By Sadiqa Reynolds
President & CEO, Louisville Urban League
Support surrounding the Track on Ali has been overwhelming, that doesn’t mean complete agreement. No leader can get 100% of the people on the same page 100% of the time.
WDRB ran a story implying that our plan was chosen because I once worked for Fischer and League supporters donated to his campaign. They didn’t acknowledge that the League has supporters on both sides of the aisle. We have contributors supporting Leet, Bevin, McConnel, Yarmuth and Fischer. In fact, our supporters donated $1m to the YMCA on 18th Street. That’s what philanthropist do. I am exhausted by the negativity plaguing our community.
The League followed every rule. West Louisville Community Council hosted 100 plus community members and asked for their top 3 ideas. There were multiple ideas, but each group listed a sports complex in their top 3.
As required, we submitted a proposal, did a public presentation and interviewed with the city. Our proposal was chosen. Perhaps in large part because we had support of people who could ensure funding of the project.
We proposed a track because we have star runners taking their talent and their parents dollars elsewhere. The Children’s museum in Indy wasn’t built in the best part of town, and attracts thousands, impacting their economy. Since the Birmingham track opened they’ve added restaurants, a hotel, Starbucks, and now an Amphitheatre. Development can lead to jobs and economic impact.
Those living through red lining and so little investment deserve change. We have Olympians with nowhere to shine. Young people enjoying this sport use it to pay for college. Local teams need facilities. Our colleges and universities can’t host indoor events. We are a one-day drive for more than 65% of the country. Sports are not the answer to everything, but often a carat that motivates.
I support the Track on Ali. And that’s my point of view.