October 2, 2020 8:36am
It’s Time to Take the Boards Down
Greater Louisville, along with our nation, continues to face challenges and opportunities from the ongoing pandemic and demonstrations for racial equity. The death of Breonna Taylor was a tragedy that we will not forget. We must acknowledge that bold reforms are needed and trust-building will occur when those reforms are implemented, not just discussed. We must engage in authentic conversations we would never have before considered. We must do the hard things. We must seize the opportunity to be a leader in the quest for real equitable reform.
For more than 100 days, downtown Louisville has been the epicenter for protests against the injustice and inequity suffered by many in our community. We join the call for real change. However, for our community to move forward and begin to heal together, it is imperative that we physically represent the city we strive to be. We strive to be inclusive, welcoming, equitable and forward-thinking. We strive to be a 21st Century city of which we can all be proud.
Currently, the boards, barricades, and fencing downtown send a different message. A message that perpetuates fear and discourages our citizens, employees, and visitors from supporting the vibrancy of our urban core. We must send a different message for our region to grow and be competitive with business and talent attraction.
We are calling on the business community to be the change we want to see. We ask that our downtown businesses and building owners work toward removing the boards that act as a symbol of divisiveness so we can move forward collectively to heal the wounds felt by our community. GLI also encourages government leaders to continue assessing and taking measured steps to maintain lawful order and reinforce a sense of safety for our city. We all must be proactive in promoting the Louisville that we all desire and know we can be. We must do the hard things and we must do them now.
Yesterday, our Board of Directors met to discuss collaborative efforts to rejuvenate downtown. We are working with Louisville Metro on the removal of boards and barricades from government facilities and city streets, and we know conversations are underway for creative solutions to utilize outdoor spaces to help restaurants, arts and entertainment, and retail provide safe spaces amidst the pandemic. Let us continue to partner and find a strong way forward for Louisville.
Together we can change the narrative. Together we can restore the vibrancy of our downtown.