CD Council and Livable Memphis begin new era as BLDG Memphis

The Community Development Council of Greater Memphis and Livable Memphis have merged and rebranded as BLDG Memphis.

Livable Memphis was a program under the CD Council’s umbrella. As Livable Memphis grew in visibility, its leaders determined there was confusion about the two entities’ relationship.

John Paul Shaffer, who was Livable Memphis’ program director, will take over for longtime executive director Emily Trenholm, who is stepping down after 17 years of serving as the executive director the CD Council.

The letters BLDG translate their meaning to build, live, develop and grow which align with the CD Council’s mission of being a coalition of organizations and individuals who support the development of healthy, vibrant, attractive and economically sustainable neighborhoods throughout the Memphis area.

BLDG will maintain the community education and engagement work of Livable Memphis as well as the organizational capacity building and public policy and advocacy of the CD Council. BLDG will hire its first full-time capacity building program manager to work with community development corporations and community development partners.

“BLDG Memphis programs and members provide invaluable support for the growth of Shelby County,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. in a statement.

“With a new name and new executive director, BLDG Memphis now launches a new era of service to our community.”

BLDG Memphis’ priorities are to formalize the City of Memphis’ commitment to support and partner with neighborhoods and neighborhood-based organizations; support new local funding for neighborhood revitalization; hold the owners of blighted property accountable; advocate for more funding for transit and other multi-modal projects; increase home ownership in all Memphis neighborhoods and foster robust public participation in the Memphis 3.0 comprehensive plan.

“The work supported by BLDG Memphis and its many member organizations and stakeholders continues to be instrumental to the growth and vibrancy of our city,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

“As the City of Memphis continues building its Memphis 3.0 comprehensive plan, we’re excited to have BLDG Memphis and its platform as a resource and ally.”

Read more articles by J. Dylan Sandifer.

J. Dylan Sandifer is a freelance writer living in Memphis since 2008. They have also contributed writing and research for MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, VICE News, and Choose901. 
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