How The Civil War Brought An End To Kentucky Duels Friday, May 27 2016 

In the 19th century, duels were so commonplace in Kentucky that the state’s constitution was amended to include a provision that elected officials must swear they have never participated in a duel. That provision remains part of the oath officials take to this day.

I spoke with Jim Prichard of the Filson Historical Society about duels in Kentucky. We began our conversation discussing the particular duel that led to the amendment.

Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

On how Henry Clay became involved in a duel:

“It was purely a political disagreement with Humphrey Marshall, also of Kentucky. And Mr. Marshall at one point in the Kentucky General Assembly, this is in 1809, gave Clay what was referred to in those days as ‘the lie.’ That was considered such a vile insult in Clay’s generation and subsequent generations that he had no choice but to challenge Marshall to a duel.”

On why the practice finally came to an end:

“It was probably the Civil War more than anything that brought an end to this custom of this ritualized form of violence — dueling — because of the vast bloodshed that took place at that time. And also, again, the nature of some of these duels were so tragic and almost in some instances so farcical that it eventually became something to be laughed at and considered sort of a relic of the past.”

Jim Prichard of the Filson Historical Society will deliver a lecture Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Louisville Free Public Library, Iroquois (601 W. Woodlawn Ave.) titled, “Death Before Dishonor – Famous Duels in Kentucky.” More information can be found here

Fischer Reveals LouisvilleKY’s Budget — $$ for Streets, Parks, Facilities Friday, May 27 2016 

From Metro Government:

Mayor Fischer unveils new budget that builds on city’s success, commits $23.5 million for road improvements

Includes dollars for Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Northeast Library design, additional LMPD officers, new animal shelter, Waterfront Park expansion

Mayor Greg Fischer today unveiled his proposed city budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which builds upon the city’s success and devotes $23.5 million to paving streets and repairing roads and sidewalks, the largest such investment in a decade.

The $822 million budget also devotes a significant investment — $2.5 million — to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund; $3.4 million to build a new animal shelter to replace the outdated and flood-prone facility on Manslick Road; and funds the design of a new Northeast Regional Library, the last of three major new regional libraries.

WaterfrontWedThe budget also dedicates $950,000 to plan for Waterfront Park Phase IV and invests $2.6 million to help with the ongoing revitalization of the Russell neighborhood and in support of the CHOICE neighborhoods initiative.

The largest portion of the budget – 58 percent — is devoted to public safety agencies, including the hiring of 40 firefighters and 122 LMPD officers, and $12 million to replace police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, snow plows and garbage/recycling vehicles. It also includes $300,000 to expand the city’s camera network by 30 to 50 cameras, more overtime money for officers to patrol neighborhoods experiencing spikes in crime and additional staff resources for the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

“This budget strikes a critical balance by focusing on areas of immediate concern — such as paving bumpy and deteriorating roads — while also making necessary investments to keep our city moving forward,” Fischer said in his budget address to the Metro Council. “This budget anticipates our needs, and it builds on our success.”

Included in the $23.5 million investment for road repairs and street improvements is $3 million for sidewalks and $500,000 for new bikes lanes. That’s the largest bike lane investment since Fischer took office and would bring the biking network to 200 miles, from the current 135 miles.

The road and paving commitment follows the city’s “fix it first” strategy and comes upon the heels of a Metro Council special committee that examined deferred maintenance and road needs citywide.

“The need here is critical – you know it, I know it and our citizens know it,” Fischer told the council. “The truth is that to fully address our deferred maintenance needs would require every single one of the $583 million of locally generated dollars in this budget – and then some.”

And to better showcase the beauty of Louisville beyond its downtown core, the Mayor also proposes funding additional resources to tackle the issues of graffiti and litter.

In dedicating $2.5 million in general fund dollars to the housing trust fund, Mayor Fischer also noted that the Metro Council could re-enact the gas franchise agreement to create a dedicated, recurring source of revenue for the trust fund. At 1 percent, it would generate $2.5 million a year; 2 percent would generate $5 million.

The budget also included $5.1 million in grants to local arts groups, non-profits and community ministries. A committee that includes Metro Council members determines which non-profits receive those competitive grants, and the Mayor accepts those recommendations without changes.

