Sun August 5, 2012
Noise and Notes: Carrying CLOUT and Medicaid's Role in State Legislative Races
In the world of grassroots community organizing, few are as confrontational or effective as Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) at bringing issues to the forefront.
The coalition of churches and neighborhood groups holds an annual call-to-action assembly that gathers over 1,500 residents to discuss and extract policy actions. It is a somewhat controversial event in part because of the assembly's format of calling public officials before the group and demanding a definitive answer on their ideas.
In Louisville, that model has worked with certain leaders such as Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens, who pledged to review the school systems disciplinary policy. But others—namely Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer—feel the style is too rough and they have decided to avoid the group altogether.
I talked with CLOUT Co-President Chris Kolb, about organizing versus protest movements, the growing frustration among residents with elected leaders and whether the organization's style is effective or not.
The celebrated Fancy Farm picnic was a bit of a dud this year due to a number of no-shows by mostly Democratic officials. Despite the absences, it had some beautiful zingers and one-liners this year and there is still plenty to discuss in state politics.
A roundtable of Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston, The Oldman Era's Tracy Harris and Pure Politics' Nick Storm discussed how the Affordable Care Act might swing the state House for the GOP. And then there is the fuss and farce surrounding Chick-fil-A and the ongoing culture wars regarding gay marriage.