Andrew Manley

Political party: 
Nonpartisan
Question 1: 

What is your vision for how you will represent Bowling Green? How will Bowling Green be different in two years if you’re elected?

My vision for Bowling Green's future entails valuing our cultural diversity while providing everyone who chooses to live here with an opportunity to have a rewarding life experience. I see BGKY as being a community that supports its youth so as to ensure that all of our children have an opportunity to grow into adults who contribute to the global community in all facets of modern life. Bowling Green has the talent to become a cornerstone for innovation in Kentucky. Being home to a top rated high school and some of the world’s most recognizable brands, we have an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen our economy. However, we need to be focused on longevity. I intend to work to promote policy that provides the resources to our city to make Bowling Green a world-class 21st century city. Once elected BGKY will be different by having a Commissioner that is future focused.

Question 2: 

Given the changing housing landscape and that the majority of the Bowling Green population are renters, would you support the enactment of URLTA, a law that would provide greater protections for landlords and tenants?

Currently Bowling Green's owner occupied housing is trending towards decreasing and renter occupied housing continues to increase (currently well above 60%), the need to protect our neighbors from vulnerable housing situations is critical to growing our local middle class. Adopting URLTA is crucial to ensuring all of our neighbors have an opportunity to live in fair and safe housing that can foster an enriching household. While there are protections in the policy for tenants, it also provides benefits for landlords by standardizing procedure and circumstance as to when a landlord may take action. The policy is recognized as beneficial to both parties and can reduce stress and resources placed on the Judicial system. The whole community can stand to benefit from URLTA, which is why I support it and am willing to work to have it up for discussion and vote in my first term.

Question 3: 

A fairness ordinance simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's civil rights ordinance. Would you vote to adopt such an ordinance to protect our LGBT community from discrimination?

Equal opportunity is essential to protect the quality of life for all members of our community including those who comprise our local LGBTQ community.  I currently have worked to draft policy so as to have it ready to present within the first months of my term. This is an essential policy for our community and comes at no cost. It’s disheartening to me that this is an issue at all and that the voices of our LGBTQ community are not being heard by our public officials. I will work to put a Fairness Ordinance up for vote as well as vote support its passage.

Question 4: 

Last year the city commissions of Louisville and Lexington voted to increase the minimum wage. Would you support a minimum wage increase in Bowling Green?

Providing individuals an opportunity for a sustainable wage is a priority of my first term. It’s my goal to promote the increase of minimum wage through local ordinance. I continue to study the policies that Louisville and Lexington have adopted; they provide a good model for what can be adopted in Kentucky and serves as an excellent starting point. I do think a policy for Bowling Green needs to be more progressive by including mandates for scheduled increases through year 2022 while also setting in language that requires review every 5 years after 2022. Raising our local minimum wage is crucial to growing our Middle Class and local economy as well as providing families the resources necessary for raising healthy, well adapted children. In speaking with our community on this topic, they with my stance on increasing minimum wage.  I fully support raising minimum wage.

Question 5: 

What would you do to address racial inequality in Bowling Green?

Racial Inequality is a multi-faceted problem that merits likewise solutions. To expedite solutions, I am interested in implementing a committee appointed by the city to review local data and identify opportunities for solutions to improve racial inequality. The committee would represent a diverse coalition of our city’s population; providing unbiased facts and solutions that local officials can utilize in adopting policy. Further, taking the steps towards adopting community policing practices to ensure trust building promotes so that our community partners with local Police; especially among our minority community. Another effort that can be made is to ensure the City’s Leadership appointment board members where applicable so as to promote diversity. As a City Commissioner, I would utilize my influence to encourage local government and non-government community boards and organizations (i.e. BG Chamber of Commerce, BGMU) to be more inclusive of minorities within their leadership.

Question 6: 

What role can the local government play in helping bridge the gap between local farmers and consumers, especially schools, restaurants, and industrial buyers? What ideas and policies do you support to strengthen our local food economy?

I agree and support that our Local Government can play a role in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers. One item that immediately comes to mind adopting which I support is a “buy local” policy to promote the purchasing of local food goods through public institutions where the city has governance within. I also support the adoption of a City Committee to focus on strengthening our local food economy and sustainability. The committee’s mission would be to identify data, strategy and opportunities for policy which the city could adopt through local Ordinance. Creating an entity focused on this issue will help streamline the efforts of experts in partnership with City officials so as to promote the access of local food resources to be placed within local institutions.  It’s vital to the environment and health of our city that leadership promotes through policy the access to local food resources.

Question 7: 

Other Kentucky cities have opened Offices of Sustainability to provide education and community action in urban farming and gardening. What steps can the city of Bowling Green take to scale up emerging community garden endeavors?

The City of Bowling Green’s government could take steps to promote emerging community garden endeavors at little to no cost to the city. First, item that comes to mind is getting the broader community involved and making a conscious effort to understand the needs and opportunities that are available. Initial efforts I support are hosting forums and forming a committee to study a plan to be put in place that can streamline efforts for urban gardening and farming. Such a committee could identify land zoning opportunities the city can adopt that can promote the growth of emerging community garden endeavors. Creating specialized space for such gardening projects will enable community partners to leverage resources that can promote garden/farm to table initiatives in schools and public housing neighborhoods where fresh food access is challenged. These are efforts I can envision taking place in the next two years when I’m elected.