Other highlights of the proposed budget include:

  •  $6.1 million for new computer systems and software upgrades for city government;
  •  $4 million for HVAC and other upgrades at the 16-year-old Slugger Field;
  •  $1.7 million for general repairs in Metro Parks citywide;
  •  $1 million for repairs at the Louisville Zoo;
  •  $1 million to gain control of vacant and abandoned properties and return them to productive use;
  •  $600,000 for the SummerWorks program for teens;
  •  $500,000 for the Healing Place’s capital campaign to help expand services to citizens addicted to drugs and alcohol;
  •  $100,000 for a new public art project following the success of last year’s Connect/Disconnect art project on the banks of the Ohio River;
  •  $100,000 to plan for the re-imagined Broadway, from the Highlands to Shawnee, as part of the MOVE Louisville long-term transportation plan;
  •  $100,000 for a cool-roof incentive program to help combat the city’s urban heat island. These funds will be used to encourage private businesses to install cool roofs;
  •  A 2 percent raise for non-union city employees (union employee raises are set by their collective bargaining agreements).

Mayor FischerThe budget includes $67 million in new debt – and also sets aside $67 million in the rainy day fund, the largest amount since Fischer took office.

“For the last five years, our improving economy and strong fiscal stewardship have allowed us to pay down our debt. That’s why we can afford to invest more in our future. In this budget, you’ll see $67 million in new debt, which we believe is responsible and will allow us to continue investing in future fiscal years,” Fischer said.

Metro Council will spend June conducting budget hearings; a final vote on the budget is expected June 23.

“We are fortunate to have tremendous momentum in our city,” Mayor Fischer said. “Let’s keep working together to pass a city budget that builds on the success of the past, addresses the needs of today, and prepares us for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

The full budget, videos and graphics are available at louisvilleky.gov

 

The post Fischer Reveals LouisvilleKY’s Budget — $$ for Streets, Parks, Facilities appeared first on Louisville KY.

UPDATE: Kentucky Joins Transgender Bathroom Lawsuit Friday, May 27 2016 

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has joined 11 other states suing the federal government over a policy requiring local school districts to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches the gender with which they identify.

“The federal government has no authority to dictate local school districts’ bathroom and locker room policies,” Bevin said in a statement released Friday. “The Obama Administration’s transgender policy ‘guidelines’ are an absurd federal overreach into a local issue.”

Bevin criticized Attorney General Andy Beshear for not joining the lawsuit.

“Unfortunately, Attorney General Andy Beshear is unwilling to protect Kentucky’s control over local issues,” Bevin said. “We are committed to protecting the 10th Amendment and fighting federal overreach into state and local issues.”

Beshear responded in a statement Friday afternoon, saying the governor was lying.

“The governor’s statement is not truthful,” he said. “The Office of the Attorney General has been closely reviewing this matter. On the day the federal government issued its guidance, the governor stated he was researching legal options.”

Beshear went on to claim Bevin’s office has not consulted him about the lawsuit and accused the governor of perpetuating what has become an ongoing feud between the two.

“Sadly, this is another example of the governor’s office playing politics instead of trying to work with us,” he said.

Chris Hartman, director of Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign, said the Obama administration’s policy is designed to protect “the most vulnerable” people in public schools.

“I’m deeply disappointed that Gov. Bevin has joined this lawsuit, and I think that at the end of the day, we’re going to see that these states will be on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law,” he said.

A 2015 bill to require transgender students in Kentucky to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate failed in the General Assembly.

Friday, May 27 2016 at 6 a.m.:

So far, Kentucky has not joined 11 other states suing the Obama administration over a policy that requires public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

And the state might sit the suit out, despite Gov. Matt Bevin’s public position against the policy.

Bevin spoke out against the policy two weeks ago, calling it “absurd” and saying public schools “should not feel compelled to bow to such intimidation.” In an email earlier this week, Bevin’s communications director, Jessica Ditto, said the administration is “still considering our options and monitoring the situation.”

The states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah have joined the lawsuit. School districts from Arizona and Texas, and Maine Gov. Paul Lepage, have also hopped on board.

The U.S. departments of Justice and Education told public school districts earlier this month they could lose federal funding if they prevented transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The directive came weeks after North Carolina’s state legislature approved a law requiring people to use bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificates. The Justice Department is suing North Carolina over the law, and that state has countersued.

