Monday, August 31, 2009

The next Mayor of Louisville

What do I want to see from the next mayor? I want to see someone who has a clear and concise vision for the city. Not just downtown, the highlands, and the East End, but the entire CITY. I want to know what they think Louisville's brand is or should be and how are they going to make it happen. You know. The basic stuff. But this is probably the hardest question to answer.

I haven't heard to many people really articulate what Louisville is and have it encompass the entire city. I've heard some people say Louisville is progressive, but that really only encompasses the Highlands, downtown, and the Frankfort Ave. area. Parts of Eastern Jefferson County and Southwestern County are pretty conservative.

Once we get that out of the way then I want to know how they are going to make their vision happen? How does the west end fit into that vision? The South End? At this point in the discussion we may need to use the "no politcal Cliche' " rule. Because when we talk about any type of re/economic/ or any kind of development in the West End most politicians usually something along the lines of we need to lower crime first. Cool, but what that translate to for many West End residents is "We need even more cops on your streets, because we haven't apparently arrested enough of you guys yet. "

I want to hear something different. What plan/s do you have to reconnect my community back to the rest of the city? How are you going to improve economic development in Western Louisville? When I say improve economic development I don't mean more light industrial. Most of the light industrial businesses in Western Louisville don't employ residents from Western Louisville. They're great for the tax base of the city, but don't do anything for the community.

My next question would be about the future. How are you going to prepare Louisville for the future? What do you think the future holds? What is the future? This is another important question because the answer will tell a lot about where they plan to take our community. If you think the future is about finding niches and exploiting those niches then the focus of the next administration should be in that direction. There should be a clear and concise plan to get us from point A to point B. If they think the future is in Green jobs then there should be a plan to get us from where we are now to that point.

Basically, you can sum it up like this. What is Louisville, where do you want us to go, and you how do you plan to take everybody there? That shouldn't be to hard. Should it?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8664. What should be the next step?

Before I get into the meat of my post I just want to say that C.A.R.R. hasn't taken an official position of 8664. This is all my opinion. Now, that we have gotten that out of the way, what should be 8664's next move? They may have already done some of the things I'm about to suggest. But just in case they haven't I hope they like my ideas.

8664 has gained a lot of traction among the general population. Every poll I have seen about 8664 has been pretty positive. However, they haven't swayed many of the power-brokers in town. Most of the metro council members, the mayor, and top business CEO's favor the downtown bridge. That needs to change.

It was a good move to spend money on creating images and videos to show people what Louisville would look like without I-64 as it passes through downtown, but that's not enough. More needs to be done. 8664 needs to show how their idea will benefit people in the South-End and the East End. Currently many residents think that we have spent to much time and resources in downtown Louisville. I get the feeling that most East-Enders don't really care either way. Many of them don't come downtown and if they did I would imagine what they really want is re-designed Spaghetti-Junction.

I think the folks at 8664 need to reach out to the people in the south end and fiscals conservatives in the East-End. It's going to have to move beyond it's base in the Highlands if it's going succeed. I think they will find a very receptive audience if they focus on the fact that 8664 will save money, free up funds for transportation improvements for the South-end, and improve congestion downtown. I think they should set up a meeting with South-End leaders Chris Thieneman, and Dan Seum. I think they can find some common ground.

I think the same fiscal argument will work in the East-end, and as well as a message that includes how 8664 can improve their commute to and from downtown. They will need a facts based argument, and pound home how this will save everybody money.

I would take a page out of the republican handbook. The republicans (on a national level) may not be good at coming up with alternative ideas, but they sure are good at killing one. Just look at the healthcare debate. I'm pretty sure 8664 wants to take the "high ground" but they can still use a couple of plays from the republican playbook. One is to scare people with the prospect of paying up to a $3 toll to cross the bridge. Once you find out how much would that cost the average citizen every year I would call it a bridge tax. When the mayor elections come around you can say things like " So and so wants to tax you $1000 a year just to go to Indiana."

Maybe you can have people protest outside of city hall or the Mayor's community conversations. Either way you are going to have to put pressure on the establishment. Pressure they can't ignore. This means that 8664 will have to reach out to people they may not have other wise.

