Memphis city councilwoman to request $250,000 for Greenlaw community center action plan

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Days after the Memphis Police Department rescinded their plans to enforce the city’s curfew this summer, one Memphis City Councilwoman is proposing more money for local organizations and activities in the Uptown area to use at the Greenlaw Community Center.

The announcement comes days after a community meeting in Uptown discussing the future of the Greenlaw Community Center and a cry from residents about investing in neighborhood organizations.

Memphis City Councilwoman Michalyn Easter-Thomas is proposing $250,000 for community-led activities at Greenlaw.

A big takeaway from that meeting Tuesday, Councilwoman Michalyn Easter-Thomas says more conversations need to be had with residents before big decisions are made about their communities.

“Things sometimes get uncomfortable,” said Councilwoman Easter-Thomas. “It’s not always you go into a community meeting everybody agrees and then you go home smiling and happy.”

She’s hoping other city leaders will be on board with her proposal.

“If you’re offering social work, counseling, youth teams,” said Councilwoman Easter-Thomas. “Hopefully my colleagues will be on to be supportive and we can show that we want to community who is doing the work on the ground to be able to fully funded and supported to be able to do this.”

Easter-Thomas has also requested reports from the center, showing activities currently in use along with information on group organizations and providers in the community to operate at the center with approval from MPD.

“These kids got I have somewhere to go,” said Pat Scott. “It’s really not enough for the kids. Ain’t enough for them to do around here.”

People who live and work in Uptown for and against MPD’s former plan to hold kids who break curfew at the center say they want their community centers to remain places for children in their neighborhood.

“It’s a good idea,” said Darrius Stafford. “Not great for working community centers where the communities utilize them daily.”

The councilwoman plans to introduce this proposal including the $250,000 for these activities at the council’s budget wrap-up session next Wednesday.

She hopes it’ll be approved in the overall budget for the next fiscal year beginning in July.

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