Mayoral Candidate Tami Sawyer Rally at Clayborn Temple

Mayoral Candidate Tami Sawyer Rally at Clayborn Temple

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Mayoral Candidate Tami Sawyer

Rallied at Clayborn Temple to Speak Her Vision

March 12, 2019

On March 9, 2019, Memphis mayoral candidate and Shelby County Commissioner, Tami Sawyer held a community rally to introduce her campaign platform and share her vision for the future of the city of Memphis with supporters.

by:

 Tarrin McGhee

The Memphis Can’t Wait:
Community Rally for Progress and Change recap

Tami sawyer mayoral announcement!

About

Tami Sawyer is a native Memphian, educator, leader, and advocate for progress and change in Memphis and Shelby County.

She currently serves District 7 in Memphis as their Shelby County Commissioner, where she isthe chair of the Law Enforcement & Corrections committee and vice-chair of the Education committee. In addition, Tami organizes, speaks, and writes about the continued movement for social justice and racial equity in the South and has been featured on major outlets such as CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, and Huffington Post.

Prior to being elected to serve on the Shelby County Commission in 2018, she led efforts in Memphis and the mid-south region to protest the wrongful deaths of black male youth and advocate against systemic oppression. Perhaps most known for her role as founder and leader of the ‘Take ‘Em Down 901’ movement that led to the removal of statues honoring confederacy leaders and white supremacists, Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest from two Memphis parks, Sawyer garnered national and global support for the commendable feat.

In recognition of this and other social justice activism and advocacy, Tami was named to the 2018 Ebony Magazine Power 100 list as a Community Crusader. In 2019, she was selected as the first Speaker in Residence of Clayborn Temple, the meeting site of the sanitation workers who organized the historic strike and “I Am A Man” march of 1968.

As a democratic nominee for the Shelby County Commission, Tami defeated republican opponent Samuel D. Goff in a landslide victory on August 2, 2018, capturing 81 percent of the voting total. Throughout the election cycle, she spoke of a need for bold and courageous leadership to confront inequities prevalent in Memphis and Shelby County and focused specifically on education, economic opportunity, reproductive rights, and criminal justice reform. Sawyer’s candidacy for Shelby County Commission was supported by a cross-section of voters, grassroots activists, and political leaders and received various endorsements including: Moveon.org, the Collective PAC, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Leadership for Educational Equity, Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council, Tennessee State Representative G.A. Hardaway, and United States Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09).

In her first term as Shelby County Commissioner, she’s used her voice to challenge educational inequity, transportation insecurity, and the lack of investment in minority & women owned businesses, and she’s delivered reform of juvenile court and detention to include local oversight, resources to students in underserved communities, and open & transparent communications with her constituents.

In addition to serving on the Shelby County Commission, Tami also currently serves as the Education Co-Chair of the NAACP Memphis Branch and as a board member of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis and attended Howard University School of Law. 

 

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Join the #FunCrew

JustMyMemphis is live today!  We have started the countdown to new updated LOCAL Hubs for JustMyNashville, JustMyAtlanta, JustMyHouston, JustMyDallas, and JustMyKansas City!  We are looking for LOCALs in these markets to join our #FunCrew.  If you love your city and you love local events.  This might be the perfect gig for you.  You should have good verbal and writing skills, be a master of social networking, basic photography skills are needed, and you should have a giving back spirit.  JustMy loves helping local causes, as a member of the #FunCrew, you would be helping to share their stories and bring excitement to their events!

418 National Parks in Three Years

418 National Parks in Three Years

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We Believe experience isn’t expensive, it’s priceless

418 National Parks in Three Years
Mikah is going to spend three years visiting every National Park Service site (418 sites to be exact) and he is ending his journey April 29th at the Washington Monument. He is inviting everyone to come out and celebrate!

by Mikah Meyers

On April 29, 2016 I launched a 3-year journey to visit all 411 National Park Service (NPS) sites. That number has since grown to 418,* and I’m planning to finish on April 29, 2019 three years to the minute this road trip began at the Washington Monument.

While this journey has been an attempt to be the sole person to visit all NPS sites in one continuous journey, it has not been a solo project. There is no way I’d be two months and 29 sites from finishing this odyssey were it not for the thousands of people around the world who joined this journey in some way. By sharing park tips via my Facebook page, providing a place to stay or warm meal during trying times on the road, donating to the project’s expenses, or Liking and Sharing posts on social media that allowed the parks and the messages of this road trip to reach further.