When asked if he would join other states in suing the federal government, Attorney General Andy Beshear said, “any decision is premature.”

“Neither the federal government nor Gov. Bevin have clearly articulated their legal positions or steps they intend to take regarding enforcement,” Beshear said. “We await that information.”

Bevin has made no legal overtures on the issue, but in his statement condemning the federal policy, he cited the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states or the people.

“The federal government has no authority to interfere in local school districts’ bathroom policies,” Bevin wrote in the statement.

The lawsuit brought on by the 11 states was filed in a federal court in Texas.

This story has been updated.

Mayor’s Proposed Budget Focuses On Public Safety, Roads Thursday, May 26 2016 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is proposing a $822 million budget with heavy investments in public safety, roads and city owned capital.

Fischer presented his budget to the Louisville Metro Council Thursday afternoon. The council will begin examining the budget in the coming weeks. A final vote is set for June 23.

The 2016-2017 budget will divvy out more than $580 million in general funding. About 80 percent of that money is generated through property and occupational taxes. The rest comes from permit fees, service charges and other revenue sources.

Fischer said his budget “strikes a critical balance” by investing in immediate needs, like road improvements, and allocating funds for initiatives considered vital for future growth.

“This budget anticipates our needs and it builds on our success,” he said.

And council members are already looking forward picking apart the 219-page budget document.

Councilwoman Angela Leet, a Republican representing District 7 and co-chair of the council’s budget committee, said, “There will be a lot of questions and a lot of analysis.”

Public Safety

Fischer is proposing 58 percent of the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year be spent on public safety initiatives.

One of Fischer’s top goals is to reduce crime across the city by three percent. In recent months, however, crime has spiked.

Violent crime — notably shootings and homicides — are surging this year, according to police data. Police are reporting nearly 40 percent more shootings than last year, which ended with the most homicides in nearly four decades.

Property crime is also up this year compared to previous years.

To combat these issues, Fischer is seeking to boost the city’s police force by about 40 officers. He’s also looking to spend about $640,000 on overtime for police officers and he’s seeking approval to invest $300,000 for more cameras across the city.

Other public safety investments include a $12 million allocation for new police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, snow plows and garbage trucks.

Councilman David James, a Democrat representing District 6, has long been calling for stronger investments in the city’s police department.

James said he’s pleased with Fischer’s initial proposal. Still, he said combating crime takes more than just police. He said he fears Fischer is underfunding community centers and summer jobs programs for young people.

“But I think we’re moving in the right direction,” James said.

Roads

Fischer is proposing a $23.5 million investment to improve the city’s street and sidewalk infrastructure. Council members in recent months have bemoaned the city’s lack of investment in such areas.

Public Works officials estimate a near $112 million road paving deficit. When sidewalks and bridges are included, the deficit balloons to nearly $300 million.

Councilwoman Angela Leet said the council’s top priority is improving the city’s streets and sidewalks. And though she said Fischer’s proposal appears to be a mesh of the city’s needs and wants, she questioned if the proposed budget will meet the goal for infrastructure repair funding.

Leet said the city needs to spend at least $15 million on roads alone to avoid growing the deficit. She’s concerned the $23.5 million proposed for infrastructure repair will fall short of the need because it’s not all committed to road improvements.

“To get to a number where we can start to chip away on our road situation, we need to be at $23 million for road paving,” she said.

She expects council members will take a critical look at Fischer’s proposal for infrastructure repair.  “We’re going to be paying a great deal of attention to that,” Leet said.

Affordable Housing

Fischer is proposing a $2.5 million investment in the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

The allocation falls short of housing advocates plea for a $5 million investment, but councilman Bill Hollander, a staunch supporter of the trust fund, said he’s pleased with Fischer’s proposal, but not satisfied.

“The need is much greater than $2.5 million, but it’s a good down payment,” he said.

Since the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s inception in 2008, it’s helped finance the construction or rehabilitation of about 40 affordable housing units. Housing advocates say there is a need for nearly 60,000 affordable housing units.

To boost the annual allotment for the trust fund, Fischer suggested the council approve a one percent Louisville Gas and Electric franchise fee, which could generate about $2.5 million annually.

