Mayor: Louisville ‘poorer, blacker and older’ before merger

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, speaking to the editorial board of the Charleston Gazette of West Virginia last week, explained our reasons for merging thusly:

You have the chance to be, to have growth — significant growth in your suburban areas. And the question becomes, as it was in the old City of Louisville, we were a city that was, we were getting poorer, we were getting more minority — we were getting poorer, blacker and older. And so as I was saying earlier, every time we lost merger in our community — the city always voted for it. The county was the one that voted against it. And at that time, when it would lose, it was people living in the suburbs who didn’t want the problems of the city.

I just got off the phone with Chad Carlton, a spokesman for Abramson, who had this to say:

He was trying to encapsulate in shorthand the demographics. If that was offensive to anybody, it was not his intent. His intent is nothing but to promote the positives we have in this community and the diversity of the people here.

Louisville’s population was some 35 percent African-American before merger. Now it’s closer to 19 percent.
Was the mayor out of line in his comments? What say ye?


  1. Curt Morrison
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    The real story here is he’s misleading his audience about who the merger benefits and serves. What were our biggest urban problems pre-merger? I, for one, would say poverty & crime.

    Using that yardstick, has the merger been instrumental in changing the urban Louisville for the better? Try EPIC FAIL.

  2. Greg Carmichael
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    “Was the mayor out of line in his comments? What say ye?” If Northup, McConnell or any other Republican said this, would you even bother asking these questions? I think not.

  3. Winston Tyree
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The mayor has had a significant amount of support from the “Black Community” over the years. This comment certainly does not bode well with his African American constituency. The mayor has never had the honesty to say to the community that merger dilutes the African American voting power in the whole scheme of things here in Louisville and that that is the primary driver towards merger. The mayor may find that the now 19 percent African American presence at the polls may have a significant inpact on his future political success.

  4. Lu Reid
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The only way Abramson won’t be re-elected Mayor is if he doesn’t run. There is no viable GOP in this town and what Democrats can beat Jerry? What percentage of African Americans won’t vote for the Democrat in Louisville? What Democrat could beat Abramson in a primary? The answer to the last two questions: Damn few and none.

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  1. [...] 2010 census. In the urban core, that trend is — to borrow a phrase from our former mayor — poorer, older and blacker than the city’s suburbs, which are actually growing. Only a handful of neighborhoods closer [...]