So to celebrate this “WE” moment, I’m inviting you to join me for the Finale of this journey. Details are below, or in this Facebook event. Due to the Monday timing of April 29, I invite you to make it a weekend in Washington DC. Exploring the 23 NPS sites in America’s capital and the numerous in surrounding states.

Monday April 29th – Itinerary

10:00am – Meeting Time at the Washington Monument Lodge (the gift shop/bathrooms on the East Side of the Monument)

10:30am – Prepare for 11am departure from the Washington Monument by walking to the Monument’s base

10:59am – Everyone puts their hand on the Washington Monument (pending construction ending) where I started this journey at 11am on April 29, 2016.

11am – Begin the walk as a group to The Lincoln Memorial, my final site! We’ll ascend the steps together and look back at the Washington Monument from the same spot MLK Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech and under the gaze of a President known for civil rights (and my Nebraska hometown’s name). Then this 3-year journey to all 56 states and territories will be complete!

– Mikah will remain on site for media interviews immediately following the completion

About

With April 29, 2016, marking the 11th anniversary of his father’s passing from cancer, Mikah honored his dad’s love of driving by making life out of death and launching his journey to experience all 400+ units of the U.S. National Park System, attempting to become the youngest person to experience every unit and the sole person to do so in a continuous journey. The project is scheduled to be completed on April 29, 2019.

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Amazon’s Past Reveals the Future of FedEx

Amazon’s Past Reveals the Future of FedEx

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Amazon’s Past Reveals the Future of FedEx

I was sitting down with a friend who works in sales at FedEx a few years ago and I brought up the question of Amazon replacing FedEx as a dominant player in shipping. My friend said that would never happen. FedEx isn’t worried about Amazon. At that time Amazon Prime was new. Amazon had just purchased a fleet of jets and trailers for shipping. A look at Amazon’s past was like the handwriting on the wall for me.

by JR Robinson | Founder

From Books to AWS!
There was a time when the business belief was that Amazon could never outsell traditional bookstores. Today bookstores are almost a thing of the past. I could host a local tour of national bookstore buildings that are simply empty or have been converted into something else. Who believed that Amazon Prime would be such a game changer? Because of Prime, Amazon today is an award-winning production company with shows and movies that have become equals in quality and viewership with traditional television and cable networks. But one of Amazon’s biggest success stories can be found in three little letters, AWS! This headline from Zdnet.com tells the whole story: “All of Amazon’s 2017 operating income comes from AWS.”

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky was asked about what factors were driving AWS results. He said:

“AWS, yes, if you remember last year, we did have price increases in December of last year towards the end. So ithad a partial impact on the quarter. But generally, just strong usage growth — usage growth continues to be strong growing at a higher rate than our revenue growth rate, and customers continued to add workloads and expand. And as I said, we’re adding new services and features all the time, over 1,400 in 2017 alone. So it’s a number of factors, I would say. It’s not as simple as lapping a cost error — excuse me, price decrease last year, but we’re very happy with the performance in the AWS business. Now over a $20 billion run rate.”
CNBC had this to say about AWS for the fourth quarter of 2018: “Amazon’s cloud-computing division said revenue jumped 45 percent in the fourth quarter, as the company continued to cement its lead over Microsoft and Google.

Sales at Amazon Web Services climbed to $7.43 billion from $5.11 billion a year ago, topping the $7.29 billion consensus estimate among analysts polled by FactSet. AWS revenue represented 10 percent of total quarterly sales at Amazon.

The cloud business has become crucial to the success of its parent, not only for revenue but also for profits.

Operating income for AWS in the quarter was $2.18 billion, exceeding the $2.09 billion FactSet consensus estimate. The unit accounted for 58 percent of Amazon’s overall operating income. AWS’ operating margin was 29 percent, shrinking from 31 percent the prior quarter.”

So what is AWS?
Because JustMyMemphis is planning it’s own expansion into 200 markets, we had to look for a web service platform that could grow with us. This is the point I realized what a powerhouse Amazon Web Services had become. But what is AWS and why should FedEx and Memphis City Leaders be concerned? I turned to TechCrunch.com for a look at the making of AWS and how it came about:

“There are lots of stories about the formation of AWS, but this much we know: 10 years ago, Amazon Web Services, the cloud Infrastructure as a Service arm of Amazon.com, was launched with little fanfare as a side business for Amazon.com. Today, it’s a highly successful company in its own right, riding a remarkable $10 billion run rate.