Other Proposals

Some of Fischer’s other proposed investments include more than $6 million for new computers and software for city government. He said such an investment is required to keep the city’s services “operating effectively.”

He’s also looking to spend $4 million for repairs to Slugger Field; $1 million for Louisville Zoo repairs; $1 million for efforts to reduce the city’s stock of vacant and abandoned properties; $950,000 for planning the next phase of Waterfront Park; $650,000 for the design of a Northeast Regional Library and $500,000 for an expansion of The Healing Place.

Council president David Yates, a Democrat representing District 25, said Fischer’s budget will likely be changed before it’s approved by the council. He didn’t specify what changes could be expected.

Yates said the city’s infrastructure needs far outweigh the budget supply, but the council will examine the proposal in the coming weeks to gauge the desires of each council member.

“It’s a balancing act,” he said.

He said combating crime takes more than adding police officers. He said it requires multifaceted efforts, including community support and providing opportunities for young people. Yates expressed little support for a one percent gas tax, which Fischer suggested as a means to generate support for the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

“I’ve always voted against the franchise fee,” Yates said.

Councilman Kevin Kramer, a Republican representing District 11 and chair of the council’s minority GOP caucus, said it’s unclear even if a franchise fee could generate the revenue Fischer claims.

“It’s a non-starter to plan on using funds that we aren’t sure we can generate,” he said.
Kramer said the current fee’s structure comes as a burden on the city’s poorest residents, which he called “completely unacceptable.”

This story has been updated. 

Recanvass Shows Hillary Clinton Still Winner In Kentucky Primary Thursday, May 26 2016 

Update: Bernie Sanders’ campaign says it accepts the results of the recanvass and will not contest Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary.

The outcome of last Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary in Kentucky is unchanged after a recanvass of votes in the state.

The recanvass was requested by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the race by fewer than 2,000 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a statement, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said the review ensures the result was right all along.

“I’m grateful to our county boards of elections for their work today. Their efforts help ensure confidence in the primary election results for both candidates and the electorate,” Grimes said.

A recanvass is essentially a re-tabulation of votes in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Historically, the process hasn’t yielded enough votes to change the outcome of elections in Kentucky.

According to a release from the Kentucky Democratic Party earlier this week, Clinton won 28 delegates and Sanders won 27 from the May 18 primary election.

Initial results from election night showed Clinton with a 1,924-vote lead over Sanders. On Thursday, counties showed a 1,911 difference — 212,534 votes for Clinton and 210,623 votes for Sanders.

Grimes said the 13-vote difference “was due to provisional votes and a discrepancy in absentee ballot totals in two counties.”

If the recanvass had found additional votes for Sanders in the Sixth Congressional District in Lexington, one of Clinton’s delegates could have swung in Sanders’ favor. Clinton won that district by about 500 votes.

The last recanvass in Kentucky was the 2015 Republican gubernatorial primary. It was requested by James Comer after he lost to then-candidate Matt Bevin by 83 votes. The recanvass did not change the outcome of the primary election.

In a 2010 congressional election, Republican Andy Barr requested a recanvass in his race against Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler. Barr was down by fewer than 700 votes, and the recanvass yielded only one additional vote.

This story has been updated.

Donald Trump Clinches GOP Nomination Thursday, May 26 2016 

Donald Trump now has the support of 1,238 delegates — just a hair above the 1,237 threshold needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Associated Press.

Trump was able to reach that number Thursday after 29 unbound Republican delegates told the AP that they would support him at the party’s July convention. Fifteen of those unbound delegates came from North Dakota, seven from Pennsylvania, two each from West Virginia and Nevada and one each from Colorado, New Hampshire and Oklahoma (the unbound delegate who announced her support for Trump in this state is GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard).

Most Republican delegates are bound by the results of their states’ presidential primary elections but as many as 200 are not bound by those rules.

Five states including California vote on June 7 with more than 300 delegates stake. As the sole candidate left running on the GOP side, Trump will easily add to his slim delegate edge on that day.

Trump is now the Republican party’s presumptive nominee — he won’t be the official nominee until the July convention in Cleveland when delegates vote. But Trump reaching the magic number caps the businessman’s unlikely presidential run and rise and avoids further talk of a possible contested GOP convention.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Here Are The Kentucky State House Races To Watch This Year Thursday, May 26 2016 

There are 65 contested races in the Kentucky House of Representatives this year, and the political stakes are high.

