Nichole Hayden

Political party: 
Question 1: 

Over the past several years many residents have found it difficult to find meaningful employment that is accessible to them. What steps will you take to ensure that residents in our more urban neighborhoods will be able to have the same opportunities as other communities, and to ensure that every part of the city benefits from economic development?

The city has started down the right path with the creation of the new route 9 corridor.  The expansion of Route 9 should eliminate much of the out-of-town traffic that our residents deal with on a daily basis.  This will help with property values and beautification efforts.  Additionally, the new corridor is already creating development on the Licking River side of Newport.  I believe that this will spur other business development that will create jobs for our residents. 

Further, I spent the first eleven years of my career as an early elementary teacher in the city of Newport.  Giving families and children the tools to help with early childhood literacy will go a long way in promoting skills necessary to compete and excel in the job market of today and tomorrow. The economy is rapidly changing and I want to ensure that our residents and children are prepared to be a contributing part of this change.

Question 2: 

Redevelopment in Newport has resulted in the relocation of affordable housing units and the present/former occupants. Given the model of concentration and isolation of the former generation of public housing, this relocation presents both challenges and opportunities. How do you plan to provide greater opportunities to low income residents while affirmatively furthering fair housing? 

The new generation of scattered site public housing is a significant step forward from the model used in previous generations.  I would like to see more innovative ideas such as the scholar house where single parents are provided with childcare and affordable housing as they pursue their educational goals.  It is also important to look at what other communities have done in regards to public housing and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

Question 3: 

Newport is one of the most diverse cities in northern Kentucky when it comes to racial and ethnic make up, and has many vibrant neighborhoods. Yet some residents see a distinct lack of representation on city boards or in city employment. What steps can the city take to make sure that community boards and city employment are representative of the city as a whole? 

The city needs to do a better job at making the public aware of opportunities to serve on boards as well as employment opportunities.  The city should engage its residents on Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.  

I would like to see the city partner with the school district to encourage and recruit students for internships, cooperative learning and mentoring in various roles within the city government.

Question 4: 

Currently there are several 'brownfields' scattered throughout Newport. The most well known of these include the L&H Tool & Die site at 12th and Lowell, which was profiled in an USA Today article detailing brownfields and lead contamination, and the former Newport Steel location. What can the city do to help clean up these and other sites, and promote development that will enhance the communities surrounding them?

The brownfield issue is not unique to the City of Newport and it is a challenge that cities all over the region (and our country are facing).  We need to forge strong relationships in Frankfort, Washington DC and the business community at large, in order to raise adequate funds to properly deal with these sites.  The current city budget restrains us from further action so it’s important that we find allies in the fight in other places.  I also believe that increased development could assist us in this effort as the developer would bear the cost of cleaning up sites used for development.

Question 5: 

Citizens returning home from incarceration, and even those who have finished their probation and parole, often have trouble returning to their communities. Several cities and states have fostered initiatives aimed at helping these members of our community get back on their feet. Louisville and Cincinnati, for example, have removed questions about previous convictions from hiring applications. What steps do you feel Newport can and should take to help folks re-enter our community?

It makes sense that, at a minimum, there should be a cut off time for asking about many criminal offenses.  The state of Kentucky made a first step by allowing for the expungement of some felony offenses.  Again, we will need help from our leaders in Frankfort and Washington DC on this issue.  Currently, there are no federal expungement options, meaning that a conviction of felony (regardless of the time of conviction) can serve as a deterrent to employment.  I will work with the commission to develop guidelines to outline under what circumstances that someone would be eligible for public employment.  Along with this, it is important to highlight the Brighton Center as a resource for our citizens in need of job training and other services that will assist in reentering the community.

Question 6: 

Currently people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+) lack protection from discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodation under state or federal law. Eight cities in Kentucky have passed their own expanded human rights ordinance, often referred to as a Fairness Ordinance, to extend protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. These cities include towns as small as Vicco (population 334), as large as Louisville (population 760,026), and as nearby as Covington (population 40,640). Do you support a Fairness Ordinance for Newport to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination?

Discrimination against anyone is wrong, period.  The most important role our government can play is protecting the civil rights of all people.  I will do what I can to make certain that in the city of Newport people can live free of discrimination and would support legislation that would ensure that protection.