanthropic help and advocacy from Memphis Corporate Community Leadership. That is advocacy that includes pleas for comprehensive balanced economic development that fiscally supports safer/paved streets, a better workforce, public transit, small business and external industry recruitment efforts that serve all.
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