JP for Metro Council

The Green New Deal for Louisville

Climate change is an emergency that requires bold actions to break our reliance on carbon fuels. Unfortunately, in Louisville, our corporate, Pennsylvania-based electric utility plans to keep burning coal for 40 years. Faced with abysmal service, rising costs, and environmental travesties like the Bernheim pipeline, it’s time we bring LG&E into local, public ownership and put the power back in the hands of the people.

Louisville needs a real transportation plan that reduces our dependence on cars and invests in alternatives. I will fight for a referendum to raise the TARC tax and secure the funds we’ll need to expand public transit services and raise service quality, while working toward a future where fares are eliminated and everybody sees the bus as a viable option to get around. I was hit by a car while cycling in Old Louisville in 2019, and understand all too well that we need to build safer cycling infrastructure like protected bike lanes.

I will also fight to invest much more in our park system. We have too much deferred maintenance being left unabated, and the number of parks for our residents is far too low. We need to re-prioritize building our beautiful city of parks, reclaiming our natural spaces like Beargrass Creek and planting as many trees as humanly possible to restore our tree canopy. Urban design is important to our quality of life and we must think about how we design our neighborhoods and the whole city in a way that allows everyone to thrive.

Meeting the Needs of Working Louisvillians

Every night in Louisville there are people who go to sleep in their car, in a tent, or on the ground. Metro Council wants us to treat these people like criminals, but the real crime is the market-based housing approach which puts them on the street. We must invest in our public housing, ensure that new affordable housing is being built, and stand up for the rights of tenants and working homeowners rather than the desires of developers, landlords, and private equity companies. Our city wastes $8,000 pretending to address a symptom every time we clear an encampment, when we should be investing in the services that we know make a real difference in helping people back on their feet.

Not too long ago, District 6 residents could buy groceries at one of several stores in our neighborhoods. We’ve seen those stores close while developers take public money and then break promises to open a new grocery. I will propose the opening of a municipally owned grocery store to meet the needs of our community. Big grocery companies might not think we’re worth much, but it doesn’t need to be profitable for a public grocery to be a vital service and a good use of our money.

Decades of austerity budgets and underinvestment have left Louisville with far fewer services than other cities of our size. We need to re-prioritize public services like parks, community centers, and swimming pools. We need to invest in the Louisville Free Public Library and bring back the library in Shelby Park. If the money isn’t there in the budget now, we need to explore creative solutions like special taxing districts to make sure we have the well-funded public services that Louisville deserves. And Metro Council needs to work with our public employee unions to determine what our talented workforce needs to be supported and thriving in their jobs.

A Better Louisville Metro Government

Our public services are underfunded, Metro workers are underpaid and overworked, and assistance programs are neglected. After years of violence, scandal, and federal sanctions, we must consider reallocating some of the bloated LMPD budget into other services. We cannot arrest and jail our way out of the root causes of crime. Until we invest in violence prevention, mental health and addiction support, and services for disconnected youth, public safety will only be an illusion.

Metro Council should think twice before handing out millions in tax breaks and handouts to real estate developers and corporations. District 6 residents are tired of massive corporate giveaways like the One Park TIF deal. These measures are a scam meant to erode public services and enrich the already wealthy. I will oppose them when elected to the Louisville Metro Council. Our economic development strategy should be focused on supporting working people, prioritizing worker-owned cooperatives and workplaces that respect the right of workers to form a union.

For too long, Metro Government has operated in the shadows. Open records laws are ignored, police misconduct is covered up, and we don’t even know what happens in police contract negotiations. Mayors meet with wealthy suitors in private while public participation processes are largely ignored. I will fight for real democratic participation in our governance and increased transparency from the Mayor’s office and Metro agencies.