Name: Marvin White
Candidate for: City Council District 2
Date of Birth: 05-04-1976
- High School: Whitehaven High School, 1994
- College: The University of Memphis, 1998
- Masters/Ph.D (if applicable): The University of Memphis, 2003
Family: Married 20 years to Dr. Korrie White and we have two children
Community Involvement: • Community Involvement Leadership Memphis Board of Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South, Mentor
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., member
Power Center Academy mentor
United Way Leadership Planning Committee for FedEx
Cordova Elementary Backpack Giveaway
Former University of Memphis Fogleman College of Business Board of Directors
Official Campaign Website: www.MarvinforCouncil.com
1. What background/experience distinguishes you from the other candidates who want voters to elect them?
I am qualified to serve on the Memphis City Council. I am a native Memphian. I earned my Master’s in Business with a concentration in Finance, Insurance & Real Estate in 2003 from the University of Memphis. I earned my Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration from The U of M as well. Also, I am a proud graduate of Whitehaven High School where I was elected Senior Class President in 1994.
I also intend to lean on my passion for community service and philanthropy. I am a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor. I am a Leadership Memphis Board of Director and United Way leadership giver for the past 15 years.
My business experience spans two decades and has covered a myriad of disciplines from Fortune 50 Corporations, to Real Estate professional, and entrepreneur. I am also a certified Project Manager, with expertise in managing assets and people to get the job done on time and on budget. I have formally led large teams of 100 or more people but also know how to handle back office negotiations with tact and integrity. I love technology and data and believe decisions should be supported with facts. These skills would allow me to serve the City of Memphis well as the City Councilman for District 2.
2. What are the top three issues facing the City of Memphis?
Public Safety, Community Organization and City Services are District 2’s main concerns.
3. What do you propose to address the three issues you rank as top priorities?
For public safety, I propose to curb police attrition. The more police hired the same leave for higher paying jobs. Police need to be paid competitively as well as all the other city employees.
Organized communities present a strong front when voicing their concerns to government officials. I would encourage more communities to band together to make desired improvements to their social health, well-being, and overall functioning.
Lastly, I would maintain constant metrics on issues logged by citizens and ensure timely attention and action. These roads need to be paved. As many tires as I’ve had to replace, I would be sure not to forget to add road maintenance to the city budget.
4. Do you favor the call for a half-cent sales tax increase to restore healthcare and retirement benefits for police officers and firefighters cut in 2014?
I am in favor of the restoration of healthcare and retirement benefits for police and firefighters. I’ve met many retire and they are feeling the squeeze of the city’s lack of empathy for their situations. I would hope the City Council could find a way to fund this without raising taxes. If the resolution passes, then that is the will of the people and I can support that.
5. Do you think the local PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program needs to be reformed? If so, why and how?
More oversight and attention would not have allowed the city to get into such a 1-sided deal. Including simple exit clauses to protect the city would make the company pay to leave like Memphis paid to have them come. Also, there needs to be a PILOT oversight team to ensure expectations are met and the company is succeeding. This is all predicated on Memphis, changing its own narrative, to attached new businesses. Memphis must keep working to attract new business and PILOTs are an important tool but must be wielded carefully for the sake of the city’s future.
6. Do you see a risk of displacement and gentrification connected to the development boom in Memphis? If so, how would you address that risk from the position you seek?
Yes, it is already becoming a problem and citizens that were impacted and the areas in the Memphis 3.0 plans have concerns. In District 2, that is not a concern at all. But, other parts of town are not so fortunate. Memphis must fight to maintain its culture through smart growth. We cannot drive the “soul” out for new apartments for transient workers. Memphis can grow without becoming something that we are not.
7. African-American-owned businesses have made up only 1 percent of all Memphis business receipts for several decades. If elected, do you see playing a role in changing that statistic? If so, what do you think that role would entail?
African American-owned businesses have made up only 1 per cent of all Memphis business receipts for several decades. If elected, do you see playing a role in changing that statistic? If so, what do you think that role would entail? This city’s record for doing business with African American businesses is shameful. However, too many businesses do not have the capacity to scale effectively to keep up with the demand. I plan to work with workforce companies and the Mayor’s team to nurture and coach micro businesses to grow. I would like to see contracts issued to companies that practice intentional diversity. There are many facts that prove diversity is an economic generator. As the District 2 councilman I would be a champion for business empowerment.