MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Starting the year with prayer. Dozens of people, including the Mayors of Memphis and Shelby County, took part in a New Year's Day prayer breakfast.
The event doubled as an opportunity for the mayors to share their plans for the year.
It's only right for politicians to bring their wish lists to a prayer breakfast. And this year the lists are long.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said he was concerned with “the issues of joblessness, education, poverty,” with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton adding, “We've got to beef up our workforce."
Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery, who hosted the event, noted, “We need more unity in our area.”
You can throw crime on each of their lists as well: 2012 had its fill of it and Wharton has his sights on what he believes is the cause of it.
“If you look at what's happening here, it's the easy access to guns. Anybody can get a gun, 15, 16-year-old. Anybody who wants a gun can get a gun,” Wharton said.
The Memphis and Shelby County school merger proved to be a lightning rod of controversy. Luttrell wants the rhetoric toned down.
“I want to see a cooling of the embers, the rhetoric surrounding these issues. We've got to, as adults, start acting like adults and look for the common ground,” he said.
Things are looking good on the economic front: Electrolux, Mitsubishi and International Paper are bringing new jobs to Memphis. Wharton suggested even more opportunities are on the horizon.
“Loose lips sink ships when it comes to that; we have some very interesting prospects and in connection to that we're really going to intensify our workforce development,” Wharton said.