seeking to serve as State Representative of the 43rd district in Louisville Kentucky
I have lived in Louisville my whole life. I went to Male High School; earned a full scholarship to play football at the University of Kentucky, and earned a bachelors degree in Social Work. Alicia, my wife of 21 years, and I decided to move back to our old community and raise our son.
I grew up in the Chickasaw neighborhood and learned what real community is. It was a place where every child was treated as your own, and neighbors took care of each other—from borrowing sugar, to letting the neighborhood kids earn some cash by cutting grass or shoveling snow. I even played baseball at Jewel Park in the Shawnee community, and little league football with the Derby City Rams at Flaget field in the Chickasaw community. My community gave me a safe place to grow and thrive. There I experienced safety, economic development, and adults that encouraged me and held me to a higher standard.
But today our communities struggle for resources to sustain viable housing, local business ownership, safety, and education. That's why we need someone in Frankfort that understands the issues our communities face and has proven they are willing to fight for what's best.
My parents instilled in me a sense of pride and taught me to always leave a place better than when I found it. They taught me that hard work is honorable no matter the job, and how to fight for what you believe in even if you have to stand alone. I believe in you and I'm ready to fight for what's best for our communities. We need opportunities to create businesses and jobs for ourselves; funding to continue to address the gap in learning in our schools; criminal justice reform so that the ability to pay for legal defense doesn't have any bearing if someone receives justice or not; and we need affordable healthcare as a right for all.
I have been in the community using my voice and influence to fight for a better life for all of us for about a decade; from my activism with Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, to holding press conferences when violence strikes our community, and sitting on boards of institutions like One West, and Louisville Central Community Center, and giving leadership in faith based organization. I will continue to fight, because I believe that we deserve better.
It is this belief for better that was fostered in me through my faith community where my father pastored for 45 years. After he retired, the church called me and I'v been pastoring there for 9 years in the Russell community. My faith taught me to value all people—even those that don't agree with me. It taught me that service is a privilege and an honor, and it taught me in the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be "tough minded and tender hearted." It is with these values and principles that I learned from the elders in my faith community that gives me the strength and moral courage to fight for others as if I am fighting for myself.
Because of my community, family, and faith, I fight for what's best for all of us. I fight so my son grows up and can look back and see that his father did not sit aimlessly around complaining that things would get better, but actually took a stand to do something to ensure that his generation has something to build on for the next generation.
Will you join me in the fight for better?
We can achieve something great by working together.
Health Care for All - In 2003 my son was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) an autoimmune disorder that attacks your platelets and makes you a free bleeder. Zion was diagnosed as chronic and went through different treatments for about 2 years. It was only after having a splenectomy that his symptoms began to lessen and resolve. Alicia had a career that provided excellent health insurance allowing us to get the best care for our son when we needed it most. If we did not have health insurance that made his treatments affordable his disorder would have ultimately been a death sentence. That is why I believe in access to affordable health benefits for all. Zion is now 18 years old and in his first year in college.
JCPS is working hard with their partners to create innovative learning as they address racial equity, and close the learning gap in its schools. But the largest institution of education in Kentucky needs more funding to achieve its goals and bring its vision into reality to graduate all Jefferson County Public School students "prepared, empowered and inspired to reach their full potential." Each child has the right to be educated regardless of where they live, or financial status, and school districts should have local control to decide what is best for the families they serve.
Kentucky is in the top ten states for highest incarceration rates in the country. We imprison far too many people which contributes to overcrowding in our jails and prisons. Justice should not be predicated on the ability to pay. Bail reform is an issue that we need to address in Frankfort. Innocent people are left in jail solely because they are unable to pay their bail. Poverty is not a crime, and justice should not be predicated on the ability to pay. If we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must deal with how we punish people for being poor.
Louisville including parts of the 43rd District is undergoing revitalization. Those efforts to revitalized a community is also causing issues of displacement of long time residences. There are many creative solutions to help reduce the number of displaced residence from their homes, but legislation from Frankfort must support these efforts. Studies show that a $100 increase in median rent is associated to 15% homelessness. Rent control, a clean hands ordinance that wouldn't allow a land lord to evict a resident as long as there are violations with the property are just a few solutions. Stabilized housing is the foundation that all families need to ensure a quality life.
Mail Checks to:
P.O. Box 11101 • Louisville, KY 40251