Jecorey Arthur | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Jecorey Arthur

Political party: 
Democrat
Question 1: 

What skills, values, and experiences will you bring to this position? What is your vision for Metro Louisville, and how will the lives of Louisvillians be improved as a result of your time in office?_

BIO Jecorey Arthur is an award-winning teacher, musician, and activist from the West End of Louisville, KY. In June 2020 he was elected as Louisville's youngest metro councilperson in history. He will be inaugurated January 2021, representing District 4 that spans from Louisville's West End, East End, and Downtown. His career started when he used music-making to stay out of the streets at age 12, eventually going on to earn his master’s in music education by age 22 from the University of Louisville.

 

As a teacher he has served hundreds of thousands of children in Jefferson County Public Schools, Metro Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, and beyond. As a musician he has represented Louisville to an audience of half a million worldwide through collaborations with Switzerland's Jungfrau Music Festival, New York City’s 92nd Street Y, and dozens of professional symphony orchestras. As an activist he has organized hundreds of community events with nonprofits such as Kentucky Performing Arts, City Collaborative, and Louisville Public Media, hiring thousands of local organizations, vendors, and artists, while managing over $1 million in funding. As a descendant of runaway slaves he has continued the tradition of finding freedom through his education, music, … answer exceeds word limit

Question 2: 

Kentuckians from across the state are coming together to say Black Lives Matter and to demand that all Kentuckians can move through our communities without fearing for our lives or our loved ones. What is the role of Metro Council in opposing white supremacy, addressing racial inequality and supporting racial justice for Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color in our state? Please tell us about at least one policy initiative you would propose or support as a Metro Council member to address racial and systemic inequalities.

Metro Council can support racial justice by passing laws that address the specific needs of specific groups who have faced injustices. Example: urban renewal destroyed Black Louisville, so we need a modern renewal plan to rebuild Black Louisville (jobs, housing, and education to start). These were greatly impacted by segregation or Jim Crow laws. Education alone has remained worse out of these fields. The five bottom performing elementary schools in Kentucky are in JCPS, in the west end, and are all three quarters or more black.

Question 3: 

Louisville Metro’s Racial Equity Tool is a tool that helps public employees examine decisions they make regarding changes to policy, programs, operations, budget, etc so that they can better understand how their decisions will impact racial equity. How will you support building capacity for the Racial Equity Tool to be used across all Louisville Metro's agencies and services in decision-making?

I'll lead by example by using racial equity in all of our office's own decision-making. Example: I've pledged to not allocate NDF monies to organizations with a lack of racial representation.

Question 4: 

Once in office, how will you support creating the community conditions that foster public safety? Recognizing that research shows more investment in policing and collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not lead to reduced rates of violence, what are alternative investments that can support a vision of public safety?

SAFETY - serve on the public safety committee to advocate for criminal justice reform, safer neighborhoods, and fixing root causes of crime

- address causes of crime such as food scarcity, poverty, and lack of resources

- fund after-school programs in every neighborhood including arts, sports, life skills, and gun safety that has buy-back incentives

- fix damaged infrastructure across our neighborhoods

- use arts therapy as restorative justice

- strengthen relationships between police and community with fair policing across the city, more diverse departments, and a community review board to investigate police shootings

- begin divest-invest with law enforcement so we can prioritize caring for people (i.e. mental health services) instead of caging people

Question 5: 

Substandard conditions in our jails and detention centers disproportionately impact Black and Latinx Kentuckians. Do you support ending cash bail and investing in alternatives to incarceration and detention? Why or why not? What is the role of the Metro Council to enact these types of policies?

I support ending cash bail for non-violent crimes. There is a huge lack of crime data in our region but a study by Arizona State University showed 'In Rochester, New York... as many as 75% of homicides in any given year are the direct result of a violent dispute.' So in some cases these incarcerations can be the only way to stop further crime because of retaliation. There are many alternatives that would be more impact to decreasing crime including work release programs, certification programs, and extra curricular programs. The Vera Institute of Justice concludes increased incarceration rates have no demonstrated effect on violent crime and in some instances may increase crime. Metro Council can make some of these alternative programs a reality through legislation.