In fact, according to data from Synergy Research, in the decade since its launch, AWS has grown into the most successful cloud infrastructure company on the planet, garnering more than 30 percent of the market. That’s more than its three closest rivals — Microsoft, IBM and Google — combined (and by a fair margin).

What you may not know is that the roots for the idea of AWS go back to the 2000 timeframe when Amazon was a far different company than it is today — simply an e-commerce company struggling with scale problems. Those issues forced the company to build some solid internal systems to deal with the hyper growth it was experiencing — and that laid the foundation for what would become AWS.

Speaking recently at an event in Washington, DC, AWS CEO Andy Jassy, who has been there from the beginning, explained how these core systems developed out of need over a three-year period beginning in 2000, and, before they knew it, without any real planning, they had the makings of a business that would become AWS.”

FedEx CEO: It’s ‘fantastical’ to think Amazon Air is a threat
Fantastical to think Amazon is a threat. Since day one for Amazon, business leaders have shared the thinking of FedEx CEO who had this to say on the subject:

So I don’t know what I can say other than what I just said. I think the prospects that this company is going to be “disrupted,” which just occurs over and over again, to quote a previous statement, is fantastical. So I’ll leave it at that.” FedEx CEO Frederick Smith

It is easy to dismiss a threat like Amazon when as a competitor, they are small potatoes. But Memphis is the Distribution Center of the World! We are proud of that fact. Thousands of jobs, community support, and local economic stability are all based on the success that Memphis has had as a leader in Distribution. FedEx is the number one reason for this. Time and time again, the media and business leaders have said what Amazon could not do. Recent headlines show both the confidence that FedEx has in its business model and the questions the market has about the future of Amazon Shipping.

But FedEx is very confident that Amazon is not a threat.  Check out the headlines:

Is FedEx Confidence Misplaced?  Look at these headlines:

Four Letters to Remember, AMZL!
AMZL is Amazon Logistics and Amazon Logistics is Amazon’s delivery service. Why is this a concern for Memphis and FedEx? AWS was once just an idea to help Amazon deal with internal systems growth. Today AWS not only serves Amazon, but it serves 1000’s of companies around the world. Amazon simply walked in and took business from Google, Microsoft, and IBM. The success of AWS wasn’t because Amazon wanted to steal business from other companies. It was because they had a problem they needed to solve.

Amazon Logistics is, in fact, the same thing. Amazon wants you to get fresh produce delivered to your door in under an hour. If you run out of diapers for the baby, Amazon wants to get them to you. Amazon even wants to deliver packages to you free! This is good for their business and it is good for you the consumer. But Amazon is not stopping at delivering their own packages. Why would they? Amazon is now shipping packages for small businesses all over the country. So if a company can take a business function that is a large operating cost and turn it into a service that adds millions in revenue to their bottom line. I have to ask, isn’t this just good business?

Can Memphis and FedEx find a Happy Ending?
Now, this is just my thoughts, Memphis we are a city that knows how to grind! We got this. So instead of focusing on what Amazon is doing, why don’t we focus on dominating the future of distribution in new ways? What if FedEx bought Walmart or Target, then teamed up with Google to build an international local delivery service. Buy Uber while you are at it. What if FedEx, Uber, and Retailers teamed up to deliver almost anything you wanted in an hour or by the next day? What if a completely new ecosystem was created where FedEx/Uber drivers could deliver your meds from the local Walgreens as soon as they are ready? Think Uber Eats for everything but delivered with the backing and organization of FedEx!

About

JR Robinson grew up in the Orange Mound community of Memphis Tennessee and believes in helping communities, organizations, and businesses by sharing their greatness. He is known as a proud father and the Founder of JustMyMemphis, a platform that was created to share positive features across the city. JR is working on turning JustMy into a Local Hub serving more than 200 markets across the US. His slogan Be Amazing, Be Local, Be You; is a focus on empowering communities from within.

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I am Britney Thornton and this is me!

I am Britney Thornton and this is me!

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Building on a solid foundation

This is me: Britney Thornton

Recently I actually stood before a crowd of people, some skeptics and some believers, and announced that I want to be a public servant for you.

by Britney Thornton

Dear District 4,

You, the mothers and fathers concerned about the quality of education that your child is receiving in failing schools throughout our district. You, the one that does not have access to transportation to reach jobs located outside of your community. You, the community leader trying to make a million dreams come to life with no budget.

And yes, even you, the one who will never read this letter and no one has cared to find.

