Politics

Mayor Greg Fischer was inaugurated to his third term Monday, in a lively ceremony at Metro Hall. He was sworn in alongside a number of other city officials, including new and returning members of Metro Council. In his inaugural address, Fischer outlined his priorities for his final four years as mayor.

“Just like we can love a person and still recognize that he or she is imperfect, we can love our hometown yet still recognize that there is more work to do,” Fischer said.

That work will be informed by a sense of urgency, similar to what he felt when he first took office in 2011, he said.

Fischer spoke to four areas that his administration will focus on through 2022: workforce development, education, globalization and the built economy, including projects such as the Butchertown soccer stadium and Colonial Gardens.

Fischer said Louisville is experiencing an era of prosperity, but acknowledged that not everyone in the city shares in that. He said the city has grown economically in recent years, but wants future growth to be equitable. The city’s success depends on citizens’ belief in a hopeful future, he argued.

“Shared prosperity means more customers and qualified workers for our businesses. Shared prosperity means safer streets, healthier neighborhoods and better schools,” Fischer said. “Shared prosperity means more prosperity for all of us.”

As an example, Fischer said that if everyone in Louisville earned a living wage, it would add more than a $1 billion to the city’s economy annually.

According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, an adult would need to make $10.72 an hour to earn a living wage in Jefferson County. In 2014, Louisville lawmakers passed an ordinance that would have gradually increased the minimum wage here from $7.25 to $9 an hour in 2017. That measure was struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2016.

Along with long-term goals, Fischer rolled out a 100-Day Plan to detail the actions he plans to take in the first months of his final term. Those actions are organized around themes of learning, equity, safety, vibrancy and innovation. Specific plans include defining how the city will respond to issues related to homelessness, publishing a plan for increasing job growth in the technology sector and balancing a budget while factoring in looming pension spending.

Fischer, a Democrat and former businessman, said the city as a whole needs to be more bold and take more risks. His term will end in 2022.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.