Question 6: 

How would you include constituents in your district and across Louisville in the development of the annual Metro Louisville budget? What area(s) of the budget would you prioritize funding and what areas of the budget would you recommend divesting? What revenue increases would you propose to meet our city’s future budget needs?

The budget needs to not only be communicated but thoroughly taught. I would prioritize an unarmed crisis response unit while divesting from traditional LMPD officers, land grants and home repair programs while divesting from more Develop Louisville officers, and support for local black businesses instead of investments for outside corporations.

Question 7: 

What would you do to address our country and our city’s role in the causes of climate change and to soften the devastating impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable people in your district? How would you address causes and effects of local pollution to our air, water, and soil?

HEALTH

- serve on the community affairs, health and education committee to fight environment injustice shift public transportation to become more eco-friendly, accessible, and fight climate change

- work with city and state policy makers to explore access to alternative energy while collaborating with peer cities who have transitioned to clean energy to help meet our environmental goals

- collaborate with CDC’s such as the Black CDC to ensure everyone has access to healthcare services

- reassess surface parking downtown to convert to green spaces and bury power lines to improve our tree canopy

- address environmental injustice with clean energy focuses in areas that have been neglected

Question 8: 

What is your plan for increasing access to safe, equitable, affordable housing, building homeownership and financial equity, and ensuring long term residents are not displaced from neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment? What is your position on tenants’ rights ordinances and halting evictions, rent, and mortgages during periods of high levels of unemployment such as the current COVID-19 pandemic?

Answer 8: 

HOUSING

- make Community Commandments (community benefits agreements) a requirement in all neighborhoods to lead new developments and make sure no one is gentrified out

- work with state representatives to change laws to protect renters

- repurpose vacant properties and surface lots to better serve the community

- house or build low-barrier shelters for citizens experiencing homelessness

- help transition unhoused families into permanent housing

- statewide anti-gentrification laws that include rent control, CBAs, land grants, and clean hands ordinances

           

I have been an advocate for tenants’ rights, as well as halting evictions, rent, and mortgages.

Question 9: 

In 2017, Metro Council passed an ordinance which states that local public safety officials can only assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with a warrant signed by a judge or if there is a "reasonable suspicion of a risk of violence" or "a clear danger to the public" [source WFPL News]. If elected, what would you do to strengthen or expand Louisville's policies that support undocumented Kentuckians?

Answer 9: 

1. LMPD has no business helping ICE, especially with vague criteria about their involvement.

2. We should utilize skills that already exist within the immigrant community for job creation. Example: a contract with JCPS or other immigrant service institutions that mandates foreign languages be taught or co-taught by people of those countries, who are fluent in the language and culture. This would strengthen those education programs, employ and train immigrants, and break cultural barriers.

3. We need better outreach efforts. We experienced many issues within our voter software in District 4 when trying to reach populations outside of black and white Louisville. Our local census department has expressed struggling with this issue as well. It's hard to serve you if it's hard to see you.

Question 10: 

What will you do to provide support for individuals and families who will not receive COVID-19 stimulus payments, including people who are undocumented and young adults who were listed as dependents on their parents/guardians’ 2019 tax filings? What are your plans to address the disproportionate economic and health impacts of the pandemic on poor people and communities of color?

Answer 10: 

There are many industries doing mass hiring right now. Anyone able to work will be provided resources to the learn the skills they need to do so. Anyone unable to work will be connected to additional resources. Example: our senior population needs inter-generational programming to learn technology. This can be volunteer based through colleges and upper JCPS. We should also formalize the COVID matching efforts so no resident goes without during their time of need. All economic and health efforts from state and federal government should be targeting communities it hit the hardest. Example: CNN reported between February and April 41% of Black-owned businesses across the country shut down, with about 32% of Latino businesses and 26% of Asian businesses shut down over the same time span. Only about 17% of white businesses shut down during the same period, the study authors found. Our loan, grant, and assistance programs should be reflective of these numbers. In other words, we shouldn't 'All Lives Matter' stimulus payments. It's a waste of money and actually worsens disparities.