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Fischer Joins National Initiative To Combat Hate, Extremism

Mayor Greg Fischer discusses crime during a live news special at WFPL.
Photo by J. Tyler Franklin
Mayor Greg Fischer discusses crime during a live news special at WFPL.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and some 200 mayors from around the U.S. will take part in an initiative aimed at combating hate, extremism and bigotry.The initiative is called The Mayors' Compact to Combat Hate and is a partnershipbetween the United States' Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League.It was launched in response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.Fischer has denounced the actions and rhetoric of the white supremacists.The compact he has signed onto includes a 10-point plan binding the mayors to reject white supremacy, denounce hate, celebrate diversity and more.“As leaders, we must stand up to hate and bigotry – and we must speak loudly and with conviction," Fischer said in a news release sent Friday from the Anti-Defamation League."We have no room for hate or extremism," he said.Other Kentucky mayors have signed the compact, including Lexington's Jim Gray and Frankfort's William May.The compact instructs participating mayors to "use the bully pulpit to speak out against racism, extremism, xenophobia, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry."Furthermore, it suggestsmayors may seek certain restrictions on public protests or rallies."This might include encouraging alternative rally sites and placing limits on the rights of protestors to bring weapons to political rallies," according to the compact agreement.Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Fischer, said there are no plans, presently, to enact such restrictions."We signed on for the bigger picture," he said. "There may be lots of ideas, it doesn't mean all of them will come to fruition or be taken up locally."Poynter said the mayors thought it was necessary to develop such an agreement."Lot's of people in Washington aren't speaking out," he said. "The mayors decided we have to do something."The announcement of the compact agreement comes the same day Fischer's administration released the first episode of The Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer podcast.The some 20-minute episode includes discussion about Charlottesville, Confederate monuments and Fischer's violence reduction strategy.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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