This election season, I am coming for you. Together, I want to create an inclusive vision that reflects the thoughts and dreams, fears and concerns, and successes and failures of key stakeholders across our entire district—from Hickory Hill to Elvis Presley Boulevard. Together, I want to give voice to the 99% of people whose input was missing from the process in 2015.

One of my favorite quotes says “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” A long time ago, I decided that I would chase fear rather than have it consume me. As I lean into the fear that comes with putting oneself out to public scrutiny, plots and schemes of man, and the unknown, I ask you one thing: Will you dream with me?

As I work alongside you, know that I hear your outcries. As I get to know you, feel that your passion is shared. As I challenge you to dream bigger, know that I believe you deserve nothing less than the best that any public servant has to offer.

In all of my 29 years, I have found no greater joy than this pursuit. The next 9 months will transform my life as I prepare to enhance yours. In all things, may peace that surpasses all understanding forever be our guide. Let’s win this campaign season and keep winning as we move forward together.

People-focused. Solutions-driven. I am Britney Thornton and this is me.

 

Britney Thornton, LMSW
Your Future Councilwoman

About

It all began December 2016 in a well-known and respected community named Orange Mound.  Affectionately called The Mound, our close-knit community is the first community built by and for African Americans in Memphis Tennessee.  Recently designated as a Preserve America Community by First Lady Michelle Obama, Orange Mound is ripe with long-standing national history and pride.  

Greatly affected by the introduction of drugs in the 80’s, we have not been able to bounce back.  Steadily on a decline ever since, our beloved neighborhood now has a reputation for being a leader in blight, crime, and joblessness.  If not for the knowledge of our past, we might give up on the hope for future generations.  But, we know better.  We are better.  We will be better.  

With your help, we can mobilize our marginalized youth and disengaged millennials.  JUICE Orange Mound is the newest, hippest, progressive non-profit founded by a native of the community.  JUICE is prepared to execute a community mobilization strategy that will use simply 4% of the total population of the community to evoke change.  

Website  |  Facebook

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Artizan Cares: Ms. Holeman Home Makeover

Artizan Cares: Ms. Holeman Home Makeover

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Artizan Cares: Ms. Holeman Home Makeover

On MLK Day, Artizan Constructors teamed up with local businesses and non-profits to give a 90-year-old woman a home makeover.

by Duy Nguyen

Artizan recently started with an initiative to give back to the community. If you are around Kirby Salton (CEO of Artizan Constructors) enough you will more than likely hear him say something along the lines of taking from a community without putting anything back into it is a good way to make sure it doesn’t grow.

Mr. Salton is always looking for ways to give back and seeing Ms. Holeman on Channel 3 inspired him to move. When he saw she had been playing the piano in and being active in church for decades he was reminded of his upbringing. The strong God fearing women that gave him guidance as he developed, he saw their qualities in Ms. Holeman and couldn’t do anything but help. So he asked JustMyMemphis to reach out to Tim Simpson and see what we could do. Tim was excited that he was able to pass the torch to someone else to see that this woman who spent her life giving to her community.

 

 

It was like doing chores for my grandma around the house when I was younger, it doesn't feel like work

– Artizan employee

Once others saw Artizan was helping with repairs people were inspired to pitch in. Tuning her piano, drywall, paint, cleaning supplies, granite counter-tops from Africa, food, and music. It was the whole nine yards. My soul dance a bit seeing so many people coming together with one goal. To put a smile on this amazing woman’s face when she saw her friends, family, and even strangers had come out to this “new” house warming. 

Ms. Holeman arrived and tried to hug every soul that was on her property. I couldn’t even record every hug they were happening so fast. I could see it in her eyes that she just wanted to tell every last friend and stranger thank you in the most sincere way possible. A hug was what she could give back to people in that moment and that’s what she did. When she played on her freshly AMRO Music tuned piano alongside our favorite singer Karen Brown it was a show. Ms. Holeman hit those keys like they owed her money and it was a sight!

All in all a heart warming experience on the day of service and major props to everyone that did their part no matter how small. As the President of JustMy it was an honor to be in the presence of people in our community being a community for someone who did nothing but that for longer than I’ve been on this Earth. Thank you Ms. Holeman for bringing people together.

 

Support for this project was provided by:

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Our slogan is “Building on a Solid Foundation” and it extends beyond constructing a building. We are building relationships for the future. We have built our reputation by putting our clients’ needs first and our dedicated and highly-experienced associates are committed to delivering exceptional service and quality products that exceed our client’s expectations.

