The West Louisville Strategies for Success document illustrates the volume, alignment, coordination and intentionality of the numerous strategies undertaken by the Fischer Administration to invest in and improve west Louisville. Education, safe and healthy neighborhoods, better jobs, and physical improvements, such as improved housing and infrastructure, all must be a part of any sustainable solution. This document details a holistic approach, rather than a piecemeal effort, to drive change.
We begin with education – our top priority for the entire city and for west Louisville – because we firmly believe it is the key to success for all residents. Louisville has made a commitment to increase the number of college degrees in our community by 55,000 by 2020, with an even more specific commitment to increase by 15,000 the college degrees in the African-American community by that same year. Achieving these goals should attract better economic opportunities and support better outcomes. “55K” is a collective impact model that calls upon every parent, faith leader, business, educational institution and community organization to own this goal.
National statistics and comparative data affirm that Louisville is a relatively safe city, yet this fact is of little comfort to those who have been victims of violence. Any life lost or impacted by violence dims the light of our community and limits our potential. We believe that every neighborhood should be one where citizens feel secure, supported and prepared for lifelong success. In pursuit of this goal, Mayor Fischer created the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods with the goal of identifying gaps between need and resources and to push collaboration among public, private and non-profit partners to reduce and eliminate those challenges. This work is comprehensive; our response has not been to rely solely on increased police presence but instead to focus on ways to promote an increase in economic, social and educational opportunities. This work has been heavily focused on West Louisville because data informs us that the preponderance of violence can be found there.
Our vision for Louisville is one where there is no “9th Street divide.” It is one where all people feel included and have equal access to opportunity, where parents expect their children to graduate from high school or college, or be involved in career-ready programs, and where our community has companies that are ready to receive them with good paying jobs.
Mayor Fischer’s administration and its predecessors have been working on the set of challenges in west Louisville for decades, and Louisville Magazine’s March 2013 and March 2015 stories highlighted the community need for attention. The issues in west Louisville are so broad and so complex, that Leadership Louisville also got involved, by dedicating its 2014 Bingham Fellows class to west Louisville through its program entitled “Investing in a Path to Prosperity.” Louisville Metro employees, private institutions and community stakeholders came together during the course of a year, studying data, programs and potential outcomes in west Louisville.
This comprehensive set of strategies is designed to contribute to the sustainability and viability of work as we move west Louisville toward a shared vision of prosperity.
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