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Pension Reform Affects All of Us--A Message from President & CEO, Phil Trenary

When we launched our initiative to support pension reform, we understood that this was a new direction for the Chamber. Please know that we are involved in this because it’s one of the most critical issues facing our community today. It affects all of us. We are all committed to making Memphis better, and we can’t do that without first reversing the migration of the middle class away from Memphis.
Never have I been more certain of this than when I was listening to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.  He said, “Cities don’t attract a middle class, cities create a middle class.”
The high rate of poverty and unemployment in the City of Memphis hurts our citizens.  The solution is the growth of good jobs, and to have job growth we have to focus on initiatives that will transform our city.  The main initiatives the Chamber is focusing on provide the education and technical training our young people need to compete for the good jobs we can attract if we work with our government leaders to get our fiscal house in order.  Just as important, we have to retain the good jobs we already have and stop giving our best and brightest to our competitors who understand the link between a skilled workforce, quality of life, fiscal responsibility, and an environment that nurtures entrepreneurialism and innovation.
For Memphis to be a successful city and for the Chamber to continue to retain and attract good jobs and investment, we must not resort to job killing tax increases.  Increasing taxes to pay for an extreme benefit package which our citizens will be burdened with is not fair, and it drives away jobs and the opportunity to grow our middle class.  There is a compromise that works for everyone—including those that protect us.
Our support for pension reform is not a “fight” against any persons, government nor union; it is a crusade for what’s fair for all citizens of this city we all choose to call home. In fact, this protects the pensions for those who need it the most and ensures those who have served 10 years or more receive it.
The citizens do not have a vote on this, so we ask that you visit and cast your “vote.” Tell our City Council members that you want them to pass a 401(k) type plan.
Posted: 6/22/2014 10:55:37 AM | with 0 comments

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