Economic Equity

What's the problem?

Memphis has suffered from economic inequity and systemic racism with adverse effects in housing, business development, transportation, opportunities for returning citizens and living wage jobs. In spite of modest improvements, Memphis still ranks second poorest among cities in the U.S., especially among children and families of color.

Why should we care?

Economic equity is an issue of justice. Memphis will not see far-reaching economic growth without addressing the underlying issues of disparity.​ that have historically undermined the economic well-being for communities of color.  Economic prosperity is not being shared equitably, resulting in a city still divided by racial and economic lines.

What should be done?

Financial Empowerment Equity

  • Engage banks to innovate and invest various forms of growth capital into low and moderate-income areas.

  • Engage foundations to provide “social business funds” to invest in socially conscious, low-income entrepreneurs’ start-up costs.

  • Hold local financial institutions accountable to fully comply with or exceed Community Reinvestment Act requirements (CRA) and related agreements; seek commitments from those not in highest compliance; resist any attempts to ease CRA regulations.


Transportation Equity

  • Double the operational funding for MATA over the next three years and work with elected officials to find dedicated long-term sources of funding.

  • Increase the number and speed of routes to underserved communities and resist reductions of service.

  • Advocate for more funding from the corporate, municipal, state, and federal resources for bus upgrades.

  • Engage foundations and others to fund innovative and alternative transportation in low-income communities.


Community Dislocation and Affordable Housing

  • Hold Memphis Housing Authority accountable to their commitment for the return of the former residents of Foote Homes.

  • Reserve 1/3 of the new housing complex for the lowest stratum of low-income residents of the city.

  • Ensure that 300 former Foote Home households are ensured residence in the new development.

Check out our calendar to see when and where the next Economic Equity Task Force meeting will be held!

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