March Jefferson County Chapter Meeting reportback

McElroy explains the need for more affordable housing.

Last night's JCKFTC meeting brought out twelve members of the chapter to deliberate, discuss, and take action on affordable housing, an LG&E rate change, the local air quality and economic justice campaigns, and events going on in the social justice world.  Here is a summary of some of the good work the chapter is doing.  Please feel free to get in touch with Alicia for more details or if you want to get involved.  

 

Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Shelton McElroy spoke about the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund's campaign to become a permanent organization working to provide affordable housing in Louisville Metro.  The Fund is currently drawing from an initial $1 million from Metro Government.  This initial grant has allowed the Fund to prove its ability to develop and spur affordable housing options with a flexible and responsive approach to this communities problems.  The Fund focuses on making affordable housing an option in all parts of the community, not just in heavy concentrations here and there around the city.

The Fund seeks a one percent increase in the insurance premium tax to raise enough money that the fund can sustain itself forever.  The rate increase comes with a sunset clause.  After seven to nine years, the rate increase goes away and the city has a self-sustaining organization devoted to addressing the county's shortage of affordable housing.  The increase would leave Louisville with a very low insurance premium tax compared to other cities.

You can take action by calling and emailing your Metro Council representative, attending the March 12th and 26th Metro Council meeting at six p.m., and connecting with the coalition.  

 

LG&E Rate Increase

Wallace McCullen explained LG&E's new rate increase to the chapter.  The rate increase adds to the flat fees customers pay while slightly deceasing the per kilowatt hour rate.  Unfortunately, this policy is guaranteed to make life harder for people on fixed incomes and decrease the savings for making energy efficient choices. 

The proposal for the rate increase is currently filed with the Public Services Commission.  The commission will make their decision after a public comment period and various formal procedures.  This means now is the time to mobilize to stop this rate change! 

The Public Services Commission will hold a March 30th public meeting to take comments at Louisville Male High School Durrett Auditorium, 4409 Preston Highway.  

Air Quality Campaign

The Air Quality Committee has partnered with Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light to apply for an EPA grant to improve air quality monitoring capacity in communities.  The Committee would use the money to partially pay for sensitive air quality monitoring equipment so people impacted by Rubbertown chemical factories.  The Committee is also working with the city to publicize and improve procedures for reporting chemical smells.

Economic Justice Campaign

The local economic justice committee is planning for an ambitious year.  After taking time to envision the future of the campaign, the committee decided for form three working groups.  

The policy committee will work to conect our place-based work in Smoketown to city issues.  The committee will develop a model of equitable development based on the lessons learned from getting to know Smoketown.  

The policy committee will also work on the state level to support vacant properties legislation that will increase the ability of the city to turn blighted properties into livable, workable spaces.  

Finally, the policy committee is in discussion with GRIDS and Develop Louisville to create a comprehensive stakeholder directory.  The directory will create a much needed resource for developers, grant recipients, and anyone else working in the community to reach out to directly impacted people.  

The housing Infrastructure committee will address infrastructure needs in the Smoketown area.  They are planning a walkability study around KFTC principles to raise issues about the state of the local sidewalks, and are partnering with several area nonprofits to create a week worth of activities for the Mayor's give a day week to make a noticeable difference on the ground in Smoketown.  

The celebration committee is in charge of planning this years GetDown for Democracy.  It's the 15oth anniversary of the founding of Smoketown this year, so Smoketown deserves to throw itself an even bigger party than last year.  The committee will work with a walking tour script found in the University of Louisville Archives to raise awareness about historically significant sites in the neighborhood.  Also, the committee is considering historical markers to honor the history of Smoketown.

The next Economic Justice Comitte meeting is March 19th at 6:30 at the JCKFTC office (735 Lampton Street).  We would love to have your help!

Events

As always, lots of events happening around the city:

  • Public hearing on Cane Run Power Plant's plan to move hazardous coal ash on site, March 17th at Conway Middle School, located at 6300 Terry Road, Louisville KY.
  • Voting Rights Prayer Vigil, March 10th, 12-2 p.m.  Meet on the second floor of the Capitol Annex, Frankfort, KY. 
  • White Privilege Conference, March 11th-14th.  It is not too late to register, and there are scholarships and opportunities to volunteer available.  
  • KY Equal Justice Center's Summit on Kentucky Working Families, March 12th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1640 Lyndon Farm Ct #100.
  • We are Kentuckians: Celebrating Our Common Heritage, March 20th 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Clifton Center.  This is a KFTC event.  There will be poetry, music, speakers and local food.  Tickets are available here.
  • Stand Up Sundays, weekly at 3 p.m. at 3208 West Broadway.