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Urban League CEO explains why she resigned from West End development board

Sadiqa Reynolds and Christina Shadle say they feel the West End Opportunity Partnership board lacks transparency and isn't listening to community concerns.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We're learning more about why two members of the Louisville Urban League resigned from a West End development board. 

Louisville Urban League CEO Sadiqa Reynolds and the league's director of investment Christina Shadle stepped down from the West End Opportunity Partnership (WEOP) board Saturday.

The board, which was created just a few months ago, was created to help revitalize west Louisville. 

RELATED: Louisville mayor caught off guard by resignations from West End development board

Several organizations in the city have representation on the board. 

Shadle was representing the Louisville Urban League. 

Reynolds was serving as a representative of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis' Louisville branch, of which she sits on the board of directors.

Reynolds said she stepped down in part because she wouldn't be able to vote on certain financial-related decisions because of her role on the federal reserve board, but both said they feel the WEOP board lacked transparency.

Reynolds and Shadle said if they don't allow for more community involvement in decisions, renters could be pushed out because of rising prices once development projects get underway.  

"We do need policy shifts, we do deserve investment in the West End," Reynolds said. "Absolutely. It has to be done thoughtfully."

If all goes as planned, the West End will get $30 million in funds for economic development. 

The board was created to help decide how to best use that money so while they have concerns both agree the urban league still needs to have a role in shaping the decisions.

"We have an obligation to ensure that we are doing everything we can to make the West End better for the people in the West End and for this entire city," Reynolds said.

Gov. Andy Beshear is responsible for appointing a replacement for the Urban League's seat on the board. 

Reynolds wants him to appoint the league's policy advisor on eviction prevention, houselessness and housing policy. 

Tuesday, the governor’s office said Beshear intends to appoint replacements as soon as possible but didn’t say who the replacements might be.

RELATED: West Louisville TIF district looking to raise $10 million for revitalization projects

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