Major Initiatives in Memphis

Last Wednesday in class, Instructor Sonnenfelt  raised the question of how is public policy initiated and carried out?  It was concluded that the citizens carry out public policy. Politicians initiate the public policies and we, the citizens, carry out those policies.  Citizens inform the politicians of what they need and this information is relayed to the politicians.  These initiatives cost money and sometimes, they are bad investments and lose money for many businesses. In many cases the citizens lives with those bad investments.

Here is an example of what I mean.  In the City of Memphis, the Mid-America Mall was not a good idea for the city because it did not generate any additional funds for the city, but instead drove many businesses, including clothing shops from Main Street.  The parking problem was generated from the decision to remove the paved street to a brick open air Mall.  Parking to shop on Main Street is all but gone.

In addition, I think that  Mud Island and the construction of the Pyramid on Front Street ( built on the river which is gradually sinking) was another bad investment that the city under took some years ago.

It appears that the Politicians and the citizens of Memphis have decided, at least for now, to live with these tremendous errors in judgments.



118 thoughts on “Major Initiatives in Memphis

  1. Having read your post, I look back over this Wednesday PA class. I think we really have to focus on the “Agenda setting” step of the public policy cycle.
    Indeed, one can believe that people are the main claimants for change, but we would make a mistake if we forgot that other “lobbies” or at least, other individuals or groups, sometimes more powerful and benefiting from wider networks are able to influence public policies of the city of Memphis in a more effective way. When I say ‘other groups or other individuals’, I think about entrepreneurs, local personalities, etc.
    I do not know enough about Memphis to make my assumption a certainty but whether one likes it or not, some people have more ability to influence public policy choices. It is from that observation that we can get to a point where people “undergo” the implementation of policy decisions that are yet created to improve their day-to-day lives in Memphis. We now have to redouble efforts and create influential groups of thoughts such as think tanks on particular issues in order to make claims that are closer to the real needs of citizens.

  2. I was born in Memphis, I can remember when Memphis was called Memphis The City beautiful, my husband and I used to go down on main street on some Saturday’s and we would window shop, during that time main street was where all the big stores were , there was Lowenstein’s, Goldsmith’s, I look at main street today, it looks like something out of a horror movie, and
    Mud Island looks like a disaster zone.

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