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Economic Equity

CO-CHAIRS

Sweetrica Baker.jpeg

Sweetrica Baker

(Memphis and West TN AFL-CIO

Labor Council)

Ericka Douglas.jpeg

Ericka Douglas

(New Direction Christian Church)

What's the problem?

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.

With the housing boom in recent years it has become increasingly difficult for low and moderate income families to find affordable housing.  Lack of affordable housing causes many families to be displaced into underserved areas.  As the low and moderate income families move into underserved neighborhoods it becomes increasingly difficult to find adequate and reliable mass transportation options.  That lack of transit options minimizes their ability to find and keep quality jobs that would allow them to find affordable permanent housing.
 

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.

 Labor and Employee Rights

  • Engage with voters to educate them on upcoming election topics, such as the current amendments to the Tennessee constitution pertaining to labor rights to be voted upon on November 8th. 

MICAH’s Economic Task Force meets regularly on the 1st Monday of each month at 6:00pm via video conference. The Workers Rights Subgroup meets the first Thursday of the month at 4:00pm.  Contact sweetrica@micahmemphis.org or ericka@micahmemphis.org to be added to the email list to receive meeting information.

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