Cheri Bryant Hamilton was elected to the first Louisville Metro Council in November 2002. She was re-elected to a second term in November of 2006. Previously, she served on the Louisville Board of Aldermen representing the city’s Twelfth Ward since February 2000. She has long been active in education, youth, and civic organizations throughout the community. A graduate of Loretto High School, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fisk University and her juris doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Councilwoman Hamilton was formerly the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen, a position to which she was elected eight consecutive terms by members of the Board. She previously worked in city government as a legislative assistant, and as the city's Affirmative Action Monitor, Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator and Legal Assistant to the Director of Law. In total, Hamilton has served 25 years in elective and appointed sworn constitutional offices with the city.
Prior to returning to local government, she worked as a Program Coordinator with the Adult Education division of the Jefferson County Public Schools; coordinated the Displaced Homemaker/Single Parent Program; wrote grants for the school district which provided education and job training for the homeless; and coordinated workplace education programs in local companies. In addition, she was a principal assistant with the Kentucky Commission on Women under former Gov. Martha Layne Collins’ administration.
Long active in democratic politics, Councilwoman Hamilton has served on local, state and national democratic leadership committees and was the first Majority Leader of the Democratic Caucus of Louisville’s new Metro Council. She has been a delegate to three Democratic National Conventions; served on the local Democratic Executive Committee; chaired the state Democratic Party's Executive Affirmative Action Committee; served as an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee and the Executive Committee of the Kentucky Democratic Party. She is a charter member of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (KBC-LEO) and the Louisville Democratic Women’s Caucus. She is a member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected officials (NBC-LEO).
Councilwoman Hamilton has been an active member of the Jefferson County Adult Education and Advisory Council, Chickasaw Federation; West Louisville Economic Alliance Advisory Committee; Shawnee Neighborhood Association; Metro Tree Advisory Committee; Louisville Chapter Jack and Jill of America, Inc.; and Delta Sigma Sorority. She has received many honors including being recognized as a “Champion for Children” by the Jefferson County Public Schools, an “Unsung Heroine” by the Louisville Chapter of The Links, Inc.; received the Rev. Bob Burks Humanitarian Award, the Professional Achievement Award by the Louisville Defender, the NAACP Voter Empowerment Award, the SGI-USA Humanitarian Award. The Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition Reverend William E. Summers III Community Service Award, the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Certificate of Recognition, The Yearlings Club Inc. Community Service Award and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Louisville Alumnae Chapter Award for Exemplary Public Service, The 2017 University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences Community Spirit Award.
She organized a District 5 Youth Advisory Council for young people to discuss issues impacting them and how they can affect change in their community and provide community service to their neighborhood; the District 5 Neighborhood Advisory Committee and a West Louisville Crime Prevention Council with representatives from the Shawnee, Chickasaw, Portland, and Russell neighborhoods.
In 2017, she was unanimously re-elected to a consecutive term as Vice Chair of the Democratic Majority Caucus. She currently Chairs the Metro Council's Labor and Economic Development Committee and is a member of the Budget Committee and the Committee on Committees. She has in the past chaired the Council’s Budget, Appropriations, and Government Administration committees.
As a Metro Council representative, Hamilton fought to toughen the boarding and lodging house regulations, sponsored tree canopy legislation, provided initial funding for the design for Waterfront Park Phase IV, passed animal control ordinance regarding dangerous dogs; funded a boat ramp in Portland at Shippingport Island for river access in West Louisville, mobilized her community to vote four precincts dry and passed legislation that limited the time of alcohol beverage sales at convenience stores to reduce crime in the Shawnee neighborhood; secured a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for a five year “Weed and Seed” program in Shawnee to prevent crime and revitalize the neighborhood; which opened a West Market LMPD Sub Station, began a Police Youth Outreach program. She and LMPD held an “Art-Essay-Poetry and Rap Contest” for area school children on “How I think we can stop the violence in the Community.”; hosted Back to School events and Youth Summits.
Hamilton formed a resident-based West Market Street Advisory Committee to develop recommendations to revitalize and beautify the commercial corridor and secured $1 million in the Metro budget to begin implementation of Phase 1 of the plan; funded a West Market Street Corridor Improvement Plan for landscaping and infrastructure improvements. She spearheaded new neighborhood plans for Shawnee which helped spur the neighborhood’s revitalization and Portland, and a livability plan for the Portland Shawnee Northwestern Parkway areas.
Every summer, Hamilton sponsors an “Outdoor Free Family Film Festival” in area parks and hosts an annual District 5 Community Celebration in September to recognize district volunteers as Molly Leonard Community Service award recipients. She is a longtime supporter of the Portland Little League, West Louisville Sports and spearheaded the successful return of “The Dirt Bowl Basketball Tournament” to Shawnee Park so that area young people would have constructive social, leisure and recreational activities during the summer.
She has sponsored two Brightsites in Portland and Chickasaw and helped facilitate the “People’s Garden” and other community gardens in the district.
A lifelong resident of West Louisville, Councilwoman Hamilton lives in the Chickasaw Neighborhood of the West End and has two children, Victoria and William III