Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott

Politics
3:25 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Councilwoman Attica Scott Uses District Twitter Account to Promote Congressional Candidate

District 1 Councilwoman Attica Scott's Twitter page

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, promoted a congressional candidate using her official Twitter account, which is in violation of the city’s code of ethics.

In a July 12 message sent from Scott's district Twitter account, she encourages followers to donate to fellow Democrat Elisabeth Jensen of Lexington, who is seeking to run for Congress against Republican Andy Barr next year.

"You can donate to @JensenElis to represent Kentucky 6th District in Congress at elisabethforkentucky.com"

Scott did have a personal Twitter account prior to being elected to the council that she used for campaigning and to express other political views, but that handle has been inactive for several months.

The @CW_AtticaScott is her official handle that lists her district web address and includes the city seal.

In 2010, the council amended the city's code of ethics to make it a violation for Metro officers to use any "government funds, equipment supplies, vehicles, or facilities" to advocate for a person's political candidacy, including their own. It bars officials from using Metro Government resources for the purpose of engaging in activities that "advocate the candidacy of a person for political office."

Thse changes were in reaction to former Republican Councilman Doug Hawkins, who used his official city e-mail to send out campaign materials and was heavily criticized for it.

"You're elected to represent everybody in the district and for you to officially go out there campaigning and soliciting funds as an elected official you are telling everyone to vote for them," says Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, who has a personal Twitter account. "For me to use an official seal or stationary to put my name and tie it to a campaign, really that crosses a line I think."

Read more
Politics
1:14 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Councilwoman Attica Scott’s 'Bringing Down the House' Push Questioned, Praised

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott’s push to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in District 1 has ignited a debate between residents and neighborhood leaders on how to tackle the problem.

The "Bringing Down the House" initiative is part of Metro Government’s overall effort to raze houses officials argued cannot be rehabilitated.

In January, Scott appropriated $25,000 in discretionary funds to pay for just over half a dozen demolitions mostly in the Parkland neighborhood.

Just this week, Scott's office announced one of those targeted properties located a 3020 Hale Avenue was torn down by city crews. It is the second house to be razed on that block in recent months, and another on Virginia Avenue was demolished last year.

In the announcement, Scott said this is an intentional attempt to clean up a scourge of empty structures. But neighborhood activists such as Chickasaw Federation President Donovan Taylor say tearing down those properties is not the answer, adding more should be done to refurbish those homes.

"There's a blight that comes with vacancy in the form of overgrown grass, liter and blight. And demolishing the homes does not eliminate that primary primary. You’re killing the fabric of the neighborhood when you may have a block that once had 20 homes that now only have 10 homes," he says. "We have on house on Cecil and Greenwood that during the summer the grass becomes so high that you can barely see the home because it’s between two vacant lots."

Read more
Politics
5:37 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Councilwoman Scott to Host Mayor Fischer, GLI Chief on District 'Reality Ride'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, will host Mayor Greg Fischer and the new CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. on a "reality ride" through southwestern parts District 1.

Since taking office, Scott has held several tours through neighborhoods in west and southwest Louisville with city officials to show them blight, crime and economic issues.

This tour with Fischer and GLI Inc. CEO Craig Richard has been in the works for several weeks.

Read more
Politics
7:35 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

'Compassion Walk' to Commemorate Parkland Shootings Criticized

Councilwoman Attica Scott announces Compassion March joined by Connected Voices
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and community activist Christopher 2x announced a march to commemorate the triple homicide in the Parkland neighborhood last year.

But one of the family members of a victim says it's a misplaced attempt by the city lawmaker and activist to grab headlines.

The shootings at 32nd Street and Greenwood Avenue occurred on May 17, 2012, resulting in the deaths of Craig Bland Jr., 22, Tyson Mimms, 24 and Makeba Lee, 24.

At least one of the shootings occurred in front of dozens of onlookers, including local media and police officers. The brazen act sparked local outrage among residents and elected officials and a mayoral task force was launched to conduct a study on how to prevent violence.

During a Monday press conference, Scott and 2X announced plans to hold a moment of silence on May 17 featuring Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, along with a "Compassion Walk" on May 18 at the site of the three homicides.

"What I’m hoping it will do is one, to help people to reflect on the fact that we have lost way too many lives in the city of Louisville to senseless and unnecessary gun violence," says Scott. "And also to ask themselves what are they doing to make a difference in neighborhoods that are experiencing this type of violence."

