Author: Dawn Brockman


Gentrification or Accommodation…How does Lexington get it right?

How do you solve an issue that appears to have no point of resolution in sight? You start talking and you keep talking until all the parties find a path that works for those involved. It was with that in mind that the Lexington Forum’s program committee decided to tackle the topic of Gentrification verses Accommodation. They asked the simple question “How does Lexington get it right?”

So, what is “gentrification?” It’s a loaded word. It’s a word always associated with cities on the rebound, and Lexington is no different. Generally, “gentrification” is a term for this: The arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district’s character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders.The effects of Gentrification are complex and contradictory, and its real impact varies. The intent of this morning’s program is to provide an opportunity to hear from folks who are living -day to day- with issues created by Gentrification. The perspectives of our four panelists will be about what is happening right now in these neighborhoods.

Discussion moderator, Tom Martin, opened the conversation with these words during the Forum’s October Meeting.  The Forum hosted four panelists to discuss various perspectives on the topic of Gentrification verses Accommodation. The four panelists were Tanya Torp, Christian Torp, Rock Daniels, and Van Meter Petit. Each panelist spoke briefly on the topic from their point of view and then, the floor opened for audience participation.

While it felt all too brief the discussion brought some great points and questions to light. Such as: How do we provide affordable housing and still enable developers to make the profit necessary to remain in business? Is it actually wrong to displace people or does it lead to healthier communities in the long run? What are the unintended consequences of well meaning people?  These questions and more are still left unanswered and we as a community ought to have a desire, if not a responsibility, to continue this conversation.

During the discussion several resources to assist residents of the areas being impacted were brought to light. They include the following:

Lexington Community Land Trust – local non profit
ReachKY –   local non profit that strives to educate and prepare potential homeowners and then assist them with the transition to ownership.
The Community Land Trust will host a national conference at the Hilton on October 19-22. To see the agenda and conference details please use the link below.
As always we are grateful to the moderator, panelists, and attendees that contributed to another great community conversation that mattered.

Gentrification vs Accommodation: How can Lexington get it right?

Change has come to some of Lexington’s oldest neighborhoods, particularly in the North and East End. Houses that have been occupied by local residents, either as property owners or long term renters, are being purchased, renovated and put back on the market at sale prices and rental rates that may not be affordable for local residents. How can renewal and improvement in these neighborhoods take place while addressing issues of affordability, race, class and neighborhood diversity? What must Lexington do to get this right?
Moderator Tom Martin will lead four panelists in a 10-15 minute discussion and then the floor will open for audience interactions. Our panelists for the the day will be: Rock Daniels, Van Meter Petit, Tanya Torp, and Christian Torp

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday September 29, 2015

Register Now!

Implications of SCOTUS Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court in the case Obergefell v Hodges decided that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed in another state.

Kentucky Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble will present her views on the legal and practical implications of this landmark decision.  Justice Noble is uniquely qualified to address this topic, because she has held a variety of roles in our judicial system that have provided her with practical insights.  During her 33 year legal career she has  been a trial lawyer, Domestic Relations Commissioner, Circuit Court Judge, Drug Court Judge and Supreme Court Justice.  She chairs the Family Court Rules Committee and led efforts to draft the first statewide Family Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.    Justice Noble will discuss possible effect  of the Obergefell  on various aspects of our legal system, such as the impact on family law and domestic relations cases.

This should be a thought provoking and informative presentation on a subject that has been and will continue to be prominently discussed and debated.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday September 2, 2015

Register Now!

The Four Pillars of Prosperity

The Four Pillars of Prosperity will be unveiled at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit just a week before our August meeting. We are pleased to be the chosen audience for the subsequent discussion surrounding this crucial topic. The author of The Four Pillars is Dave Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Dave has led the Chamber for the past decade, doubling its membership numbers, performing critical work with Kentucky’s political and business leaders at the highest level and become a champion for improving education in the state. Please register today to join Dave Adkisson as he shares The Four Pillars of Prosperity.

