Who will lead Lexington into the next Season? Come hear from the candidates.

And then there were two…

From a pool of six candidates campaigning through the Winter and the Spring, two well-known figures in the Lexington community have now moved past the primary and will continue campaigning for your votes this November – former Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton and former Lexington Chief of Police Ronnie Bastin.

Be among the first to hear their respective positions as the Lexington Forum hosts the mayoral candidates for a discussion of their platforms prior to the general election. Below, please find links to each candidates website detailing their stances on many significant issues:

Linda Gorton for Mayor
Ronnie Bastin for Mayor
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking

7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Space is limited.
Reservations are required.
Seats are available on a first come first serve basis.
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Register Now!


Human Trafficking in Lexington

Human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime and extreme violation of human rights. Unfortunately, this corruption is happening behind the scenes in Lexington. Join us for a panel discussion, which will cover the problem as it relates to our community.  We will hear from experts addressing this often unseen corruption, including how law enforcement is contributing to the prevention and where we can help.
Panelists include:
  • Brittney Thomas, Co-Chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Task Force (https://www.freedomlex.org)  and leader of HOPE Children Campaign,
  • David Marye, Assistant United States Attorney and also Co-Chair
  • Marissa Castellanos, Program Director of the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative (http://www.rescueandrestoreky.org).
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Register Now – Click Here

More about our panelists…
Brittney Thomas
Having survived one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings at age 15, Brittney took her second chance at life and decided to live it with passion and purpose, honoring the lives of the friends she lost.  While living in a rural village in Cambodia, Brittney developed an untamed passion for social justice issues across the globe and in her own backyard!  She went on to receive her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Kentucky and in 2010 authored a protocol for health care providers on how to identify and assess victims of human trafficking.  This protocol earned Brittney the “Kentucky Liberation Award” for outstanding efforts in combating human trafficking.
Fueled by a new found love of coffee and dark chocolate, Brittney is serves as a CASA advocate, is the co-chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Taskforce and leads the HOPE Children Campaign, a street outreach in Lexington, KY aimed at providing resource information to domestic minors of sex trafficking.  You can learn more at: www.freedomlex.org
David Marye
David A. Marye has served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Kentucky (EDKY) since October, 1987.  He has prosecuted violent crimes, economic and fraud crimes, immigration-related offenses, child sex exploitation offenses, and drug crimes.  He has served as both Acting Criminal Chief and Senior Litigation Counsel.  He is currently the Human Trafficking Point of Contact (POC) and the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the EDKY.
David graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, in 1974, and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, KY, in 1977.  He served as an Assistant Commonwealths Attorney in Fayette County (KY) for 10 years before becoming an AUSA.  He resides in Lexington with his wife, Mariana, two dogs, and a cat.  He has two daughters, one step-son, one son-in-law, a granddaughter and newly born twin grandsons.  Unfortunately for David, his older daughter, her husband and his grandchildren live in Hong Kong.
Marissa Castellanos
Marissa Castellanos received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Kentucky. Marissa is the Program Director for the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a program to combat human trafficking through Catholic Charities of Louisville. Marissa has worked at Catholic Charities for the last 10 years, previously as Human Trafficking Project Manager and Program Manager, as she helped start the program and develop a statewide anti-trafficking coalition. She provides trainings on human trafficking throughout Kentucky, assists in developing and maintaining local task forces, provides technical assistance to agencies in protocol development and policy, and works directly with identified victims of human trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.
Marissa has provided case management or advocacy services to more than 100 survivors of either sex or labor trafficking. She works closely with social service providers, health care workers, law enforcement, and others to ensure that human trafficking is being identified in Kentucky communities and that survivors are provided with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. Marissa has previously worked with community action agencies in Central Kentucky, primarily serving foreign national workers and their families through Migrant Head Start and other community service programs. Marissa has taught as an adjunct instructor for criminal justice and social work classes at St. Catharine College. Marissa currently co-chairs the Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force.

Domestic Violence In Kentucky

Thousands of Kentuckians are experiencing domestic violence. According to the Kentucky Coalition, 26,971 domestic violence related calls were received in 2016.
Do our laws protect and support the victims? Is the support network receiving what it needs to properly serve survivors?
Join us as Tom Martin moderates a panel of three:
  • Lisa Murray, a survivor of intimate partner violence.  To read some of Lisa’s story prior to the meeting please check out this article written about her by the panel’s moderator. The Survivor & Her Horse
  • Hunter Hickman, attorney for The Nest, an organization providing a safe place for education, counseling, and support to children and families in crisis. To learn more about The Nest and the services they offer please visit their website. The Nest
  • Darlene Thomas, executive director of Greenhouse 17, an organization providing services to domestic violence survivors in central Kentucky.   To learn more about Greenhouse 17 please visit their website: Greenhouse 17
Thursday, September 7, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Local Government and Firearms Regulation

What Role, If Any, Should Local Governments Have in Firearms Regulation ?

Recently, there have been numerous media reports of shooting incidents that have raised a renewed interest in the subject of gun regulation.  A panel will discuss diverse view points on the issue of local government regulation of firearms.  The panelists are:

Kentucky State Senator Reginald L. Thomas
Sen. Thomas represents the 13th District of Fayette County recently pre-filed  a bill for the 2017 of the Kentucky Legislature allowing local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition to reduce gun violence, except when state or federal law preempts local governance.  This bill was filed in response to 3 recent fatal  shootings that have occurred in this area.
Michael  Owen, Owner, Meridian Ordnance, LLC
Mr. Owen founded Meridian Ordnance LLC in 2011 after several years of experience in the firearms industry, with the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the U.S. Army. Meridian Ordnance LLC is a small, veteran owned business specializing in gunsmithing, refinishing and retail firearm & accessory sales.
McAllister Bryant, Gun Violence Archive 
Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA will collect and check for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the U.S. and then post and disseminate it online.  GVA is not, by design an advocacy group. The mission of GVA is to document incidents of gun violence and gun crime nationally to provide independent, verified data to those who need to use it in their research, advocacy or writing.

This program is expected to generate a lively discussion on a timely topic.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday, November 29, 2016