But Lee's grandfather says it's disturbing neither Scott's office or 2X's group Connected Voices contacted his family about the march, adding the focus should be more about solutions than their personal tragedies.

Read more
Politics
10:50 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Noise and Notes: Stop Ignoring West Louisville

Louisville Magazine's cover story on the West End
Credit louisville.com

Stop ignoring the West End!

At least that’s the message from a recent Louisville Magazine cover story about the nine neighborhoods encompassing west Louisville.

The 38-page exposé tells the community's history, and also outlined the current disparities in income, property values and education levels. Many know anecdotally about the so-called Ninth Street Divide, but the stark realities when compared to the East End is eye-opening.

Statistics show residents in east Louisville make three times more and seven times as many have a bachelor's degree or higher than their West End counterparts.

It's a bleak picture of the predominately African-American part of the city, which is increasingly isolated.

Read more
Politics
6:23 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Resolution Honoring Late Councilwoman Judy Green Faces Opposition

A resolution in the Louisville Metro Council honoring the late Judy Green is facing opposition, according to its sponsor.

Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, introduced the non-binding measure in the Community Affairs committee this week.

Green died last month from a heart attack and the resolution praises her for adopting nearly a dozen children and being a foster mother to over 50. The resolution says Green "loved all people” and had an "unyielding generosity" towards District 1 constituents.

In 2011, Green became the first council member booted from office for violating the city’s code of ethics, specifically the mismanagement of taxpayer funds.

Scott says residents were looking for a way to honor Green’s memory and move beyond the controversy, but a handful of city lawmakers raised concerns.

"I explained to my colleagues on council that (Councilwoman Green) being removed from office occurred before I got here," says Scott. "My tenure should not be tainted by what happened previously."

Read more
Politics
5:00 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Councilman Rick Blackwell Pulls Support for Insurance Premium Tax Hike

Democratic Councilman Rick Blackwell
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, is pulling his support of an ordinance to help pay for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund by raising the city’s tax on insurance premiums.

The proposal was introduced by Democratic lawmakers this week, and seeks to increase the tax by one percentage point to raise an estimated $9.7 million.

Supporters argue going from a 5 to 6 percent rate represents a small increase per month for average residents.

In an e-mail message sent Feb. 11 to Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9—the bill's chief sponsor—the Jefferson County attorney’s office said it is "unconstitutional" to designate public funding exclusively for affordable housing

Any new revenue would have to go through the general fund first, and that is unraveling the bill's support.

"I think it’s problematic if it’s not a dedicated source. That’s what people had signed on for," says Blackwell. "It was supposed to be a way to take care of some of the issues in our neighborhoods with the abandoned and foreclosed on homes. And if it’s not dedicated to that I think you’ll have a hard time keeping sponsors and keeping people on board to vote for it."

Read more
Politics
2:53 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Vacant Properties Committee Goes Mobile, Seeks Input in West Louisville

The Metro Council ad hoc Vacant Properties Committee is holding a special meeting in west Louisville to hear from community groups and neighborhood leaders.

Committee members are specifically looking to spotlight organizations with small budgets, and are urging groups to make 2 to 3 minute presentations.

Vacant Properties Vice-Chair Attica Scott, D-1, says she wants to introduce the community to city initiatives related to abandoned and vacant properties, and give non-profits a chance to showcase their own ideas to lawmakers.

Read more
Politics
10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

Read more
Politics
9:30 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Councilwoman Attica Scott Announces “Bringing Down the House” Campaign

Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a new effort to tackle the city's housing crisis, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is announcing a campaign to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in her district.

Scott joined worked crews from the city's Inspection, Permits and Licenses Department on Thursday morning to launch "Bringing Down the House," which is aimed at razing properties that are not habitable and have become serious neighborhood eyesores.

The effort will cost a little over $1 million, according to Scott. It is being funded with $60,000 in council appropriations, around $420,000 in federal HUD money and $500,000 from a settlement secured by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Scott is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee. She says the demolition process takes a long time, but that the new campaign is worth the cost.

"I wish that we could demolish more of the houses that have been abandoned and vacant, and have just destroyed neighborhoods in our district," says Scott. "These are houses that are far beyond rehabilitation, they're house that neighbors have been crying out to city government for years to demolish. They're a public health nuisance and a public safety issue for neighborhoods."

Read more

Pages