Despite the city’s high crime rate and all the problems that go along with it, Memphis has a lot of financial momentum and part of that has to do with the strong national economy.
This, according to Memphis City Council Worth Morgan.
“We have major investment going on downtown right now. Projects that we are talking about in the billions of dollars, which we haven’t been able to say before. As for the economy in Memphis, we, like the rest of the country, are at an all-time low in unemployment. Yes, we have challenges, but Memphis has been making incredible strides and progress over the last few years, and it has been exciting to be a part of,” Morgan told The Tennessee Star.
“Part of it is the national economy, and Memphis is also very affordable at the moment. We have seen a lot of investment and money come in from the outside, from other markets. Nashville might get saturated. The market in Texas might get saturated,” he added. “But you still have investors and developers who are looking to put their money to work at the best possible bang for the buck. And right now the market in Memphis is prime for that, where we have a lot of affordable property that people are buying and developing at rates where they expect to get a good return.”
Morgan was first elected to the Memphis City Council in 2015, according to Ballotpedia.
Morgan, however, said Memphis’ high crime statistics eliminates the city from a lot of companies’ job relocation searches.
“Whether that is fair or not, that is a reality. It helps to contribute to the poverty here in Memphis, and that affects the entire tax base of the state of Tennessee,” Morgan said.
“In that way, crime in Memphis does affect other parts of Tennessee. Not directly in terms of other counties and other people’s safety but it does in terms of the scale of economy.”
Morgan would not tell The Star which specific companies have bypassed Memphis because he said he “wouldn’t want to put them on the spot.”
As reported last week, Morgan said law enforcement nationwide is a less attractive career prospect because of the disrespect law enforcement officers have to contend with in modern times.
And it doesn’t help when Memphis cannot offer competitive wages for officers, Morgan said.
As reported, Memphis voters might get called upon next year to decide whether people who live up to 50 miles away from Shelby County can serve as police officers or firefighters.
This will only happen if seven out of 13 Memphis City Council members decide later this month to approve a referendum for the November 2020 elections. Morgan said he favors allowing people who live up to 50 miles away to serve as police officers in Memphis.
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