Biz community needs to be partner in battle against blight

According to a recent analysis by Innovate Memphis, the residential area around Lincoln Elementary School in South Memphis (near the intersection of South Parkway and Lauderdale Street) is approximately three-quarters blighted. No one should live like this — certainly not in Memphis, known as one of the nation’s most generous cities. Sadly, many of our citizens do, including thousands of our children.

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Barlow’s Mission

Police sirens wailed somewhere off in a safe distance from the usually quiet North Memphis street. But the sound swelled slowly, until it was down the street and then right outside, piercing the calm and alerting neighbors that trouble had come to their front doors.

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Blight in Memphis

Three doors down, a leaf blower whines in the cool of a clear January afternoon.

Its operator wears a orange bandana over his mouth and nose to keep out the dust and leaves that billow around his stocky frame and the trim, neat single-story cottage the man apparently calls home. White bags stuffed with leaves are stacked in a row near the edge of the lawn, now trim and neat enough to match the house.

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