Strong leaders support strong neighborhoods. BLDG Memphis along with our partners MICAH Memphis, NAACP, Frayser CDC and LISC Memphis will host a nonpartisan candidate forum in the lead up to the Shelby County Municipal election in August. The questions posed to the candidates during the forum will focus on issues of neighborhood investment. Prior to the event on July 19, candidates submitted a questionnaire responding to questions related to affordable housing, transit & mobility, solid waste & litter, and racial equity. Here are the responses from candidates running for County Mayor, Assessor of Property, Trustee, Environmental Court Judge and Register of Deeds.Read more
Strong leaders support strong neighborhoods. BLDG Memphis along with our partners MICAH Memphis, NAACP, Frayser CDC and LISC Memphis will host a nonpartisan candidate forum in the lead up to the Shelby County Municipal election in August. The questions posed to the candidates during the forum will focus on issues of neighborhood investment. Prior to the event on July 19, candidates submitted a questionnaire responding to questions related to affordable housing, transit & mobility, solid waste & litter, and racial equity. Here are the responses from candidates running for County Commissioner.Read more
On February 1, BLDG Memphis kicked off Black History Month and our first Pizza with Planners of the year with a discussion around demystifying transit funding.Read more
Community Land Trusts are designed to ensure community stewardship of land. BLDG Memphis wrapped up our 2021 Pizza with Planners series with Landing on CLTs: Preserving Homeowner Equity in Neighborhoods. The panelists from across the community development sector spoke about the need for community land trusts and the transformative effect it can have on building equity and preserving affordability in neighborhoods.Read more
Three years ago, when I first moved to Memphis, I was alarmed by the lack of non-motorized transit options for residents in the city. Without having a car, I found it extremely difficult to take advantage of professional opportunities, access grocery stores, travel to work, or attend recreational events.Read more
When nonprofit BLDG Memphis asked me to give a resident testimonial about my father's fatal bike crash and its effect on my family, I wondered how I would even begin to describe the tragedy that changed our lives in ways both predictable and unforeseen.Read more
Currently, Memphis is ranked the third deadliest city in the country for pedestrians. In 2020 alone, 66 pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles – the highest number in at least five years. Shelby County leads the state with more traffic deaths than any other county in Tennessee. Despite the tendency to attribute traffic deaths to individual responsibility, these accidents are not random.Read more
BLDG Memphis is a coalition of organizations and individuals who support the equitable redevelopment of healthy, vibrant, attractive, and economically sustainable neighborhoods through public policy and advocacy, organizational capacity building, and community education.
BLDG Memphis is seeking a policy research fellow with a specific focus on our Public Policy & Advocacy agenda. The fellow will provide 10 hours a week between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021 corresponding with the BLDG Memphis office schedule.
The overarching goals of BLDG Memphis’ policy and advocacy are found on our website at www.bldgmemphis.org/policy.Read more
Former Director of Advocacy Well Positioned to Lead Nonprofit Coalition
BLDG Memphis today announced the appointment of Deveney Perry as the nonprofit’s new executive director, following a unanimous vote by its board of trustees.Read more
A livable community is one where residents feel safe and secure—with access to affordable and quality housing, accessible transportation, and supportive services that meet their needs. BLDG Memphis kicked off our final “Pizza with Planners: Advocating for Livable Communities: From Neighborhoods to City Hall” , Tuesday, October 27th in a virtual conversation which included, local housing experts, city representatives, and community members to discuss how various stakeholders can collaborate together to advocate for the needs of their neighborhoods.
BLDG Memphis Advocacy Strategy
The evening began with Deveney Perry, Director of Advocacy at BLDG Memphis , who outlined BLDG Memphis’s approach to advocacy. BLDG Memphis convenes five policy committees which reviews existing administrative and legislative policies, researches best practices for reducing barriers to community development work, and crafts policy recommendations designed to create more livable communities for our fellow Memphians.
State of Memphis Housing
The night continued with a discussion on housing, where local housing and neighborhood consultant, Austin Harrison shared highlights from the HCD’s State of Housing Report , which emphasizes the need for quality affordable housing in the city—especially in low income neighborhoods like North and South Memphis. Harrison explained that the city is in need of 40,000 affordable housing units in black and brown neighborhoods to offset the current housing crisis. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund was cited as a key solution to this effort , which calls for a permanent funding source for developers and non-profits to continuously create affordable housing options for low and moderate income residents throughout the city. An Affordable Housing Trust Fund would have tremendous economic and social benefits for the city including increasing tax revenue , creating jobs ,promoting homeownership, and building wealth in black and brown communities. Next, Joyce Cox Senior Manager of Neighborhood Engagement encouraged participants to attend the City’s Housing Summit on Thursday October 29th where leaders across the country discussed the need for affordable housing and equitable development opportunities in neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Advocacy Efforts
Finally, the event concluded with a community panel where Vee Turnage of Frayser CDC and Regenia Dowell of the Frayser Community Parent Teacher Student Association discussed how community development corporations and community associations can work together to advocate for livable communities in their neighborhood. Ms. Dowell shared an inspiring story of local residents partnering with Frayser CDC, Frayser Exchange Club, Girls Inc., and other community groups to fight against the expansion of a landfill in Frayser, which was positioned to be in a school zone. Regenia Dowell encouraged participants to always have the “heart of their neighborhood in mind” and to vote out people who do not represent their interests.
BLDG Memphis wants to give a huge thank you to everyone who attended the event and the amazing speakers who provided us with such knowledge, insight, and rich conversation. If you are interested in getting involved in a community association or a community development corporation (cdc) in your community check out BLDG Memphis list of CDCS, and the City’s Office of Planning to get in touch with the local neighborhood associations in your area.