Rep. Steve Cohen: “… for the first time in 10 years, new House rules have allowed me to direct federal spending of more than $11.7 million to projects and priorities that will improve the quality of life in our district.” (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/TSD Archives)

by Rep. Steve Cohen —

Memphis and Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District have unique and specific needs – needs unlike those in Montana, Florida or New York City. I am pleased to announce that, for the first time in 10 years, new House rules have allowed me to direct federal spending of more than $11.7 million to projects and priorities that will improve the quality of life in our district.

I finalized a list of 10 priorities to be considered for Community Project Funding for the Fiscal Year 2022. I am proud to say that all 10 made it over the first hurdle in the appropriations process this week. That list includes:

  • $3 million for the Historic Melrose Redevelopment Project to invest in the redevelopment of the Historic Melrose High School and the Orange Mound Community.
  • $1,080,000 for the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital to provide the first respite and recuperative care center in the Mid-South for homeless individuals who are medically fragile.
  • $400,000 for educational and job opportunities for residents of Orange Mound and Binghampton at Christian Brothers University.
  • $750,000 for the ReStart Initiative, small business development program that includes leadership training for Black managers, entrepreneurs and business owners, and identifies opportunities for Black businesses to thrive. The program is led by the Black Business Association of Memphis.
  • $671,000 for the Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program, Incorporated (CAAP Inc.) Community Corrections Program. The funding would be used to support the community-based, residential, alternative-to-incarceration, corrections program that has a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
  • $450,000 for Sadie B’s Kitchen at The Hospitality Hub to build a commercial kitchen in the shelter as well as provide two supplemental food trucks.
  • $3 million for improvements to Tom Lee Park on the Mississippi River.
  • $1 million for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for home repairs for low income senior citizens.
  • $1 million for purchasing equipment for the Regional One Medical Center.
  • $350,000 for facilities upgrades and equipment for the Church Health Center.

As I said, this funding has gotten over the first hurdle and, in the weeks ahead, I am hopeful the full House of Representatives will vote on the various appropriations bills. Even with House action, the projects must also be supported and voted upon by the U.S. Senate before this funding comes to Memphis when President Biden signs it into law. 

I am proud of all of the work that has gotten done so far and I will continue to do all that I can to make sure funding for these project remains in the final spending bills.

In the years to come, I look forward to greeting many of you at the new Tom Lee Park or walking around a rejuvenated Melrose High School.

(U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen represents Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District.)