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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Accelerate Memphis, an aggressive $200 million plan launched on Tuesday, could be a game changer for the city of Memphis.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland calls it the largest investment in neighborhoods and city facilities in the city’s history. He also calls it an investment into our young people.

At the Alonzo Weaver Park in Southwest Memphis, the city is repaving the playground and investing city dollars into young people, such as members of the Memphis Police Department’s Team Fusion program.

Whitehaven High Scholar Christopher Bartley will tell you in can make a difference.

“They came in on the verge of being drug dealers, thugs and we brought them in and natured them and they went onto to college to be valedictorians of their classes and graduate,” said Bartley.

Mayor Jim Strickland and several city council members used the park as the backdrop to kick off the city’s ambitious Accelerate Memphis program.

“Every investment we make into young people, I think will pay dividends in the long run because it gives young people something productive to do when they’re not in school. We have to do that,” Strickland said.

Strickland says the money will be used in three ways: $75 million in neighborhood improvements, $75 million for city parks and $50 million for revitalizing city assets.

“From Smokey City to Orange Mound, Raleigh to Whitehaven, Klondike to South Memphis, every Memphis will see and feel the impact,” said Strickland.

Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Sr. added, “I think we have 13 different parks that we’re going to be working on, but this is the beginning of a lot of things.”

Accelerate Memphis, an investment in young people, neighborhoods, and communities to put Memphis on the fast track for positive change.

“I am so excited to get to work on these projects and ready to see the impact on the neighborhoods once these projects are done,” Strickland said.

The city hopes to have all the project wrapped up by December of 2023. To keep up with the changes, the City of Memphis has launched the Accelerate Memphis website today.