Website  |  Facebook

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The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

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The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

The Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week in the middle of IBC week, the program hosted a health fair for artists that were in town for the challenge.

by JR Robinson

What the heck is IBC week?  This was a question that I asked the first time I heard it.  Then I heard something about the BMA’s, and the fact that these were both very big events in Memphis.  How could that be and so few people in Memphis know about them?  Don’t get me wrong, in some circles these letters are a very big deal.  But the average person in Memphis knows very little if anything about these hidden gems of our city.

This week at Club 152 on Beale Street there was a health fair.  Wait, a health fair in a bar?  Yes and that is because this was no ordinary health fair, it was a health fair being put on for Blues artists coming to town from around the world.  So now a health fair in a bar makes sence.  The Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week in the middle of IBC week, the program hosted a health fair for artists that were in town for the challenge.

So for anyone who dosen’t know what the IBC is, let me explain.  The IBC is the International Blues Challenge hosted by the Blues Foundation right here in Memphis.  A Wikipedia search clears things up very nicely.  The International Blues Challenge is a music competition run by the Blues Foundation.  Notable blues artists that have competed in the IBC over the years also includes Fiona Boyes, Eden Brent, Michael Burks, Tommy Castro, Sean Costello, Albert Cummings, Larry Garner, Zac Harmon, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, HowellDevine, Richard Johnston, Julian Fauth, Super Chikan, Susan Tedeschi, Southern Avenue, and Watermelon Slim.[2] The 1994 event in particular had a lot of talent as Susan Tedeschi, Michael Burks (who won the Albert King Guitar Award) and a 16 year old Sean Costello competed, although none of them were the eventual winners.

 

This event brings in thousands of Blues artists every year for a competition and for some of the best new Blues music in the world. Before I move on, let me define that other three letter collection known as the BMA’s. That stands for the Blues Music Awards, I had the honor of attending last year and I can tell you that it is truly one of the most amazing events in our city. Barbara Ballin Newman is the President of the Blues Foundation and has done amazing things with the organization since she took the helm. Her work on the Blues Music Awards is an outstanding example of how Memphis as a city should be presented to the world.

As I discovered this week, there is so much more to the Blues Foundation than a couple big events and a museum. So let’s get back to the health fair in a bar! It turns out the Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week the crew was out at Club152 helping artists spend a little time taking care of themselves. The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work.

We sat down with Dr. Janice Johnston who is a Blues Foundation Board Member and one of the founders of Arrowhead Health Centers to talk about the HART Fund. Dr. Janice Johnston is a family physician that’s also just happens to be a huge blues fan. She says, “I always wanted to go to the Blues Music Awards and was lucky enough to go with some friends that were nominated some years ago. That’s where I learned about the HART Fund and knew I needed to get involved.” Janice has been on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years and has chaired the HART Fund committee for the past 6 years as well. Since the HART Fund started about 20 years ago it was used as a support system to help blues musicians with medical, dental and funeral expenses. She was able to add the proactive health screenings when she joined as a way of creating fuller program of services for artists.

 

Janice adds that “It’s always been about the musicians. They fall into the category of non-insured or under insured and often will let health issues slide due to lack of adequate funding. The HART Fund is also there to support the families of Blues artists after they pass with funeral expenses. We see a lot of need for dental help as well.”

Blues artists can reach out directly to the Blues Foundation to apply for assistance. There is more information on the website http://www.blues.org. Many times friends or family members will reach out on the behalf of artist. The program makes it a point to be visible at all Blues Foundation signature events. Janice had this to say about a personal experience she had with an artist in need. “One of the best ones memories I have has with the programs was during our first health screening where we identified a newly diagnosed diabetic, Jonn Richardson. We were able to get him the care and medication he needed and prevent him from getting really sick and needing to go to the ER. But the list goes on and on, helping to negotiate fair pricing (it’s absolutely crazy out there in the healthcare world trying to navigate that on your own), helping to identify Hepatitis C and prostate Cancer as well. I’m super excited about the opportunity we have soon to also offer vision screening services too.

This week is a big week for everyone at the Blues Foundation and they showed how truly amazing they are by doing hundreds of health screening right here in our city for Blues artists from around the world. Here at JustMyMemphis, this is what we call #BeAmazing. So I want to say thank you to Barbara Ballin Newman and Sherry May from Memphis and the entire team of the Blues Foundation for the amazing work they are doing here in our city.

About

The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work. 

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Faith & Inspiration

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