Louisville mayoral candidates highlight fairness in West End forum

The questions were based on the “Path Forward” document released in 2020, which highlights areas where the black community is underserved.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Election Day in metro Louisville is only three weeks away.

One of the last forums before Primary was held Tuesday evening in the West End of Louisville.

The Louisville Urban League hosted the event at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, which saw a healthy crowd.

The questions were based on the “Path Forward” document released in 2020, which highlights areas where the black community is underserved.

Many questions focused on how a new mayor can provide more fairness and opportunity for Black Louisvillains.

The moderators were three JCPS students: Brianna Woods from Manual High Schools, Bubia Ali from Waggener High School and Josiah Finley from Atherton High School.

First, education. All seven contestants in attendance agreed that universal pre-K was needed, but they want to see more. They were asked what their administration would do.

“Help and encourage assessments to work with tutoring programs,” said Philip Molestina (R).

“We will fund after-school activities for the kids,” Shameka L. Parrish-Wright (D) said. “We will increase funding for employment programs.”

“I think our program is out of date,” Skylar Graudick (D) said. I would like it to be modernized.”

“I announced that I would create Louisville’s first Department of Education and that department would focus on collaboration and support,” said Craig Greenberg (D).

“My admiration would be to sit down once a year in front of the school board and report on the city’s related commitments to JCPS,” Tim Findley (D) said.

“Higher education – I just think some of the things they offer in college are just fundamental,” said Colin Hardin (D).

“I believe our current system has actually let a lot of people down,” Rob Reishman (R) mentioned.

When it comes to violent crime, a problem plaguing the city, candidates mostly agree that community involvement and transparency is a good approach. Some disagree on whether adding more police to neighborhoods would solve violent crime.

“Move from massive spending on policing to investing in a shared community vision,” Findley said.

“The idea that we can’t control our path and stop our solution to the problem, that was even more true ten years ago,” Graudick said. “We need to aggressively tackle violent criminals.”

“Support them with what they need to have 300 new police officers, so we can focus on community policing,” Greenberg said.

Candidates were also asked about a special tax district for the West End, called TIF, which has recently sparked strong protests. All of the candidates seem to agree that the effort doesn’t seem transparent enough.

“TIF will not solve redlining. TIF will not solve our housing crisis,” Parrish-Wright said. “TIF is not going to make life better for West Louisvillians.”

Each candidate encourages Louisvillians to visit their website to learn more about their positions.

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Melvin B. Baillie