Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor, March 15, 2010:
Memphis offers unique challenges, opportunities for next governor
MEMPHIS – Speaking at a regional meeting with representatives from local chambers of commerce as a part of his statewide Jobs Tour, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mayor Bill Haslam announced today his plans to work with local government and community leaders to develop a specific strategy for state government to help Memphis build on its strengths and address the unique challenges it faces.
Through his many visits to Memphis and Shelby County over the past year and a half, Mayor Haslam has recognized the need for a Memphis-specific strategy. Later this spring, Mayor Haslam will spend three straight days in Memphis meeting with local government and community leaders as part of an ongoing effort to learn more about what state government can do to help in areas such as education, health care, economic development, and public safety.
“I understand that every city and region in the state has its own unique strengths and challenges,” Haslam said. “There’s nowhere that this is truer than Memphis, and the next governor must not let the state capitol become insular or try to address issues across the state uniformly.
“Historically, culturally, and economically Memphis is critically important to Tennessee, and that’s why I have been and will continue to hone in on Memphis issues as a candidate and later, hopefully, as governor,” Haslam continued.
Exact dates and the schedule for the three-straight-day focused visit will be released soon.
“From the Gates Foundation’s recent $90 million investment and ongoing partnership with Memphis City Schools to the resounding success of the local Teach For America chapter, I believe we have an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the momentum that exists right now in Memphis schools,” Haslam said. “Likewise, significant assets such as FedEx and the medical device industry present even more opportunities to help Memphis attract the jobs of the future and improve the quality of life across the city and region.
“However, we also must recognize that Memphis faces many challenges requiring unique strategies. The next governor can’t always address issues in Memphis the same way they’re handled in other parts of the state,” Haslam continued.
Mayor Haslam is spending Week Two of his three-week, statewide Jobs Tour in West Tennessee, and today is being spent in Memphis conducting small business roundtables, touring the local Williams Sonoma distribution facility, attending a meeting with representatives from local chambers of commerce, and knocking on doors to introduce himself to Memphians. The schedule for the West Tennessee swing of the Jobs Tour can be found below.
Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor. Bill is the right person at the right time to lead Tennessee.