Thursday, August 6 2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday August 4, 2015

***SPEAKER BIO***
Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in the Commonwealth. Dave works with the state legislature, the governor, our congressional delegation and the states judiciary to advance Kentucky. During his 10 year tenure at the Chamber, the group has doubled in membership, increased staff to include 6 public affairs specialists and made a major commitment to improving education in Kentucky. Dave is originally from Owensboro, beginning his career with the local Chamber and at 34, becoming Owensboro’s mayor. While there Dave helped found the International Bar-B-Q Festival, worked for over two decades on the William Natcher Bridge project, championed construction of the RiverPark Performing Arts Center, created the Greenbelt Park and was instrumental in the creation of the Owensboro Community and Technical College. A graduate of Georgetown College and Harvard University, Dave resides in Lexington with his wife Bonnie.

Register Now!

Is A Local Minimum Wage Ordinance in Lexington’s Future?

The national minimum wage was put into effect during the great depression in the 1930’s.  It’s implementation was designed to combat the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and factories. President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 creating the mandatory federal minimum wage. The original rate was set at 25 cents an hour to guarantee a “minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being, without substantially curtailing employment”.  Since that time the wage has been adjusted periodically by Congress to meet the rise and fall of the “cost of living”. The increasing wage gap between rich Americans and poor Americans throughout the past couple of decades has made the minimum wage issue a hotly debated topic as parties on all sides strive to present ideas that will ensure the American Dream is an attainable journey for all generations.

In 1997, legislature was introduced by President Clinton allowing the States to set their own minimum wage.  Employers are required to pay the highest rate between the federal and state minimums. Today’s national rate is $7.25/hr and is the prevailing rate in 29 states. The rest have rates exceeding that amount. The question at hand now is will the courts allow local government to take the lead on setting increased minimum wage rates? Louisville has already put a local ordinance on the books and it is set to take effect July 1.  Should Lexington follow suit?  Mayor Jim Gray has gone on record as being in favor of a local rate increase.  The city council has voted unanimously to assign the discussion to the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee.

Join us for a discussion about the local minimum wage ordinance as it has been proposed. Speaking will be: Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti and Professor Kenneth R. Troske.  Their bios can be seen below.

 

Thursday, June 4,  2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

 

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday June 2, 2015

 

REGISTER NOW 

 

***SPEAKER BIOS***

Kenneth R. Troske is the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. He is an expert in labor economics. His work has been published in numerous academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, The Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, and The Review of Economics and Statistics. He also co-edited (along with John Haltiwanger, Julia Lane, James Spletzer, and Jules Theeuwes) the book The Creation and Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data, published by Elsevier Science. Kenneth Troske is the recipient of many fellowships and grants supporting his research on the labor market experiences of low-skill workers and workers moving from welfare to work.Troske received his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992

Jennifer Mossotti was re-elected to once again serve the 9th District in Lexington in 2014. Jennifer is a high energy community leader, a tireless public servant and a relentless advocate for good public policy. For the past 15 years, she has been a professional real estate agent; both residential and commercial. She has a well-earned reputation for being a strong voice for her constituents and has been awarded the Fayette County Neighborhood Council’s Neighborhood Hero Award. Jennifer is married to Ron Mossotti, President of Hammond Communications Group in Lexington and has three children and three adorable grandchildren. She enjoys gardening and horseback riding in her free time. 

 

Creative Lexington – The Arts & Their Impact

I mean, really. How are the arts so vital to our quality of life?

Lexington promotes itself as a creative city. Is it? Can it be more? Does our city offer the novelty, energy, excitement, surprise and provocation of a place that is suffused with arts and culture? What are the connections between the arts and economic development? Education?

These are the questions before the May 7th gathering of the Lexington Forum. Where people will gather over a fine breakfast to hear and talk about important and interesting things happening in the community.

Tom Martin moderates a conversation between LexArts‘ President & CEO Nan Plummer, LFUCG Director of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Lori Houlihan, and Lexington Art League board member, UnderMain Co-publisher and Natasha’s owner Art Shechet.

Thursday, May 7,  2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:00 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

 

**We are opening the doors a little early for an extended networking opportunity. To start your creative juices flowing we will feature local artists from M.S. Rezney Studio & Gallery.

 

Want a sneak peak? Check out these links:
M.S. Rezney
Staci McKnight Maney

 

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday May 5, 2015

REGISTER NOW