Mayor Declares City “Ready, Nimble, and Looking Forward to Incredible Opportunities”
Using the state-of-the-art, award-winning Southwest Regional Library as his backdrop, Mayor Greg Fischer today outlined a community vision for investments in both places and people that would create a more innovative, skilled, independent and successful Louisville.
“I envision my second term as a period of unprecedented investment,” he said, during his annual State of the City address. “This infusion of energy is measured not only by public and private capital investments, but also by the time, the enthusiasm and the spirit of our people invested in our communities.”
The speech, which is traditionally delivered in January to the Downtown Rotary Club, was held at the new library in Valley Station, as part of an effort made, in cooperation with the Rotary Club, to hold the annual event in different parts of town.
The Mayor noted the incredible recent success the City has had in investment, including:
Unprecedented prospects for residential development downtown.
The Omni Hotel Tower, a 30+-story world-class hotel and apartment tower with a 20,000 square foot grocery.
Six other hotels and the convention center expansion are underway.
New zero emission buses are replacing smog-producing trollies.
The Ohio River Bridges will open next year – both the downtown and east end crossing.
A new YMCA and new Wal-Mart will bring much needed retail, services and jobs to West Louisville.
A Food Port in Russell will bring careers and extend our leadership in the thriving local food economy.
The Parklands in Eastern Louisville and the Louisville Loop.
The Southwest Regional Library and a similar one being designed in Okolona.
And the $425,000 redevelopment plan and initial steps to remake Beecher Terrace into a vibrant, mixed income community.
“We stand, as a city, with great momentum!” Fischer said.
The Mayor unveiled a new Cradle to Career initiative, a four-pillar, interdependent education and workforce plan that focuses on:
Early Care and Education/ Kindergarten Readiness: Getting children in the pre-school years adequate development and educational opportunities so that they are ready to thrive in kindergarten and beyond;
K-12 Success: Partnering with JCPS to achieve higher proficiency and graduation rates, so that our children emerge ready for college and career;
High School to Postsecondary Transition and Completion: Continuing and accelerating the progress of 55,000 Degrees, including better deployment of apprenticeships and “stackable credentials” in which, for example, a certified nursing assistant can move on to become an LPN and then an RN; and
21st Century Workforce and Talent: Fostering an innovation-based economy with improved wages by better adapting to workplace needs and building more clear pathways from educational programs to the working world.
“My new Cradle to Career initiative takes a broad-ranging approach to build a skilled and savvy workforce, and to ensure all of our citizens, in every zip code, can succeed,” Fischer said.
He also urged all Louisvillians to call 1-800-372-7181 and ask their state legislator to support House Bill 1, which would give Kentucky communities the right to vote for themselves on funding specific, capital projects through a 1-cent time-limited sales tax. (If a caller gives their address, they will route your message to the appropriate legislators.)
“You decide your own fate,” Fischer said of LIFT, the local option. “You’re in control. That’s all we are asking for. We deserve the right to vote.”
The Mayor closed with a call for personal investment by Louisvillians in our communities – by volunteering as mentors as part of the Mayor’s mentor challenge, by hiring a SummerWorks teen, or by sponsoring a teen to work for Metro Government for the summer.
“All of us have the ability to touch the future by investing in our community, by investing in the young people around us, by investing in the tools our community needs and in the quality of the places that we gather,” he said.
To volunteer as a mentor, please contact Althea Jackson at 574-1050 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit http://louisvilleky.gov/government/safe-neighborhoods to complete pledge online.
To hire or sponsor a SummerWorks teen, please call 502-574-4723.
For a broader and more detailed look at the city’s objectives and goals, you can visit a new webpage that focuses on Fischer’s Six-Year Strategic Plan.