Politics

Louisville bike store owner and activist, Jackie Green, said he’ll run for mayor in 2018.

Green announced his bid Friday. He plans to run as an independent against incumbent mayor Greg Fischer. Green said Fischer has failed to address climate change in Louisville, which he said has affected the city’s urban heat island effect, sewer systems and transportation.

“There have been consultants paid to evaluate what we’re doing, but there has been no real, significant progress in addressing climate change,” said Green. “If we fail to address climate chaos, we are failing our children, we are failing this city — and that’s unacceptable.”

In June, Fischer announced he would add his name to a list of mayor’s pushing back against President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

And in his most recent budget proposal, the mayor sought to dedicate $600,000 to tree planting across the city. The absence of trees is credited with a troublesome urban heat island effect and quality of life issues. Council members cut Fischer’s proposed spending on tree planting to $200,000.

Green first moved to Louisville in 1975 to study theology. He left Kentucky in the late 80s, then returned in 1999 and bought a building in downtown Louisville to start a bike shop. Green said while he was away, he read about sustainability. He said what he learned, coupled with a love for nature, influenced his current views.

“I had to change my lifestyle and I had to make changes that were more sustainable,” Green said. “I was motivated 10 years ago to run for mayor because our city and our leadership was not addressing sustainability issues and in the past eight years it’s not improved at all.”

Green lost that race, but he still wants to see Louisville among the top 10 sustainable cities in the world.

“It is paramount that we get this right,” he said. “We have one Earth and we’re not being great stewards of that earth. And that needs to change. That’s why I’m running for mayor.”

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.