Category: Upcoming Meetings

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





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



Mrs Roszalyn Akins Named 2015 Spirit Award Recipient

Presented for more than 27 years, The Spirit Award goes to an individual or organization significantly impacting the quality of life in Lexington. “Our honoree is a servant leader, who works behind the scenes to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and has helped many young people achieve success working within the public school system.” – Bob Owen

Roszalyn Akins founded the Black Males Working Academy with her husband Rev. C. B. Akins, pastor of First Baptist Church Bracktown in Lexington in (year). The Academy is a mentoring and tutoring program offering focused individual attention to African American males in order to narrow the achievement gap and lower the dropout rate. The program offers math, literacy and foreign language classes, mentors and role models from the community, participation in a summer residential program, college academic/enrichment programs, ACT and SAT preparation, scholarships to college upon high school graduation and summer college tours to young men who might not otherwise consider higher education an option. The BMW program requires students to attend sessions outside of regular Fayette County public school hours and on Saturdays. In 2012, Akins founded the Carter G. Woodson Academy (CGWA) within the Fayette County Public Schools to provide advanced, rigorous curriculum for black males and set high expectations to help them excel in life. Housed at Crawford Middle School, the Woodson Academy is open to middle and high school students. Akins currently serves as the Dean of Students for CGWA. She taught at Leestown Middle School, where she also was Dean of Students, and at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She is a member of First Baptist Church Bracktown and has served as the director of Family Life Ministries, Sunday School Teacher, Director of the Women’s Ministry, and a mentor to minister’s wives.

Founded in 1983, Lexington Forum is committed to community conversations that matter Focused on the healthy discussion and analysis of community and regional issues. The Forum looks for opportunities to host conversations, to bring differing points of view into the open. Always striving to provide an open platform and maintain a position of neutrality on all topics presented. Because some discussions are hard and can evoke emotional responses the hope is that there is at least an environment where dialogue can begin or move to deeper levels. The Lexington Forum meets the first Thursday of each month at the Hilary J. Boone Center from 7:15-8:30am. Please visit the website ( regularly for information on upcoming programs.

Can You Hear Us Now?

Where is your information coming from and who decides what you need to know? If you are listening to a Low-Power FM (LPFM) radio station or Community Radio the information is coming from people just like you!

In 2010, the FCC was directed to issue LPFM permits to local non-profit groups across the country. The Local Community Radio Act’s purpose was to “increase diversity and independence in media ownership”. It is effectively designed to give a voice to the people so they can convey information about what is most important and impactful to them personally, and as a community.

Lexington is now the proud owner of two LPFM permits. (WLXL 95.7 and WLXL 93.9) Hear about the vision and plan for these local stations from founder, Debra Hensley & General Manager, Hap Houlihan.

Thursday, February 5, 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 using the link below by noon on Tuesday February 3, 2015


**The views and opinions expressed by our guest speaker(s) are their own and do not reflect a policy or position of the Lexington Forum.

Small Business in the Bluegrass

January is famous for being the month in which businesses review their previous year and plan for the year to come. Are you curious to learn about how small businesses in the Lexington area wrapped up 2014 and what is on their minds as they prepare for 2015? Dr. Becky Naugle, the State Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center Network, will discuss issues that pertain to small businesses in the Bluegrass such as the small business climate in KY, trends that impact small businesses, and the role that small businesses play in Lexington’s economy.
Register Now!

Our Next FCPS Superintendent…

As the Fayette County Board of Education settles on a candidate for the position of acting Fayette County Schools Superintendent, The Lexington Forum is looking ahead and asking the important question: What do we need from our next FCPS Superintendent?

We have invited three panelists to weigh in on the discussion.

Roszalyn Akins will speak to equity within the school system. Akins is dean of students at the Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington, which provides an advanced and rigorous curriculum for males that meets the new common core standards through the lens of African-American history, culture and culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies. Prior to working with FCPS on the Carter G. Woodson Academy she and her husband, the Rev. C. B. Akins who is pastor of First Baptist Church Bracktown in Lexington, started the Black Males Working Academy, a mentoring and tutoring program offering focused individual attention to African American males in an effort to narrow the achievement gap and lower the dropout rate. She has served for over 30 years as an educator in the Fayette County school system, where she taught at Leestown and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and was named Middle School Teacher of the Year. Roszalyn earned her bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown College.

Sahil Nair, will provide the student perspective on what they would like to see in a new superintendent. A couple weeks ago the Herald-Leader published an op-ed written by two students, the founders of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, calling for the inclusion of students in the superintendent selection process ( Sahil Nair is one of the authors as well as a leader among his peers. A graduate of Commerce Lexington’s Leadership Lexington Youth Program where he was named the Distinguished Leader for the 2014 class, Sahil recently won Lexington’s 2014 Youth Leader of the Year from Youth Salute. Sahil is currently a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and has been president of Dunbar’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, chairman of the Spanish Honor Society’s executive board, vice president of the Student Y-Club, co-founder and co-captain of the Science Olympiad, associate director of the Prichard Committee’s Student Voice, chief justice of the Kentucky Youth Assembly and meeting planner for the Mayor’s Youth Council.

Jessica Hiler is the President of the Fayette County Education Association. FCEA is a professional organization that represents certified teachers in the Fayette County Public Schools. FCEA is the local affiliate of the Kentucky Education Association which represents 44,000 educators in Kentucky and the National Education Association that represents 3.2 million educators nation wide. Jessica has been President of FCEA since 2010, prior to that she was a teacher at Deep Springs Elementary for 11 years. During this time she was also appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Early Childhood Development and Education Task Force, from 2009 – 2011. Jessica is part of an FCEA/FCPS collaborative team with the NEA Foundation, the focus of the team’s work is Equity in public schools. In addition, she serves as Lobbyist for the Kentucky Education Assocation. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University and her Master’s Degree in Education from Georgetown College.

Thursday, December 4, 2014
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 December 2, 2014