Rep. Jim Coley’s Newsroom

State Representative Jim Coley Secures $250,000 For Historic Clayborn Temple

May 16, 2018

Monies part of 2018-2019 Fiscal Year budget. 

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) today announced that he has secured $250,000 for the historic Clayborn Temple in Memphis.

The monies are a part of the 2018-2019 budget and will be used for the restoration and redevelopment of this fixture of Shelby County and United States history.

Opened in 1893, the Clayborn Temple was the largest church building south of the Ohio River. While it has remained in disrepair after years of non-use, the facility is a central location in the narrative of our state and our nation and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

During the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Clayborn Temple was frequented by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, it was the setting for the famous Sanitation Workers’ Strike of 1968 and is considered the third most important Civil Rights location in the entire city.

Representative Coley understands the temple’s importance and has fought to ensure a successful future for the 125-year-old facility.

“Clayborn Temple is iconic here in Memphis, and I am pleased that this important funding will help restore it and preserve its rich history,” said Representative Coley. “It is imperative that our future citizens understand the temple’s significance — both locally and nationally. I believe this facility will continue to serve as a reminder to our next generation of Tennesseans of where we as a state and nation came from, and how we arrived at our present moment in time.”

For more information about the Clayborn Temple, please click here.

Jim Coley serves as a member of the House Finance Ways & Means Committee and Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Coley lives in Bartlett and represents House District 97, which includes part of Shelby County. He can be reached by email at:Rep.Jim.Coley@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-8201.

Representative Coley Honors Memphians Shepherd & Wright For Contributions To Orpheum Theatre

May 7, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) and House members recently honored Memphians Hillsman Lee Wright and Cybill Shepherd for their contributions to the City of Memphis and the Orpheum Theatre with a pair of resolutions.

House Joint Resolution 909, sponsored by Representative Coley, recognizes Wright for his role in saving the historic theatre. Wright spent his entire 43-year career fighting for the protection, preservation, and restoration of theatres across the country — including the Orpheum in his hometown of Memphis. As a volunteer, and also as a board member, patron, donor, service provider, staff member, and activist, he has inspired thousands to support preservation and restoration efforts of these historic buildings. Wright was also instrumental in recruiting Shepherd for its 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign, “Orpheum or Asphalt.” It was one of the most successful arts-related fundraising campaigns in the city’s history.

House Joint Resolution 996, also sponsored by Coley, recognizes Shepherd — a graduate of East High School and a multiple Golden Globe award-winning actress — for her efforts to preserve the Orpheum. Shepherd has also been a strong advocate for her city, helping promote its musical industry by recording her Vanilla album in Memphis. Additionally, she has been a generous supporter of the National Civil Rights Museum and other local organizations supporting human rights and the arts.

Originally built in 1928, the Orpheum was in danger of being redeveloped in the late 1970s. However, the efforts of Shepherd and Wright helped save the now 90-year-old theatre which is seen as a symbol of the city’s rebirth. The 2,308-seat venue is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains a premier venue for theatrical and musical performances throughout the Midsouth region.

“It is a tremendous honor to recognize these impressive individuals for their work protecting a fixture of our proud history — the Orpheum Theatre,” said Representative Coley. “Because of their extraordinary efforts, future generations of our citizens will be able to learn about the significance of this important landmark in our local narrative. I am grateful to both for their efforts and advocacy on behalf of our theatre, and it is an honor for me to thank them with these resolutions.”

For more information about House Joint Resolution 909, click here.

Click here to learn more about House Joint Resolution 996.

Jim Coley serves as a member of the House Finance Ways & Means Committee and Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Coley lives in Bartlett and represents House District 97, which includes part of Shelby County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Jim.Coley@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-8201.

State Representative Jim Coley Applauds Tennessee’s Top Score On Laws Related To Child Trafficking

November 16, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) today applauded a new report released by Shared Hope International in which the State of Tennessee received the highest score in the country on its 2017 Protected Innocence Challenge report card for strengthening child trafficking laws.

The report card is the only extensive study in the country conducted on existing state laws related to child trafficking. Through the Protected Innocence Challenge, each state receives a grade and analysis that covers 41 legislative components that address a state’s laws and its response to child trafficking. States are encouraged to implement recommendations made by Shared Hope International based on analysis in order to better address and prevent this type of crime.

According to the anti-human trafficking organization, the state has demonstrated its commitment to strengthening penalties against offenders over the previous seven-year period. In fact, much of the recent successful outcomes achieved by local and state law enforcement related to the crime can be traced to the partnership between these agencies and Tennessee General Assembly members including Representative Coley, who has been a fierce advocate for human trafficking victims on Capitol Hill during his time serving in the House chamber.

“To witness the successful outcomes that we have recently experienced and to see the frequency and instances of human trafficking crimes in communities throughout our state on a downward trend is very exciting,” said Representative Coley. “My colleagues in the General Assembly — including State Representative Debra Moody, State Representative Mary Littleton, and State Senator Bill Ketron — deserve considerable recognition for what we have been able to accomplish over the past several years. Together, I know we will continue to find new ways to address this type of crime in 2018, and I know we can end human trafficking in Tennessee once and for all.”

To view Tennessee’s 2017 Protected Innocence Challenge report card, please visit: https://sharedhope.org/PICframe7/reportcards/PIC_RC_2017_TN.pdf 

Jim Coley serves as a member of the House Finance Ways & Means Committee and Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Coley lives in Bartlett and represents House District 97, which includes part of Shelby County. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Jim.Coley@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-8201.