Gordon Henry | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Gordon Henry

Political party: 
Question 1: 

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

Commission can look at ways to collaborate with different organizations that are active in the transportation community. The walkability of Newport is one of the best features of the city and we need to highlight that more. Creating bike lanes, rideshare programs are just a few options to explore.

Question 2: 

Some communities and organizations in Northern Kentucky are doing work outside of the criminal justice system to support people returning from home from incarceration – things like ban the box, mediation and restorative justice processes to keep people from incarceration, and investment in social services in the community to help address structural concerns. If elected, what initiatives or policies would you advance in order to support people returning from incarceration?

I would like to promote affordable access to healthcare and therapy. These would help prepare them for the transition back into society. Continuing to bolster social services and organizations that can have a program/department that can focus strictly on supporting people returning home from incarceration.

Question 3: 

Newport has provided more affordable housing options than many other communities in northern Kentucky, and yet many of those who are being helped by these programs are concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods leading them to feel segregated from the rest of Newport. Some fear being the next to be relocated due to new city projects, or fear rising rents forcing them to move. Others have faced issues with absentee landlords that make it hard for routine maintenance to be done. If elected, what will you do to make sure we have safe, fair, and affordable housing in Newport?

Affordable housing is paramount in the city of Newport as it continues to develop. Many of our residents depend on affordable housing in order to have a place to call home. I would like to see for any future big housing developments that there are set asides for affordable housing to be included. Giving a voice to renters that traditionally aren't listened to as much as homeowners would help go a long way as well.

Question 4: 

Newport has been an active part in the Riverfront Commons project that seeks to connect the river cities and protect the integrity of local riverbanks, and a few years ago added recycling to curbside pickup for all city residences, making our city a regional leader in sustainability. However, there are additional steps our city can take to save residents money and promote sustainability, including enacting an Energy Performance Assessment District (EPAD). Would you support any policies to promote equitable sustainability, including but not limited to an EPAD district? Why or why not?

Yes I would support policies to promote equitable sustainability. Climate change is one of the biggest issues we are facing as a whole. As we start to move towards sustainability, this creates new jobs, lowers our carbon footprint and creates healthier living conditions.

Question 5: 

Newport residents pride ourselves on being a place where all are welcome. Regardless of where someone is from, what they look like, if or how they worship, whom they love, or the pronouns they use, we want them to make a home here. Recent state and national events, including the killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police in Louisville, have made it clear though that Black people do note feel safe or welcome – here or anywhere. What steps does the city need to take to make sure that community concerns about policing policies or hate groups targeting our community are heard and policing policies and practices are changed to prove that Newport believes that Black Lives Matter? What will you do as a City Commissioner to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome in our city?

One of things that would go a long way is to promote more diversity, equity and inclusion in all of the departments across the city. Continuing to make sure that police officers are out in the community and not just when bad things are happening. I would ask that police take implicit bias training. As a black male, this affects me greatly. We have a lot of work to do in order for everyone to feel safe and welcome. It takes everyone in the system to promote and fight for that. We must challenge each and every day. As Commissioners we must also be out in the different communities so that people can see that we believe it is safe to be there.