Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

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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Page 125 of 133

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 123 Continued from page 107 SISTER IN HISTORY By 16, Hamilton was getting escorted out of City Hall while participating in open- housing demonstrations. irty-some years later, she'd have her own high-ceilinged office on the third floor of that building, with a view of downtown and nearly 100 photos and artifacts on the walls, including photos with Martin Luther King Jr. She remembers when MLK would come through town and lead marches and rallies. Hamilton says, "You could see how he interacted with the family and how he was kind of a jokester and would tease them and encourage them." She was in his niece Alveda's wedding in Atlanta. "So I got an opportunity to visit his home in Atlanta, heard him play the violin or piano — I can't remember," she says. "People were very protective of him and his time and his space. You kind of had to be in a little circle to get close to him, which my mother was part of." In 1966, following a vote against a measure to end housing discrimination, Hamilton and others organized a voter-registration drive and were able to get some of those naysayers out of office. e issue eventually passed. "I said, 'Whoa!' and I just felt the power," Hamilton says. Hamilton entered college at historically black Fisk University in Nashville, and attended law school at North Carolina Central University. In 1975, working in the city's legal department, she helped write the city's first affirmative-action plan. Hamilton took volunteer and paid positions on various political campaigns; she went to the Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Jimmy Carter in 1980, and for Jesse Jackson in '84. Under Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins, Hamilton started working on the Kentucky Commission on Women, then as a program coordinator and grant writer with the Board of Education in Louisville. She got a job as the legislative assistant for 10th Ward Alderman Rhonda Richardson. In 1999, 12th Ward Alderman

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