About David James

David James is a native of Louisville who is dedicated to community service, public safety, and public service.

In 2018, he was elected to serve as President of the Metro Council. He has served two terms as Majority Leader, a position that elevated him to President Pro Tem of the Metro Council and the Chair of the 17 member Democratic Caucus.

As President, he is Chair of the Metro Council’s Committee of the Whole and Committee on Committees. He is also an ex officio member of all the Metro Council’s Standing Committees.

In looking at the year ahead, the President has listed these goals as top priority:

The State Pension Crisis

Redoubling all efforts to Public Safety
A dangerously overcrowded Jail,
A Youth Detention Services Agency in desperate need of attention
A dilapidated Police Headquarters
Continue commitment to fight the Opioid crisis which saw a 14% increase in Overdose deaths from the previous year.
Continue infrastructure commitment to ongoing street paving and side walk repairs throughout our city, that this Metro Council started 3 years ago.
Continue efforts of addressing Vacant and Abandoned Properties. Continue our commitment to Affordable Housing and Accessible Housing throughout our city.

He was elected on November 2, 2010 to serve as Councilman of the Metro Council’s Sixth District representing the neighborhoods of Algonquin, California, Limerick, Old Louisville, Park Hill, Russell, St. Joseph, Shelby Park, Smoketown-Jackson, Taylor-Berry, University, and the Central Business District.

Councilman James has helped sponsor and pass legislation that has benefited all of Louisville Metro in the following areas:

An increased minimum wage

Ban the Box

Strengthened Public Nuisance Ordinance

Tightened up ordinances dealing with Pawn shops for tracking stolen goods

Short Term Rentals

More funding for infrastructure improvements such as paving and sidewalks

Improved illegal dumping ordinance to impound vehicles

Sponsored legislation imposing a moratorium on bio-digesters (Methane Plants)


In District 6, he has worked for the following:

The creation of the Oak Street Task Force

Improvements to the Oak Street Corridor

Held Community meetings on Methane plants

Opposed Methane plants in residential areas

Worked with Citizens on the Maple Street project in dealing with MSD to try and protect citizens from more flooding and property damage.

Worked with the EPA on the cleanup of the Black Leaf Site

Sponsored improvements to California, Victory and Central Parks

Increase LMPD Patrols for Public Safety to fight crime


As a native of Louisville, he articulated through the Jefferson County Public School system and continued his education by attending the University of Louisville pursuing his degree in Police Administration.

In 1984, James joined the Louisville Police Department to begin his career in law enforcement.

While an officer:

Member of patrol divisions

Promoted to Detective

Worked as an undercover detective in Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence.

Served as a member of the LPD S.W.A.T. Team.

Served two years as a Public Information Officer.

He is a certified police officer instructor.


James' experience in law enforcement and public safety goes far beyond his career as a police officer.  James has held elected positions of President and Vice President of the Louisville Fraternal Order of Police.  From 2004 to 2007, he was Commissioner of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation, the investigative arm of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.  His focus was to improve and streamline investigations of crime and prosecution.  James was also part of the United States Army Reserves between 1983 and 1989.  As a Military Intelligence Specialist with a "Top Secret" clearance level, his responsibilities included gathering intelligence and evaluating military units for their combat readiness.

Councilman James has also been actively involved in the community with the following Charitable Organizations:

Citizens Advocacy

Elder Serve Board of Directors

Special Olympics of Kentucky

Perverted Justice Board of Directors

The Fraternal Order of Police Board of Directors

Kosair Charities Advisory Board

University of Louisville Board of Trustees

Lincoln Heritage Council Board of Directors

Kentucky Shakespeare Board of Directors

Board of Governors for Speed Art Museum

Restorative Justice Louisville Board of Directors


James says he looks forward to working with residents and businesses in the Sixth District to promote not only public safety and economic growth but also an understanding of how everyone can play a role in making the district a better place to live.

He works closely with schools in the community to provide back to school supplies and has assisted the Girls Scouts from Wheatley Elementary to take a trip to Washington DC with private funds.

David married his sweetheart, Michelle on July 9th, 2011 at the Old Louisville Women’s Club.  Together, they have two daughters Jessica and Jordan and a granddaughter Marlo.  David and Michelle reside in historic Old Louisville where they enjoy long walks with their dog, Cooper.


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