Happy New Year. It’s been a long time. The world is turning and we’ve got promises to keep, a budget to pass, an election to hold and a transition to ensure – so, let’s get started.
The term “20/20” is a measure of the clarity of vision. Three years ago, I declared the following vision for District 8:
“District 8 is a safe, clean, beautiful – diverse, inclusive, creative, expressive, gonzo – community of kind people; historic streets and buildings; cherished Olmsted Parks and greenspaces; local, independent businesses; and celebrations of life, love and Louisville.”
So, how clearly are we measuring up? We track the numbers of five key performance indicators to find out: (1) eNews subscribers; (2) pedestrian and bicyclist crashes; (3) adopted neighborhood plans; (4) the Brightside Cleanliness Index; and (5) Part 1 crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft and theft / larceny; aggravated assaults, robbery, rape and homicide). Here’s where those things stand with 2019 behind and 2020 ahead of us:
We have 5,326 eNews subscribers. Our baseline was zero because there was no District 8 eNews prior to 2017. Our goal was 8,000 – representing approximately 50% of households and businesses – by 2019, so we are running behind here. It will be a stretch to get there by 2020 but we will continue to try because spreading knowledge is fundamental to our goal of empowering people.
There were 19 pedestrian and bicyclist crashes in 2019. Our baseline was 28 (on average, annually, 2013-16) and our goal is zero by 2021 (it was 15 by 2019). We are trending in the right direction. From 2014 to 2017, the number of crashes rose each year, peaking at 39. They decreased to 23 in 2018 and 19 in 2019. The number of suspected serious injury crashes has decreased as well, from a baseline 3.5 and peak 6 in 2016 and 2017 to two in 2018 and a seven-year low one SSI crash in 2019. There hasn’t been a bike/ped crash fatality since 2016. From the Bardstown Road Safety Study to slowed speeds and more accessible sidewalks, there is every reason to believe that Vision Zero is a real possibility, if not by 2021 then soon thereafter.
Five neighborhoods had adopted plans on the day I took office and five neighborhoods have adopted plans today – but that number is set to explode to 12 by the end of 2020 (and likely 14 by the end of 2021). Our goal was to adopt plans for all 15 predominantly-District 8 neighborhoods and home rule cities by 2020, so we’re getting close.
As the creator of the Brightside Index (in 2013), I will be the first to admit it is an imperfect assessment tool. However, the score is another data point to drive decision-making on cleanliness objectives. Scores range from 1.0 (minimal or no litter) to 4.0, (extremely littered), measured in half-point increments. Our current score is 1.77. Our baseline was 1.5 (on average, annually, 2014-16) and our goal was 1.25 by 2019. We are moving in the wrong direction. Notably, the score reflects the district as a whole; places like Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road aren’t the only problem. We will continue to invest both time and money into this.
Finally, there were 1,146 Part 1 crimes in 2019. Our baseline was 1,292 (on average, annually, 2013-16; not including home rule cities) and our goal was – don't laugh – 833 (-35%). But for the 182 crimes reported involving homes and autos that were left unlocked and the 191 unlawful entries by “unknown means,” we would have shattered our bold goal. Instead, we are down 11.3%. Still very good. Serious crime is at its lowest point in recent history. So, too, is all crime, down 28% from 2016 (2,399) to 2019 (1,739) and down 16% year over 2018 (2,059).
Achieving these goals and fully executing our strategic plan is what I mean by “promises to keep.” And we have eight more miles to go before we sleep. And eight more miles to go before we sleep.
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Speaking of Eight More Miles and “a budget to pass,” I welcomed Budget Chair Councilman Bill Hollander (D-9) on the District 8 Podcast last week to preview the Fiscal Year 2021 city budget debate (and, also, talk a little about District 8 versus District 9). It is a good audio primer in preparation for the budget season, including the 2020 legislative session of the Kentucky General Assembly, which kicked off last week.
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“An election to hold and a transition to ensure.” In case you missed it, your 2020 Primary Election Metro Council - 8th District candidates are: Cassie Chambers Armstrong (DEM); Daniel Borsch (DEM); and Shawn Reilly (DEM).
Candidates: good luck. The harder you work, the luckier you will get.
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