They can do it, and I think they can be successful. We need them to be successful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pro Boxing is Back

I am happy to announce that pro boxing has come back to Louisville. It may not have the luster it once had, but it is definitely back. Resurrection 2 promises to be an exciting event. There will be 7 fights and they all promise to be pretty good.

If you come to the fight you can see Derico Murray is considered to be an up and coming Welterweight. He's a local guy who is looking forward to making a big name for himself. He's long and a little lanky, but he's fast and has some decent power. It's good to see the city produce another good pro prospect.

Another interesting fighter to look out for is Alex Medina. He's originally from Mexico, but fights out of Lexington. He' another nice heavyweight prospects. I have seen him fight several times before and this guy never ceases to amaze me. He can really take a punch as well as give it. He never seems to get tired. He keeps coming and coming. He's one tough hombre as well as a really good guy.

Also look for Liborio Solis. He will also be in action. He wont be fighting Derico like the flyer says (there was delay on paperwork so we had shuffle some fights around), but he will be there. This guy came all the way from Venezuela to train and fight for Dennis Page in Louisville. He doesn't speak a word of English, but he wants to learn from one of the best trainers in the game. he is also considered to be a really good prospect.

One of the best things about these club fights is that you get to meet all of the fighters. They all hang around after the fight and are usually really approachable. Coming to the fights would be a great way to get introduced to the local fight scene, get to know some great guys, and see a good night of boxing. Once again the fight info is:

Resurrection 2
August 14th
Expo 5 (flee market on 7th street)
Doors open at 6 fight starts at 8PM
$20 in advance (
$25 at the door.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

There's a Riot Going On!

I wanted to wait until the dust settled before I commented on the "riots" that took place in downtown Louisville. I think the media may have blown this out of proportion a little bit, but this still underscores a societal problem.

For the record I wasn't there. Everything about the event I learned from news reports, listening to Mark Gunn and Russ Parr on the radio and from some of my friends and neighborhood kids that did attend the event. Based on all of that i have come to some conclusions.

I think the media may have blown it our of proportion a little bit. There were several arrest and there were thousands of kids block several streets, but there wasn't the chaos and mayhem that you would have thought went on if you watched the news.

I think the promoters and sponsors of the event should have had more security on hand. Especially, since they have had problems in the past. 12 cops was nowhere near enough for the amount of kids that attended the event.

I'm not downplaying what happened. I just don't think it was the menacing situation the media made it out to be. However, I wanted an eyewitness report so I talked to some of the kids that attended the event. They couldn't understand why the cops got so physical, the media portrayed it as a near riot, and the general amount of negative press the event had gotten. Where was the positive press about the event ( a point Mark Gunn had also brought up)?

I told them that you have understand how things work. As young black kids you are not going to get the benefit of the doubt. When you have thousands of kids leaving an event the police and everybody else will be nervous. They are waiting for a fight to break out or for you guys to act like little thugs, and you didn't disappoint. You did exactly what people expected young black kids to do.

They shot back that it was just a handful kids that got into a fight. So. You are held to a different standard than other kids. If one of you guys do wrong then the entire group is wrong. If one of you guys act up and are bad then the entire group is bad. If one thing at an event where it is a majority of blacks kids there goes bad the whole event is bad. I told them that I know that isn't fair, but that's just the way it is.

Why do you think that in the Civil Rights movement Dr. king advocated a non-violent approach? If we had fought back, even if it might have seemed the right thing to do, the media would have branded the whole movement as violent and not worth a damn. the movement would have died a slow and painful death.

I then went on to explain to them just how much damage was done. B96.5 will loose some advertisers over this. Those majority white businesses that would have never considered advertising on an Urban station wont now. The ones that have just signed up to advertise on the station in the past 2-3 years might stop, and you can't blame them. Would want kids that are going to start fights patronize your business.

I told them I know it's just a small number of bad apples, but you all will be painted with the same brush. It's not fair, but life isn't fair. I also told them don't be surprised if Russ doesn't come back to Louisville, and if he does it wont be downtown.

The kids were a little hurt, but they understood. I told them to keep their chins up. I went through the same-thing as kid myself. They should join a neighborhood youth board or work with neighborhood association. There are others to get events in Louisville that you want. You just have to work it.

All in all it was an unfortunate event. I would like to see the Russ Bus comeback to Louisville, we shall see what happens.