EmpowerWest

2,877 supporters

    Started 3 petitions

    Petitioning Mayor Greg Fischer, Metro Louisville Council, Congressman John Yarmuth

    Metro Louisville Reparations

    An Open Letter to Metro Louisville on Reparations August 7, 2020 To: Mayor Greg FischerMetro Louisville CouncilCongressman John Yarmuth The Black Lives Matter Spring of 2020 continues now into and through racial-justicesummer 2020. All over town, people moved to change are asking, “What do we do tohelp?” Some are answering, trying to figure it out. The city and several civic groupsare laying out extensive plans like the Kerner Commission 2.0, A Path Forward, andBuild Back Better Together. Though distinct, these are not competing calls for change. Louisville does not haveto choose one over the other. Rather, they are different expressions of very similarwill, purpose, and commitment to real solutions. Let’s name one more solution. Reparations. Behind and under the current unrest this year is an old, common theme. People arein the streets due to systemic problems of racism, white supremacy, the racialwealth gap, brutal policing, discrimination and disparities in education, housing, andjobs. It’s history, and it’s today. Slavery. Failed Reconstruction and Black codes.Convict leasing in America’s early centuries. In the twentieth century, lynching,domestic terrorism, and the rise and return of the Klan. Jim Crow and segregation.Government-authorized redlining. The war on drugs and mass incarceration in thetwenty-first century. These terrible experiences are not separate and distinct. They constitute anunbroken succession of oppression from then until now, encompassing nearly fortymillion Black people. That’s 13% of the population of these United States. 22% ofMetro Louisville, nearly two hundred thousand local neighbors. We cannot address the past and the present separately, as though our sordid past isbehind us and the future will take care of itself in due time. Social psychologistsremind us that believing in the myth of American racial progress over timeundermines the determination we need to address the dangers of the present. Tofully address the unbroken succession of over 400 years of oppression calls for acomprehensive economic solution in this moment. Because moments don’t last.The time is right for Metro Louisville to commit to action for reparations for theAmerican Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). Cities deep in the old Confederacy havealready begun. The mayor of Durham, NC spoke out early this year. Asheville, NCjust passed its own reparations plan. Up North, Providence, RI has alreadycommitted. Metro Louisville should be next. Metro Louisville should call upon the best new reparations scholarship forinformation, education, principles, and guidance. Online, we recommendwww.ados101.com From Here to Equality (Darity and Mullen, 2020) is a wise,thorough foundation. The book bullet-points a few recommendations for goingforward, listed in brief and modified here for application to our city: - Create a Metro Louisville commission for deliberation and planning, as theCarolina cities have begun, while supplying local data to and advocating for along-awaited federal planning commission, still a work in progress, that willplan and finance reparations with federal dollars - Decide eligibility on the criterion that Americans with one enslavedancestor who have self-identified as ADOS, Black, or previous related namesfor at least 12 years may receive reparations - Resolve to support and advocate for trillions of federal dollars to bepaid to individuals in reparation across the nation, as calculated andmeasured by one or more metrics, e.g., the value of enslaved labor to the riseof the American economy to world dominance, a double standard inhomestead land distribution, wealth inequality due to discrimination underJim Crow, and/or simply a 13% share of America’s household wealth, and - Plan for such distribution in measure everywhere, including in MetroLouisville, via superfunds, trust funds, or bonds Such scholarship declares the need for individual payments with federal dollars, inaddition to and in concert with local equity enhancements- social, cultural,personal, legislative, and policy reforms- well-described in Kerner Commission2.0. Can we do it? Meaning, how can we possibly afford reparations? Yes, we can do it.We pay for what we want to do. We paid our way out of the Depression. We paid forthe space race. We pay for wars. We pay for Wall Street bailouts. Just this spring, weAmericans allocated ourselves trillions of federal dollars to see us through apandemic that has brought on massive unemployment and a business crisis of hugeproportions. We can do it, without causing inflation.Of course we can do it. Each time America has needed to change course in theservice of major decisions, we have found- created, actually- the federal dollarsrequired. We can pay for the reparations we all need. Metro Louisville, as a leading major city, should be a fierce advocate for reparations.Our mayor, the new president of the United States Conference of Mayors, hasalready guided the nation’s mayors to a formal resolution supporting a federalreparations commission. Our Metro Council has recently demonstrated itscommitment to racial justice by abolishing no-knock warrants. Congressman JohnYarmuth, chair of the Budget Committee of the US House of Representatives, is alifetime advocate for major structural change for the Black community. We all need reparations, whether we are among the two hundred thousand inLouisville, or the hundreds of thousands more in the majority. Embracing change isa city-wide effort, not to be left to elected officials alone. The city’s white majority may resist, due to thoughts and feelings about relativeprivilege and personal responsibility. Such feelings are real, and will not bediscounted. But the white majority should lean into change joyfully, patientlyresisting any tendency toward resentment and feelings of personal attack. Graceabounds, so let’s be graceful and generous with each other as change comes. For reparations is not a zero-sum game, as though Black and white are incompetition, that one wins as the other loses. In fact, it isn’t a game at all: Louisvilleis a family. We are in this together. We all do better, when we all do better, soreparations are for all of us. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, senior pastor, St. Stephen Baptist Church, co-chairRev. Kelly Kirby, rector, St. Matthews Episcopal ChurchDr. Cynthia Campbell, senior pastor, Highland Presbyterian ChurchRev. Dr. Ann Deibert, co-pastor, Central Presbyterian ChurchRev. Jason Crosby, co-pastor, Crescent Hill Baptist ChurchDr. Frank Smith, senior pastor, Christ’s Church For Our CommunityRev. David Snardon, pastor, Joshua Tabernacle Baptist ChurchFather Troy Overton, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel/St. Thomas More Catholic ChurchChris Sanders, attorney

    EmpowerWest
    247 supporters
    Petitioning Matt Bevin

    Save Passport Health Plan

    Governor Bevin, As Kentucky’s only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan, Passport Health Plan has a long track record of connecting Kentucky’s most vulnerable population with the care they need, while working with the provider community to ensure long-term stability in the healthcare system. As concerned Kentuckians, we respectfully ask your administration to work with Passport Health Plan to ensure the health and wellbeing of Passport’s 315,000 members and the long-term stability and viability of the West Louisville community. Last year, Passport announced its plan to build a state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Campus in West Louisville. It will bring Passport closer to the members they serve. It will create new opportunities to improve health outcomes and health literacy. In partnership with several other well-established, respected Louisville institutions, the project will deliver valuable resources to a community desperately in need of support and solutions. It also will bring jobs to one of the most underserved areas of Kentucky. Sadly, with Passport’s fate now up in the air, the hope, excitement, and optimism we all felt when the news was first announced has been replaced with uncertainty and fear. We are very concerned that the steps this administration is taking will cause great harm to the healthcare community in Louisville and Passport’s 315,000 members. The new rate structure, which cut rates significantly in the Louisville area, is unsustainable. It will hurt the citizens of West Louisville who rely on Passport for the care and treatment they need to be healthy. Governor, please come to the negotiating table with Passport to find a path forward for Passport Health Plan and the West Louisville community. We’re praying that you will put politics aside and do what is best for Kentucky.

    EmpowerWest
    2,334 supporters