Endorsed by Crit Luallen

CritLuallenCrit Luallen represents the highest standard of public service that I expect to see in my lifetime. Among the many ways she has served us: as Founder of the Governor’s School of the Arts, as Head of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership (predecessor to GLI); as two-term Auditor of the Commonwealth; and as our Lieutenant Governor.  I have known and admired Crit for 20 years.  But I never imagined I would earn her endorsement.  Here is a letter she wrote about my campaign (the Courier-Journal has published it as an op-ed):

Dear Friends,

Having worked with seven governors and held statewide office as auditor and lieutenant governor, I have learned the value of strong elected leaders and candidates who can take the torch as it is passed to their generation.

Which is why I was so pleased when I heard that Stephen Reily had decided to run for elected office as a candidate for the Metro Council’s 8th District.Having worked with seven governors and held statewide office as auditor and lieutenant governor, I have learned the value of strong elected leaders and candidates who can take the torch as it is passed to their generation.

An entrepreneur, Stephen is passionate about Louisville and has a proven record of producing results at all levels of his community engagement. He has worked to grow the economy through the Greater Louisville Project; he brought a focus to improving educational attainment through his work with 55,000 Degrees; and he is the driving force behind the new West Louisville FoodPort, which is creating desperately needed local jobs as well as a more sustainable future for local agriculture.

I have long admired the way Stephen and his wife, Emily Bingham, have supported Kentucky’s women. They have fought for access to reproductive health services and have been steadfast backers of Emerge Kentucky, a statewide program that identifies, trains and encourages women to run for office. And the company he founded and continues to operate, IMC/Vibrant Nation, is a thriving firm staffed and led entirely by women.

At a time when it is easy to become discouraged about the political process, it gives me hope to see someone of Stephen’s caliber step forward. Stephen will bring a clear and positive vision for the community’s future to the job. His decisions on the Metro Council will be marked by integrity and a strong moral compass – and they will be informed by listening to and learning from the people he serves.

I am proud to endorse Stephen Reily and encourage voters to support him for Metro Council in the Democratic primary election on May 17.

Crit Luallen

 

Endorsed by C-FAIR

CFAIRI am honored and humbled to have the endorsement of the Louisville’s pre-eminent LGBTQ rights organization, C-FAIR/the Fairness Campaign, for my campaign for Metro Council. I supported Louisville’s first steps towards a Fairness Ordinance in the 1990s; I’ve continued supporting Fairness, and I won’t stop now. On the campaign trail I will honor this endorsement by listening to all the voices in District 8. And if elected I will honor this endorsement by fighting for individual rights and the rights of cities like Louisville to protect their own.

 

Endorsed by the Sierra Club!

Sierra Club Endorsement Photo

I am very grateful to the members of the Kentucky Sierra Club for entrusting me with their endorsement as the next Metro Council member for District 8. I have spent more than 20 years here advocating for responsible development and for sustainability, and making my own long-term investments in the same causes, at home, at the West Louisville FoodPort, and elsewhere. I hope to honor this endorsement by focusing on three primary goals on Metro Council:

  • A Greener Budget. Metro Council should spend less time reacting to individual line items in the Mayor’s budget than focus on its overarching goals. As a Metro Council member I would work with others to focus on the strategy underlying the Mayor’s budget, looking for a bolder vision – and then a bigger budget – on investments in health and sustainability. At the Greater Louisville Project, whose Policy Board I have chaired for 6 years, we use data to measure Louisville against its peer cities. I would do the same on sustainability. We cannot build a healthier city for the 21st Century – much less identify ourselves as a leader among cities – if our investments in sustainability do not match or exceed our peers. If Louisville fails that grade I will call attention to it, and work to make us a city that uses its financial resources in a way that honors our natural resources.
  • A Healthy City for Everyone. The disparities in health outcomes and life expectancy in Louisville depend far too much on where you are born and live. I would focus on two issues in particular:
    • Air quality. Ted Smith, Louisville’s Chief Innovation Office and Director of the Institute for Healthy Air, Soil & Water has led efforts to develop effective monitoring tools for air quality; the Metro Council now needs to demand action (and direct resources) to improve those metrics. Every child should grow up breathing clean air in Louisville.
    • Tree canopy. We now know the sad statistics on tree loss and heat islands in Louisville. Metro Council needs to support a no-net-loss policy on tree loss and a dramatic increase in trees where our heat islands are the hottest. At the West Louisville FoodPort we will plant hundreds of trees on what is now a barren brownfield; we will build a 2-acre demonstration farm for the Jefferson County Extension to operate; and we are looking for partners to develop a nursery to grow native trees for planting in West Louisville, creating job opportunities and cleaner air at the same time. We need to require other developers to do the same.
  • Citizen Engagement. If you give people information and a chance to shape their own future, they will choose a greener and more sustainable future. As a Metro Council member, I will use, encourage, and enable a fully engaged base of citizens in shaping their own future in the Highlands. I want to connect all of my neighbors and the neighborhood associations and small cities of District 8 on a Master Plan for Bardstown Road (the backbone of our district) that incorporates world-class ideas for parking, public transportation, pedestrian safety, trees, and utilities – and I am confident that an open and transparent process will help citizens develop a future they are proud to own. I will encourage Metro Louisville and Develop Louisville to adopt similar practices. Civic leaders sometimes appear to think that progress and citizen engagement are in opposition. I disagree, and I believe that it is easier than ever (primarily through technology) to promote civic engagement and to make Louisville a model city where informed citizens can shape their own future.

Please join me in building a more sustainable Louisville that honors its natural beauty and lives up to its potential as a leading city of the 21st Century!

Talking marriage

So much fun to talk marriage with Greg Bourke (second from left) and Michael DeLeon (right) – it took the Supreme Court (and Louisville’s own Judge John Heyburn) to grant them in 2015 the same rights Emily and I always had. Louisville should be proud of these civil rights heroes – and I appreciate their support and friendship. 

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Our Supporters

I truly love Louisville – in part because of the friends and community it has brought me. Now those friends are supporters, and you can hear from some of them in our new video. Check it out!

Some Endorsements are Worth Rejecting

I got a candidate questionnaire from the Frank Simon “Freedoms Heritage Forum” that includes some of the strangest, factually inaccurate, hostile, divisive, and un-Christian “questions” I have ever read.

Here are a few:

“Are you fed up with the system that Redefined marriage and promotes sodomy in our schools?”

I am not fed up with this “system” and do not believe such a “system” exists. Our evolving sense of respect for all of our sisters and brothers has led us to understand that the desire for marital bonds is human and should not be denied to same-sex couples. And schools that educate children for the real world should promote respect for all people, including respect for our LGBTQ peers.

“Are you fed up with the system that Legalized the shedding of innocent blood, through abortion?”

 No. As a former U.S. Supreme Court clerk I believe in the rule of law, and I also believe that its arc bends (sometimes very slowly) towards justice. 43 years ago the Supreme Court ruled that the individual right of privacy, and a woman’s right to make her own private healthcare decisions, is more important that society’s right to impose its beliefs (even well-intentioned beliefs) on her body. You can believe that the Supreme Court was wrong (as it was wrong when it decided in Bowers v. Hardwick that the Constitution does not protect consensual homosexual behavior) but it remains the rule of law.

 “Are you fed up with the system that Banned Christian prayer in schools but allows Muslim prayer, while the Muslims have already taken over Europe and are about to take over America?”

Again, this statement is both factually inaccurate and hateful to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Our Constitution protects religious freedom, and being American means welcoming people with different beliefs.

I won’t bother mentioning my answers to questions about “the unproven theory of evolution” or asking Congress to take away the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

I happen to be a Christian, optimistic, future-focused person who wants to build a stronger community and not tear it apart in the name of belief.   I am running for Metro Council because I know that people in Louisville want to honor each other and own a future we can all believe in.

I reject the endorsement of Frank Simon’s Freedoms Heritage Foundation.