Republicans are once again angling to take control of the chamber, which happens to be the last legislative body controlled by Democrats in the South. Democrats control the House with a 53-47 margin.

Al Cross, a Courier-Journal columnist and director of the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, said they have an uphill battle.

“The Democrats will have little money to put into these races,” Cross said. “The party is not in good financial shape, it doesn’t have a good way to raise money because it lacks power.”

Democrats have enjoyed governors’ ability to headline fundraisers that benefit the state party or local campaigns for 39 of the last 43 years. Now Bevin has the mantle.

Cross still said Democrats have an edge in the races because of “inertia”— the party has controlled the House since 1922, and Kentucky has historically voted Democratic in a majority of state-level races.

But times are changing. The state Senate had never been led by Republicans until Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville and former Sen. Bob Leeper of Paducah changed their party affiliations in 1999. And last November, Republicans trounced Democrats in elections to statewide offices, sending Republicans to the positions of governor, lieutenant governor, auditor, agriculture commissioner and treasurer.

Cross predicts Democrats will try to use Bevin as a foil by running against his cuts to state colleges and universities, as well as his promises to dismantle Kynect and the expanded Medicaid system.

“I think the Democrats believe he is unpopular and they can run against him, and that remains to be seen,” Cross said.

According to a Morning Consult poll conducted between January and May, Bevin had a 33 percent approval rating. Cross pointed out that the poll might be skewed because Bevin’s success cutting the state budget, in order to put more money into the pension systems, wasn’t realized until April.

Republicans predicted victory in House races during the 2014 general election and special elections for four seats this year, but Democrats prevailed in both events.

If the GOP’s efforts in the legislature are successful this year, they’ll be in command of the entire lawmaking process as legislation moves through the House, the Republican-dominated state Senate and to Bevin’s desk.

Notable attempts to unseat incumbent legislators include the 99th District, in which Republican Wendy Fletcher is challenging House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, a Democrat.

The district includes Rowan County, the home of county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses after same-sex marriage was legalized. Davis was elected as a Democrat but switched her party to Republican, saying that Democratic state officials refused to help her.

In the 38th District, attorney McKenzie Cantrell is challenging incumbent Rep. Denny Butler, who switched his party affiliation to Republican after Bevin was elected. Party registrations in the district lean Democratic, and it voted in favor of President Barack Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections.

There are eight races for vacant House districts in which the incumbent — four Democrats, four Republicans — decided not to seek re-election.

23rd District: Steve Riley, Republican vs. Danny Basil, Democrat (Democrat Johnny Bell, majority whip from Glasgow, retiring)

46th District: Eric Crump, Republican vs. Alan Gentry, Democrat Louisville (Democrat Larry Clark of Louisville retiring)

48th District: Ken Fleming, Republican vs. Maria Sorolis, Democrat (Republican Bob DeWeese of Louisville retiring)

50th District: Chad McCoy, Republican vs. James DeWeese, Democrat (Republican David Floyd of Bardstown retiring)

58th District: Rob Rothenburger, Republican vs. Cyndi Powell Skellie, Democrat (Republican Brad Montell of Shelbyville retiring)

64th District: Kimberly Poor Moser, Republican vs. Lucas Deaton, Democrat, Independence (Republican Tom Kerr of Taylor Mill retiring)

70th District: John VanMeter, Republican vs. John Sims, Democrat (Democrat Mike Denham of Maysville retiring)

94th District: Frank Justice, Republican vs. Angie Hatton, Democrat, (Democrat Leslie Combs of Pikeville retiring)

LouisvilleKY selected for program to improve racial equity Wednesday, May 25 2016 

Story and picture from www.louisvilleky.gov.

Louisville, KY., – Louisville is one of five cities selected by national funder Living Cities and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity to join an effort, Racial Equity Here, to improve racial equity and advance successful outcomes for all in America’s cities.

“Louisville is a compassionate city, dedicated to offering each and every individual the opportunity to reach their full human potential,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “We have taken many steps to improve our city through innovation and regular analysis of our daily work and are focused on system-wide change.

