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Curious Louisville Voter Guide: We Asked The Mayoral Candidates Your Questions

Earlier this month, Curious Louisville, in collaboration with Al Día en América,asked listeners: “If you were moderating a debate with all the candidates for the mayoral primary, what would you ask them?”

From your responses, we chose a list of 15 questions that covered a variety of topics — ranging from the future of mass transit in Louisville, to gun violence, to solutions for racial and economic segregation — and posed them to the candidates.

You can find links to their full interviews below.

89.3 WFPL is partnering with Al Día en América to provide Spanish-language versions of stories. To read this story in Spanish, click here.

Dave Biggers (D)

What is your vision for Louisville during and after your term in office if you are elected mayor? 

I’m not trying to be a career politician, I just came to right this ship. Hopefully I can get it done in four years, if it takes eight years, fine — but when I leave here, I want the ship to be going straight. When I leave, if it goes left or right, they will know it was going straight back them and what they need to do to right it again; just got to get someone in to listen to the people.

You can’t have someone who just tells the people, ‘This is good for you, you’re going to take this and love it.’ You need someone who will say, ‘What do you want?” I work for you. You know, the police department and the health department, they work for me — but you’re the customer, so I have to serve the customer. Tell me what you want, and that’s how we’ll make a better Louisville. You got to listen to the citizens paying taxes on the ground. You just can’t listen to somebody who comes into town every two weeks and cater to them -- can’t do that, unless you’re going to have them carry the burden of the taxes.

So when I leave here, I want people to be more involved. Local government is the most important government. More important than the federal government. If you want a change in your life, you got to be involved. That’s what I really want, more people involved.

Biggers' full interview is available here.


Bob DeVore (R)

What is your vision for Louisville during and after your term in office if you are elected Mayor?

One thing I want to do — and I see the state having the same problem — is that we always do two-year incremental process or budgets. I want to create a ten-year budget and focusing on one step at a time.

How do we strengthen our infrastructure, especially our watering system? How do we strengthen our transportation? How do we strengthen the West End? How do we strengthen having each other saying ‘Let’s have each other’s back?’

So when I get out of office, when I’m 120 years old, I’d like to see a right system and see people happy. Not just happy because who they are, but what they can be. And propel that happiness, that possibility, and say, ‘Hey kids, this is your city. Bob was just a servant of us. Now it’s our turn to step up and take what he started and perpetuated that in the 22nd century. If we don’t that, it’s our fault.’

As I say, I put them first and me last. My hope is, I like to see the city grow and prosper because each and every individual has a right and an opportunity to do so, but it’s our responsibility to take that first step.

DeVore's full interview is available here.


Ryan Fenwick (D)

What is your vision for Louisville during and after your term in office if you are elected Mayor?

My vision for Louisville is that it starts having the confidence in itself to start building the city for the people who already live here. I think it’s so important that we stop looking to cities like Nashville and Indianapolis, which are great cities, but that we start looking locally to start finding what Louisville really loves about Louisville.

I just think it’s important that we start appreciating Louisville as a very authentic place and that if we’re going to keep this city the way we love it, we’re going to have to start trusting locals to build our future.

Fenwick's full interview is available here.


Greg Fischer (D)


What is your vision for Louisville during and after your term in office if you are elected Mayor?

Our city is going through a real renaissance right now. We have $13 billion in construction taking place in our city, all over the city. About a billion of that is happening west of Ninth Street. 75,000 new jobs have been created over the last four years and 2,500 new businesses.

So, what we’ve seen is a lot of people working real hard that have contributed to this renaissance. Our city has never seen this much activity before. We’re also seeing people move out of poverty situations. This past year, 11,000 people have worked themselves out of poverty into middle-income jobs, so it’s important that we have good jobs.

What we’re demonstrating is that you can build an inclusive economy based on principles of compassion, and still have high rates of innovation and high rates of growth. I think that’s what future successful cities are going to look like. So, I am running for a third term to make sure that we keep this momentum going at all parts of our city, so everybody feels like they are connected to a bright and hopeful future, and then we have the actual physical growth of our city that’s actually taking place as well, as more and more people want to invest in our city.

We want to manage that in an appropriate way that doesn’t lead to gridlock, to gentrification — but leads to a situation where everybody has an opportunity to move ahead. Louisville is seen as one of these next great breakout medium-size cities. You see that in national publications. We’ve got a wonderful quality of life here, great people who live here, a beautiful built environment  between our architecture and our parks here and our place along the Ohio River.

We have a lot of great assets to grow our city for everybody into the future.

Fischer's full interview is available here.


Angela Leet (R)

What is your vision for Louisville during and after your term in office if you are elected Mayor?

What I would love to do is to see a change in the types of jobs we’re creating. We’ve had this burst of new hotel jobs, but what I’d rather see are jobs where people have an opportunity to climb up a ladder. They do one thing for a while and grow into the next position, either within that same type of job with more responsibility, or they even have learned a skill and it gives them the opportunity to change paths and do something completely different. There’s continual growth and that they’re passionate about the things they’re doing.

I don’t see we’ve created enough of those types of jobs. I want to focus on trying to attract more of those jobs and then providing training and bringing pride back, in particular, to jobs that involve being makers.

I know, as an engineer, you kind of have that maker mentality of being a creative and doing things with your hands. We’ve somehow have a generation or two that we’ve lost that pride and that enthusiasm and respect for those types of trades. I think there’s an opportunity now for us to draw that back into Louisville. I think the state as a whole wants to be considered a manufacturing center, and so Louisville, of course, should be the economic engine of that. We should be supporting bringing that to fruition, so more people can go back to work in jobs that are meaningful for them, with growth opportunity.

In doing so, we’ll also see the wages and people’s own economic position improve, and they’ll be prosperous and they’ll be safe.

Leet's full interview is available here.

This voter guide was created through our Curious Louisville project. You can find out more and ask your own questions about our city here.

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