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'Equity' highlights mayoral candidate forum in west Louisville

The questions were based on the 'Path Forward' document released in 2020, which highlights areas in which the Black community are underserved.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Election day in Metro Louisville is only three weeks away.

One of the final forums before the Primary was held Tuesday night in Louisville’s west end.

The Louisville Urban League hosted the event at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, which saw a healthy crowd.

The questions were based on the 'Path Forward' document released in 2020, which highlights areas in which the Black community are underserved.

Many of the questions centered around how a new mayor can provide more equity and opportunities to Black Louisvillains.

The moderators were three JCPS students: Brianna Woods from Manual High Schools, Nubia Ali from Waggener High School and Josiah Finley from Atherton High School.

First up was education. All seven candidates in attendance agreed universal pre-K is needed, but they want to see more. They were asked what their administration would do.

“Help out and encourage assessments to work with tutoring programs,” Philip Molestina (R) said.

"We'll fund afterschool activities for kids,” Shameka L. Parrish-Wright (D) said. “We'll increase funding for jobs programs.”

"I think our curriculum is outdated,” Skylar Graudick (D) said. I'd like to see that modernized."

"I announced that I would create Louisville's first Department of Education and that department would focus on collaboration and support,” Craig Greenberg (D) said.

"My admiration would return to a once-a-year sit down in front of the school board and report on the city's related commitments to JCPS,” Tim Findley (D) said.

"Higher level studies - I just think some of the things they offer in college are just fundamental,” Colin Hardin (D) said.

"I believe our current system has actually failed a lot of people,” Rob Reishman (R) said.

As for violent crime, a problem plaguing the city, candidates mostly agree that community involvement and transparency is a good approach. Some disagree on whether adding more police to neighborhoods would solve violent crime.

"Shift from the massive spending on police, to an investment in a shared vision of community,” Findley said.

"The idea that we can't police our way and arrest our way out the problem, that was more true ten years ago,” Graudick said. “We need to aggressively go after violent criminals."

“Support them with what they need to have 300 new police officers, so that we can focus on community policing,” Greenberg said.

The candidates were also asked about a special taxing district for the West End, called a TIF, which was recently met with strong protests. All of the candidates seem to agree the effort doesn't seem transparent enough.

“TIF won’t fix redlining. TIF won’t fix our housing crisis,” Parrish-Wright said. “TIF won’t fix the lives of West Louisvillians.”

Each candidate encourages Louisvillians to visit their website to learn more about their stances.

Election day is May 17.

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