Do you want to get the facts about Memphis, but don't know where to turn? A new site launched today to help you out.
The site is called MEMFacts and is a product of the brand-new Office of Performance Management [OPM] at Memphis City Hall.
MEMFacts offers a community dashboard with big buttons that will take users to information about public safety, neighborhoods, youth, economy, and government.
Here's how the site describes itself:
"Everyone wants a government that works. The MEMFacts dashboard shows citizens how the City of Memphis is performing. Citizens can choose the topics that matter most to them, from how well the city fights crime and reduces blight, to how well it executes frequently requested services like garbage pick-up, filling potholes and weeding vacant lots."
Click the public safety tab at the dashboard's homepage and you'll find several questions like, "Will I be safe at home?" and "Will my child be safe?" and "Can I get safely from place to place?"
Under the questions are sections that give you facts about street crime, collisions, safety in parks, crime near schools, fire response times, and more.
Many of the questions answered on the site came from citizens. Visitors to public events this year may remember a tent with huge white poster boards inside. Visitors to that tent were given stickers and pens to writes questions and to vote on topics that were most important to them. The MEMFacts site said those visitors (more than 375 people) helped the OPM to create the dashboard.
The data on the site comes from government sources like the data came from the city and other sources like the U.S. Census, the American Community Survey, Memphis city records, and more.
The OPM is, indeed, a brand new office now staffed by two full-time performance strategists (Justin Entzminger and Jennifer Krouse), a performance data coordinator, and three data analysts from the city's division of Information Services. The office reports to the city's Chief Performance and Innovation Officer.
The OPM introduced itself in a blog post on October 8, election day in Memphis. Incumbent Mayor A C wharton was defeated by Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland, who made government accountability a cornerstone of his platform.
While the OPM's work seems to be in line with that plank of Strickland's platform, he has also promised to restructure the city's government and it is unknown if the new OPM will survive.