“Racial Equity Here will help us develop even more tools to address disparities  that seriously affect individuals across our community.  We look forward to further advancing racial equity here in Louisville and taking a lead in closing the opportunity gap.”

City of Louisville skyline

Louisville will join Albuquerque, Austin, Grand Rapids, and Philadelphia as part of this effort.

Government leaders in each city will complete a racial equity assessment of their core government operations. This assessment will include an intentional focus on operations as they relate to adults and youth of color aged 16 to 24, who are disproportionally out of school or work.

By understanding how and where municipal operations affect young people of color, governments will not only better understand their role in perpetuating disparities but will also begin addressing them in transformative ways. Over a two-year period, the jurisdictions will develop a blueprint of government-wide strategies and begin executing the skills, tools and processes they develop through this work.

The cities participating in Racial Equity Here were selected based in part on a demonstrated commitment to improving racial equity and improving outcomes for young people of color, and to expanding efforts across the breadth of outcomes that government influences.

A cross-functional team of Louisville government leaders, led by the Office of Performance Improvement & Innovation (OPI2), submitted the application to participate in the initiative.  The Center for Health Equity, Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Office for Globalization, Departments of Community Services and Human Resources and the Human Relations Commission will all participate in the 24-month cohort, alongside OPI2.

Racial Equity Here builds on the work of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a joint project of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance successful outcomes for all. GARE’s approach is based on the experience of early adopters of racial equity within government. The cities participating in Racial Equity Here will strengthen the evidence base around this work and blaze a trail for even more cities to follow suit.

“GARE is excited to partner with Louisville and Living Cities on this project,” GARE Director Julie Nelson said. “We expect the Racial Equity Here cohort to be a national leader in making transformational change toward racial equity within government and to achieve equitable outcomes for our youth.  We look forward to working with this cohort and are excited to see what changes will happen.”

Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht said: “Cities participating in Racial Equity Here will be part of a leading national network of jurisdictions embracing racial equity in a systemic and structural way. This is one of the most important issues of our time, and these five cities have made an important commitment not only to their residents, but also to advancing racial equity across the country.”

Each city will receive an initial stipend from Living Cities of $25,000 to support the work, and an additional $50,000 to implement the Racial Equity Action Plan developed by that city, in addition to tools, resources, and training from GARE.These supports will enable the five cities to better understand and address the many issues tied to racial inequity—including segregation, exclusion, concentrated poverty, and blunted opportunities—that are within the power of government to change.

The post LouisvilleKY selected for program to improve racial equity appeared first on Louisville KY.

Who Wants to be LouisvilleKY’s Chief Resilience Officer? Wednesday, May 25 2016 

From Metro Government

Louisville selected to join 100 Resilient Cities — Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

Mayor Fischer will appoint a Chief Resilience Officer to lead local efforts

(Louisville, Ky. May 25, 2016) – Mayor Greg Fischer welcomed an announcement from 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), selecting Louisville to join the 100RC Network to build urban, environmental, and economic resilience.

Louisville is among the final cohort of cities invited to join the worldwide 100RC Network. As a member of 100RC, Louisville will gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise, and other resources to build resilience to the challenges of the 21st century.

Mayor FischerMayor Fischer said entrance into the 100RC Network will help Louisville fight the resilience challenges of environmental sustainability, as well as the economic resilience challenges that impact many low-income and disadvantaged citizens.  The grant will help the city hire a Chief Resilience Officer who reports directly to the Mayor.

“Louisville’s selection to join the 100 Resilient Network is not only a significant honor but will give us the tools to support a better today, tomorrow and for future generations to come. Our application recognized Louisville’s commitment to addressing and environmental issues that disproportionately impact low-income and minority neighborhoods. It will also examine income inequality in our city,” Fischer said. “As a new member of 100 Resilient Cities, we can work with the best in the private, government, and non-profit sectors in developing and sharing tools to plan to and respond to the resilience challenges ahead.”

“We are so proud to welcome Louisville to 100 Resilient Cities,” 100RC President Michael Berkowitz said. “We selected Louisville because of its leaders’ commitment to resilience building and the innovative and proactive way they’ve been thinking about the challenges the city faces. We’re excited to get to work.”

