KFTC to Release Vision Smoketown Survey Report | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Press Contact: 
Ryan Fenwick
KFTC member

KFTC to Release Vision Smoketown Survey Report

Smoketown residents’ ideas for their neighborhood’s future will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 21 with the release of the Vision Smoketown Report. Members of the community, local organizations and businesses, government officials, and the press will have an opportunity to pick up copies of the report, hear a summary of the findings, and ask report authors questions about the results.

The event marks the release of the Vision Smoketown Report, a summary of the 51-question survey conducted this summer by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), with help from the Center For Neighborhoods, that elicited responses from 140 Smoketown residents about their vision for the future of their rapidly changing neighborhood. The report was compiled by a small team of KFTC volunteers who poured over responses from the resident survey. Kertis Creative donated the layout, doing significant design work.

Vision Smoketown began as a volunteer based community-canvassing project conceived after KFTC relocated its Jefferson County office to the Smoketown neighborhood in July 2013. A group of chapter members wanted to understand the desires and needs of Smoketown residents within the changing dynamics of Louisville. Over the course of four months volunteers went door to door in the Smoketown neighborhood collecting responses to  survey questions. Volunteers also worked to build relationships with community members during three Smoketown community cookouts held in the backyard of KFTC’s office and at the organization’s inaugural Smoketown GetDown for Democracy block party in September 2014.  

“Vision Smoketown is an effort by our chapter's Economic Justice Team to identify what the Smoketown community wants and needs in their community. It was important to us to survey at this time because there's so much change in Smoketown, mainly with the re-opening of Sheppard Square,” said Solange Minstein, who helped design the survey and canvassing plan.

Smoketown is a historically black neighborhood formed when thousands of freed slaves moved post-Civil War to the area from rural Kentucky. KFTC, a 33-year old grassroots social justice organization working in Jefferson County and across the state, moved its local office into the neighborhood last year. Given the rapidly changing environment in Smoketown, KFTC members thought it was crucial to gather current information from Smoketown residents.

Vision Smoketown is meant to evoke conversations with residents, policy makers, investors, business leaders and others about how changes in Louisville will impact the Smoketown neighborhood in next 10, 20 or 30 years. More importantly, Vision Smoketown provides an opportunity for existing residents to have a positive influence in shaping the future of their neighborhood.

Volunteer Jessica Bellamy wanted the survey of residents to bring the opinions of residents to the surface. She explained that advocates for the neighborhood should admit they do not know what a community needs, but instead should be willing to learn from the people living there. She explained, “Changes happening to people should be molded and shaped by those they affect.”

The report’s release will take place on Tuesday, October 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. outside of KFTC’s Smoketown office at 735 Lampton Street (corner of Lampton and Shelby streets). Light refreshments will be provided starting at 5:30 p.m. The report will be distributed and Vision Smoketown volunteers will discuss results of the report and take questions at 6 p.m.

Event organizers invite Smoketown residents, organizations and businesses, city and state officials, the press, and the broader Louisville community to the event, which is free.

In the event of inclement weather the release will be moved to YouthBuild Louisville at 812 S. Preston Street (corner of Preston and College streets). 

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