Community

Celine Mutuyemariya, a housing policy advisor and community organizer, will represent the Louisville Urban League on a board that will oversee future tax revenue in the West End.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday he appointed Mutuyemariya to the West End Opportunity Partnership’s board for a term that expires in 2025. The Kentucky General Assembly created the Partnership earlier this year. It is meant to manage the use of future tax revenue from nine West End neighborhoods to subsidize new business and development within them. 

Mutuyemariya replaces Christine Shadle, the Louisville Urban League’s director of investment who resigned from the position last month. State law requires an Urban League representative to serve on the Partnership’s board. 

Some residents criticize the Partnership for its potential to speed up gentrification of West End neighborhoods — including Algonquin, Portland and Russell. 

Shadle and Louisville Urban League president and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds, who stepped down from the board at the same time, echoed those concerns. In a statement regarding her resignation, Reynolds urged board members to consider how the planned developments could lead to the displacement of existing residents.

Reynolds represented the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in Louisville on the board, a seat required by the law creating the Partnership. It’s unclear whether Beshear will appoint anyone to fill that vacant position. A memo obtained by WFPL News last month indicated the Federal Reserve does not want to have a presence on the board.

A spokesperson for the Urban League declined WFPL’s request to interview Mutuyemariya and to comment about her appointment to the West End Opportunity Partnership. 

Yasmine Jumaa is WFPL’s race and equity reporter.