Hundreds gathered for a previous CLOUT meeting. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Several city officials are slated to provide updates Monday on a wide range of topics — from school safety to how the police treat individuals with mental illness — that have been raised by one of Louisville’s most prominent interfaith social justice organizations.

On Monday night, members of CLOUT, or Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, will hear “progress reports” from several local politicians about targeted “issue campaigns” undertaken by the group, according to a news release.

Councilman David James, D-6

Several members of the Louisville Metro Council will speak and provide information at the event, including Metro Council President David James, D-6, as well as Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.

The group also invited Mayor Greg Fischer to update them on reviewing and improving the Louisville Metro Police Department’s handling of drug-addicted and mentally ill individuals. But Fischer will not attend the meeting, nor will he sent a surrogate, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.

CLOUT has long criticized the LMPD for several cases where police use-of-force resulted in the deaths of at-risk individuals and advocated for what it believes are better de-escalation tactics increased officer accountability.

CLOUT’s pressure on the issue of police de-escalation standards has caused contention between the group and Fischer, but leaders of the group planned to meet with Deputy Mayor Ellen Hessen last Friday to continue that conversation, a source familiar with the meeting said.

CLOUT co-president Rev. Reginald Barnes told Insider Louisville that there isn’t one particular issue that stands out from the pack, as all the items were chosen by collective decision among its 300 “grassroots community leaders” through what he called a “listening process.” He added that at the group’s April meeting, city officials “made a commitment to us to study these issues.

“So really, we’re looking at getting updates from those officials on what they’ve been doing thus far. Secondly, we’ll go through what’s called the listening process, picking new issue items. We will look at policies and what we’ve discussed and then choose what to focus on in the next year,” Barnes said.

The meeting will be held at St. John Paul II Catholic Church on Goldsmith Lane, Monday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Here’s the lineup:

  • Dr. Marty Pollio will discuss school safety and restorative discipline policies within JCPS and the court system.
  • Metro Council President David James and Metro Council Member Brent Ackerson, D-26 will talk about the decriminalization of mental illness and drug addiction, and the issue of police de-escalation involving those groups.
  • Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund Executive Director Christie McCravy will join Metro Council members Brandon Coan, D-8, Bill Hollander, D-9, and Barbara Sexton Smith, D-4, to examine issues surrounding affordable housing in the city.
  • Additional topics will include “the expansion of the KCHIP program statewide, the Bank On Louisville initiative, the Ban the Box ordinance … drug treatment in the Louisville Metro Jail, and others,” the release said.

Jonathan Meador has covered local and state issues for nearly a decade. He has worked for LEO Weekly, The Nashville Scene and WFPL, and his reporting has appeared in Salon, Gambit and others. He has won multiple awards from the Louisville Society of Professional Journalists, including first-place accolades for best news story, women and minority issues, investigative reporting, enterprise reporting and political reporting. He supports both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals equally.


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