“For us, a resilient city has good emergency response and meets its citizens’ needs,” Berkowitz continued. “It has diverse economies and takes care of both its built and natural infrastructure. It has effective leadership, empowered stakeholders, and an integrated planning system. All of those things are essential for a resilient city.”

Momentum from 100RC’s two earlier challenges made this year highly competitive, spanning over 90 countries across six continents. Louisville was chosen from more than 325 applicants on the basis of their willingness, ability, and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges. The application process showed each city’s unique vision for resilience, a long-term commitment to building resilience in a way that connects silos of government and sectors of society, and specific attention to the needs of poor and vulnerable citizens. Applicant cities also demonstrated the willingness to be leaders in urban resilience, sharing learning experiences and becoming a model for other cities across the globe.

Member cities were selected upon the recommendation of distinguished judges from around the world, including: A. Eugene Kohn, Chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Acha Leke, Director at McKinsey & Co Africa, Co-Founder of African Leadership Network,Ann Fudge, Vice-Chair and Senior Independent Director of Unilever, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) , Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Partner at the Bjarke Ingels Group, Michael Kocher, General Manager at Aga Khan Foundation, Nachiket Mor, Former Director and Current Board Member, Reserve Bank of India and Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President, Global Partnerships at the IFC.

Selected cities are now part of a global community of cities working together to build urban resilience. In the months ahead, as part of the 100RC Network, Louisville will be eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the citywide resilience-building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors, and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge. Louisville will also receive technical support to develop a Resilience Strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs, and the support and services they need as they work towards implementing that strategy. Each new network member will gain access to a variety of 100RC Platform Partners in the private, public, academic, government, and nonprofit sectors. Partners offer tools and services valued at over $200 million USD at no direct cost to 100RC members, in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience. Finally, the cities will be linked together in a global network so they can learn from each other’s challenges and successes.

The post Who Wants to be LouisvilleKY’s Chief Resilience Officer? appeared first on Louisville KY.

Grimes: Recanvass Of Ky. Presidential Primary Votes Will Happen Thursday Tuesday, May 24 2016 

Bernie Sanders has requested a recanvass of votes cast in Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary last week, which he lost to Hillary Clinton by 1,924 votes.

The recanvass is essentially a re-tabulation of results from each precinct and will be conducted on Thursday, May 26, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

“The purpose of a recanvass is to verify the accuracy of the vote totals reported from the voting machines,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes tweeted after receiving Sanders’ request.

Sanders sent the request to Grimes’ office on Tuesday morning; the deadline to ask for a recanvass is 4:00 Tuesday afternoon.

According the Kentucky Democratic Party, Clinton won 28 delegates and Sanders won 27 from last week’s primary election.

The Associated Press reports that one of Clinton’s delegates could swing in Sanders’ favor, if the recanvass finds additional votes for him in the sixth congressional district — around Lexington — which Clinton won by about 500 votes.

Historically, recanvasses haven’t yielded wildly different tallies from the original results.

The last recanvass conducted in Kentucky was of the 2015 Republican gubernatorial primary. It was requested by James Comer after he lost to then-candidate Matt Bevin by 83 votes. The recanvass did not change the outcome of the primary election.

Joshua Douglas, an election law profess at the University of Kentucky, says recanvasses are a vestige of the time before electronic voting machines.

“When you have humans counting the votes, then certainly there’s a chance for greater changes in the vote-counting process,” Douglas said. “With electronic voting machines, a recanvass is really just press the button and it’ll spit out the vote totals again. The likelihood of change, at least in those counties, is pretty small.”

Some counties in rural parts of the state still use paper ballots.

In the primary election, Sanders did especially well in rural parts of the state in Eastern and Western Kentucky. Clinton did well in the urban centers of Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky.

Sanders has a narrow path to victory dependent on picking up super delegates who have already committed to the Clinton campaign. Sanders has vowed to stay in the race until the end of the primary season.

Douglas says even if the recanvass doesn’t yield different results, Sanders’ request could play well politically.

“It helps their storyline to say ‘look, Kentucky’s really a tie and it’s so close that we even fall within the boundary of requesting a recanvass,’” Douglas said.

Sanders could also request a formal recount of the votes, which his campaign would have to pay for, or challenge the election results in court.

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