Jessica Bellamy wants to stop paying almost a thousand dollars a year to help displace the community that shaped her as a child: Louisville’s historically-Black Smoketown neighborhood. That’s the current property tax bill for the camelback shotgun house her grandmother gifted her a few years ago. It’s the house where Bellamy spent part of her childhood, just steps from her grandmother’s soul food restaurant, Shirley Mae’s Cafe. The restaurant, where Bellamy often took orders and served drinks over the years, is still hanging on as a neighborhood landmark. But like so many other homes in the redlined neighborhood, the house had gradually fallen into an unlivable state of disrepair.
With the possibility of 340,000 Teamsters going on strike next month at United Parcel Service (UPS) seeming more and more likely, the world will be looking to Louisville, Kentucky, where UPS headquarters and UPS Worldport, the largest sorting and logistics facility in America, are located. With over 25,000 employees, 10,000 of whom are members of Teamsters Local 89, UPS is by far the city’s largest employer. If the Teamsters and UPS do not reach an agreement by July 31, when the current contract is set to expire, the picket line outside these facilities could be the largest the city has seen in decades.
Louisville activist Cassandra Webb has been working to curb violent crime in her city for years. Cities United, the national nonprofit with which she works, has taken on the mission of violence reduction in the city from seemingly every angle: working with youth leaders at the ground level, convening a network of urban leaders and stakeholders, advancing place-based initiatives to align public and private resources with Louisville residents’ vision for reversing disinvestment in their communities. But increasingly, Webb says, it’s become clear to her that some of these problems can only be solved through money – specifically, cash flowing directly to Louisville residents every month through a guaranteed income program.
Louisville, Kentucky - Private police officers guide a line of late-model SUVs through the January morning’s cold rain into a lane of Louisville’s Grinstead Avenue, specially cleared to ease their path to the entrance of Collegiate School. Brake lights shine through the gloom as children in plaid uniforms climb out and head inside. Collegiate, founded by a plantation-owning Kentucky family and led by a board president who is the heir to the Brown-Forman liquor dynasty, has an annual tuition of $26,000 per year. Just to the west of a new, modern Collegiate playground is the Yorktown Apartments, separated from school grounds by a chain link fence topped with barbed wire.
Louisville, Kentucky - Employees at the only Trader Joe's store in Louisville voted in favor of organizing Thursday evening, becoming the third location of the national grocery chain to form a union. The store's workers will now be a part of the Trader Joe's United, the guild for employees across the country. The employees who voted in favor of unionizing won their vote 48-36, a release said, after taking action to do so in September. "We are so excited to be the first Trader Joe’s location affiliated with Trader Joe’s United in the south. It’s a game changing decision that will contribute massively to the modern labor movement," Connor Hovey, an employee of the store and union organizer, told The Courier Journal. A request for comment sent to Trader Joe's corporate Thursday night was not immediately returned.
At least 127 protesters were arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, after the grand jury ruling that none of the officers involved in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor would be directly charged for her death. The grand jury decided that none of the three white officers involved in the deadly police raid on Taylor’s apartment in March would be charged for causing her death. One officer was indicted on charges of endangering her neighbors for the bullets that struck the walls of surrounding apartments. “It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers.
Louisville, KY - More than 100 Black Lives Matter protesters were confronted by police after blocking off Market Street in Louisville's Nulu neighborhood on Friday afternoon and setting up an impromptu block party. Police started arresting dozens of protesters shortly before 5 p.m. after declaring that the gathering was an unlawful assembly. In total, 76 were arrested, according to Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Lamont Washington. The group arrived around 4 p.m., and in less than a half-hour, protesters put up long tables with meal settings, connect four games, a trampoline, artwork and shade tents between Clay and Shelby streets.