Councilwoman Holton Stewart remembers the accomplishments of former State Representative Jim Yates
Louisville – Councilwoman Amy Holton Stewart (D-25) asks the community to keep the family of former State Representative Jim Yates in their thoughts and prayers. At the age of 92, Yates passed away on Sunday after a distinguished career of public service.
“He was a quiet and dedicated man who left an unbelievable mark of service locally and statewide for the people of Southwest Jefferson County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Holton Stewart. “We owe a great deal to Jim Yates for not only his love of our area but for his unassuming demeanor which in turn made all of our lives better.”
A veteran of the US Army, who proudly marched in Veterans Day parades in the city, Yates first taste of public service came when he ran and served as a former Shively City Councilman. He made his mark when he won a special election in 1972 to serve in District 44 the Kentucky House of Representatives. It is a position he held for 22 years.
“Today I lost my father to Alzheimer’s. My father was my best friend. He was a World War II veteran, served in the Kentucky House of Representatives for 22 years; a true American Patriot that believed in community service. He will be remembered for his great deeds. My father misstated his age and joined the army when he was sixteen years old. He just wanted to serve his country; a member of the “Greatest Generation, “said his son, Jim Yates.
“I was drawn to public service because of the phenomenal example my grandfather set. Stand by your word, help people when you can, never fear the consequences of doing the right thing, and live with integrity.” said Senator David Yates, a former Louisville Metro Councilman. “Following his example since the age of four, it was my honor to return to the State Capitol. He was not just my role model but my hero. While he preached, he also led by example, and always pushed me to not only work hard to excel in life but to give back and serve others.”
During his time in the Kentucky General Assembly, Rep. Yates was instrumental in the formation of the Riverport Authority, expansion and development of the Gene Snyder Freeway, and the creation of the Southwest Jefferson Community Technical College.
Following the Operation BOPTROT scandal, he was selected as the new chair of House Business, Organizations, and Professions Committee in the early 1990’s to lead the charge for legislative ethics reform in Frankfort.
“We, on the Metro Council. are saddened by the lost of Rep. Yates. He was an example of what a public servant should be to the people he represented. A quiet man, who listened and acted in the best interest of everyone. We will not see another one like him in our lifetime, but we hope his example will show others how they should embrace public service.” said President David James on the Louisville Metro Council.
Funeral arrangements for Rep. Yates are pending.