Community ready for action ahead of Fischer speech

Previewing Mayor Fischer's speech on peace

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The public is invited to the Ali Center to help Mayor Greg Fischer map out Louisville's path to peace all part of the Ali Festival.

Everyone points to the week after Muhammad Ali's death when no murders happened in our city.

Thursday night Mayor Greg Fischer will deliver a keynote address on public safety, and crime, and what each of us can do to help.

If you remember back to that week, the eyes of the world were on Louisville, and for an entire week after the death of the Greatest, the city was at peace.

The mayor is expected to focus on Ali's core principles of confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality and many are saying it's time that our politicians practice what they preach.

"As I move around the community I get several questions asked,” said Mayor Fischer.  “The first is how come there is all of this momentum in the community with the construction.  What's the story with the homicides going on here and around the country, and what can I do to help?"

At a time when violence in Louisville is near an all-time high those who frequent MillerTyme Barbershop are reminiscing about the week of peace following Muhammad Ali's death.

"Everybody was together, and it was a proud moment,” said Mark Miller.  “For anybody that was from Louisville it was proud moment."

"It wasn't any particular creed or color everyone came together, and it was a beautiful thing to see,” said Casimir McNair.  “To go to Bardstown Road or Oak, or anywhere in the city and see a variety of people together celebrating Muhammad Ali, and his life, and legacy."

But once the mourning stopped, Casimir McNair said the city went back to its old ways and much of the West End was largely ignored.

"Don't forget about us,” said McNair.  “Once you get past 9th Street it's a wasteland."

"Focus back on the West End, and the kids,” said Miller.  “Education, mentorship, after school programs, all of it."

"We've been trying to increase the amount of money going to our office for safe and healthy neighborhoods to build capacity in young folks so they don't go down a life of crime,” said Fischer.

While companies like Passport, and a new YMCA offer promise many here are believe that is all too often the people in the cities crime ridden neighborhoods are exploited for political gain.

"The people that live here know what's best for the people that live here,” said McNair.  “Let's come up with a real strategy and a real solution, and put some dates on it.  By this time we're going to do this, and by this time we're going to do that.  No pie in the sky we're going to do this here.  Let's get some actual dates."

"You don't know what to believe,” said Miller.  “You can talk it, but you've got to be about it.  Put up or shut up."

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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