MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several people sat in what should be – what used to be – a bustling business, but is now one of many empty stores in Hickory Ridge Mall. The former store turned community room hosted a forum put on by council member Janis Fullilove to tackle neighborhood issues.
The mall and flight of other businesses from Hickory Hill further east into the suburbs angered many people there, especially council members Fullilove, Joe Brown, and Harold Collins who seemed to imply the mayor and some other members of the council weren’t fighting for Hickory Hill.
“It takes seven votes and the seven votes don’t go with us,” said Fullilove.
But residents said it’s not just about bringing business back, but also jobs to make sure they can support the businesses.
“Kids can’t walk to the same stores you used to walk to, because of violence,” said one resident. “You keep talking about bringing business back to Hickory Hill, I’m going to be honest, I don’t have money to spend at businesses.”
Crime peppered the conversation too, with residents not having a magic bullet for police, but saying they support any and everything they can do to clean up apartment complex crime and issues with young people.
“I just want the crime stopped, however you can do it, to let them know you mean business,” said another resident.
There were no concrete plans of action, but police officers and council members were seen taking notes as residents expressed their concerns.