ISSUES

ECONOMIC EQUITY

Tami will fight for better jobs, better economic opportunities, and more paths to success.

Current State

Today, 43% of Memphis workers make less than a living wage.

 

Too many of our children (nearly 50% of Black children and 39% of all children) are growing up in poverty; 40,000 live in households where the annual income is less than $10,000 a year.

65% of our jobs are at risk for coming automation.

Nationally, Black wealth is predicted to go to zero by 2053.

The majority of Memphians – and particularly Memphians who are poor, Black, Brown, or otherwise marginalized in society – do not have the supports in our city to succeed, and certainly not to thrive.

In recent years, our local government has had a conservative and business-first focus, which has translated to less services to support residents and neighborhoods. Very little local public funding goes to investments in people, youth, neighborhood development, or broad economic development, even though the City of Memphis’ own Five-Year Fiscal Plan said its poll showed Memphians want these kinds of investments more than more police.

What's Predictable​

Where today it is a struggle to find great jobs and opportunities, tomorrow we will find it nearly impossible if we do nothing radically different.

 

By 2030, economists predict anywhere from 5 to 50 million jobs will be impacted by automation; some will be meaningfully changed, and others could be completely eliminated. Those who lose jobs to this technological revolution will not likely be qualified for the jobs that replace them.


In Memphis, the business community and political leadership has repeatedly doubled down on attracting transportation, distribution, & logistics industries and touted our “low-wage workforce” as a strategic asset. As a result, we are the 2nd most at-risk city for automation in the US today.

What Tami Will Fight For Instead

Tami knows that our greatest asset has always been our people – not just their labor value. It is the creativity, artistry, ingenuity, entrepreneurialism, and resilience of Memphians that stand out to the world and to us. It is evident in our thriving arts community and in the proposed small businesses here; you can find it in our classrooms and places of worship.

 

 

Tami will fight for a Memphis where leadership puts its people first in our investments, our recruitment strategies, and in all decisions at city hall. Tami wants every Memphian – not just some – to have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.

Tami's Economic Priorities

  • Invest in job training programs and youth development programs that are specifically designed to retool our workforce for industries that will grow in this new economy – industries like senior care, robotics, coding, and management.

  • Increase the city’s MWBE spend to a minimum of 30% and ensure that MWBE spend is a critical stipulation of any future PILOT and TIF awarded.

  • Advocate for a living wage as a requirement for all jobs - especially if a company is asking for tax abatements.

  • Increase effective small business development & growth programs and create small business loans & subsidy programs to ensure our small businesses, particularly those operated by people of color and especially women of color, can grow exponentially in number.

  • Build the connection between community development and small business development, and expand the tools available, beyond incentives and PILOTs, to grow both efforts.

  • Identify and expand programs that work to ensure housing is available and affordable in our neighborhoods.

  • Prioritize growing programs that increase long-term home ownership by people of color.

  • Build a union roundtable to ensure the voice of workers are well-represented in the future of the city and reflected in the budget allocation.

CONTRIBUTE TO BUILD MORE OPPORTUNITIES IN MEMPHIS.

Memphis youth need opportunities that prepare them for school, life, and career success.

Paid for by Tami Sawyer for Mayor, Tim Ware, Treasurer