Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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50 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.18 "Marty is a good leader. I mean, you can see that he has strong leadership capacity, and he also has experience. So the question about Marty was: Is he gonna be able to transition from being high school principal to superintendent of a large public school district? And he seems to be doing that magnificently. e turnaround job that he did at J-town and Doss high schools — when you look at the challenges that we have in some of our schools — there's a guy that understands how to transition schools. Now with the state-takeover issues behind us, I'm very glad about that. I was against a state takeover that was gonna chew up all types of energy in our community and disempower people." What's something you think could be addressed immediately? "Well, I can tell you one of the things I'm very impressed with is the sense of urgency that JCPS and Marty have shown about developing the Academies of Louisville. So much of economic development is about workforce, and when companies look to move here and companies are going to look to grow, they're gonna say, 'Do we have the workforce?' So the JCPS academy program, really in two short school years, with this school year being the second one, now has 85 companies involved with that. ese are companies partnering with 14 of our high schools to make sure students understand what a career looks like in healthcare or in manufacturing or construction or wellness and aging, and having that experience at that workshop or in the workplaces. So they've already done that, which is amazingly quick for how large an entity JCPS is. "When you think about the achievement gaps that exist between a lot of the white population and a lot of the African-American population, it's a significant issue. JCPS knows that. ey're one of the few public school districts in the country to have an equity policy like they have. So to me, it looks like they're doing all the right things. It's a really hard job to be running a public school district of 101,000 people, and 67 percent of them are on free or reduced(-price) lunch. at's where the Cradle to Career system comes into place. If I were to ask everybody in the community to focus on one thing, it would be this Cradle to Career development, so that we can both accelerate achievement for people that are already doing well but also help kids that are behind catch up, so that they also feel connected to a hopeful future." Why should a mayor be allowed to serve three terms? "Well, that's up to the people. If you say, 'Are we better off than where we were eight years ago?' And then, 'What are you gonna do in the third four years?' at's the critical question because, yes, we've by any measure done fantastic these last seven and a half years. So, one, it's completing all of the projects that we have underway, and then we have a whole other wave of projects coming after that because people around the country are looking at Louisville like are they going to be the next Austin or the next Nashville in terms of the growth opportunities that we have here. ere's a lot of evidence that we're going to be that type of city. So that's what people see. "One of the main reasons I'm running for the third term is to complete the work that we're doing with our Cradle to Career system of lifelong learning — pulling together all of the different agencies that touch kids in our community — and our Louisville Promise effort, which is to attack these achievement gaps that exist between white kids and . . . we'll just say advantaged kids and kids that don't have advantages. So you've got kids at the age of six showing up in kindergarten, they come from families that don't have advantages, they're three years behind advantaged peers. at's not sustainable from a moral standpoint, from an economic standpoint, from a public safety standpoint." Do you think Angela Leet would make a good mayor? "No, no." Why? "She is not associated with — first off, she doesn't have the experience for a job like this. Second, she's strong at being critical, but she's weak or nonexistent with having plans for improvement. People deserve that. And you have to be aware of all the context when you're being critical, if you want to be informed when you're being critical. Look, we're in kind of political silly season now, where people throw out all types of accusations, but I think that this city's got great momentum. When you talk to the people of Louisville, they see that and I think that they'll honor me with another four years." A few of Angela Leet's criticisms have to do with what she thinks the public should know: the bid for an Amazon headquarters, the list of the Mayor's Office's Derby guests, the sexual-abuse case involving LMPD's Explorer youth program. What is your response to those? "Yeah, I think on the business stuff, those show a real lack of experience with business. ink about the Derby, uh, drama that's been created. Imagine you have as a company, your top prospect list of who it is that you're trying to convince to buy your product — in this case we're trying to convince people to move to our city — and Nashville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis would love to know who we're trying to get to move to our city. And so no city does this. No state does this." And you think that taxpayers should be the ones to pay for their travels here? "Well, our citizens fund city government. ey fund Louisville Forward, which is our economic-development agency, so that's a marketing cost of doing business so that we bring people to our city that wouldn't come here before that then results in jobs locating here with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in investment, tens of thousands of new employees. So the expenses that we spend on the Derby have huge returns on them in terms of our economic-development success for the city. I think what people have got to look at is: Is this money being put to good use? And all I would say is, 'Well, look around the city.' You know,

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