Ken DeGrant III | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Ken DeGrant III

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Political party: 
Nonpartisan
Question 1: 

What’s your vision for Richmond? How will the lives of the people in our community be improved as a result of your time in office?

When people look at Richmond there is that small home town feel. I want to keep it that way by helping the center of our town grow from the center outward. To build a city that continues to have the small town feel you must build up the downtown. It is the heartbeat of any town. I would like to help change the layout of downtown by really going after changing the state highway from going through our downtown and moving it to the bypass where it belongs. This would allow for Richmond to make a one way wrapping circle around the downtown area. By doing this you can extend the sidewalks and expand the parking area on the main street. You will get rid of the parallel parking and would add spaces for people to get in and out more easily. Also the vision I have would be to improve the accessibility to get downtown. Our sidewalks need expansion to allow for businesses to have outdoor seating, benches, or even more greenery. This would push a renewed downtown development.

Question 2: 

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

Some of this you can blame on society itself. I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to work. When the economy is doing well there are more jobs. When it is performing poorly well its hard to get a job. I think there is a lack of mentor-ship in the Richmond community. Those that are retired in any trade skill or any job itself can in fact volunteer their time to give back and work around in the community with young men and women. I know that there is a facility that I would like to have where men and woman could go to learn trade skills that will help them in the future. When a young person who wants to learn they should be given that opportunity as soon as possible. I think if we had more people willing to take these young people out and learn these trades they will then have an opportunity for a better future. People forget that building houses and working with their hands can be a quiet lucrative profession.

Question 3: 

Richmond is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in Central Kentucky and has many vibrant neighborhoods. Yet people of color are underrepresented on community boards and within city staff positions. What steps can the city take to make sure that community boards and city employment are representative of the city as a whole?

Mentor-ship is the greatest teaching tool one can give to another. If a person wants to learn what it takes to get on board to help change the city then they should get with someone who is willing to help them. Nothing can be done without the help of others. This is a prime example of not enough people wanting to give their time to help others. We need to stop thinking of race as white or black because there is only one race and that is the human race.

Question 4: 

Over the past few years Immigration and Customs Enforcement has expanded its operation throughout Kentucky. This operation targets people on their way to work, is alleged to work without warrants, and fails to communicate with local officials. In order to ensure that residents feel safe, particularly those in our immigrant communities, and to encourage everyone in Richmond to be open with local officials, would you support sanctuary policies to protect undocumented persons residing or working within our city?

If you are a citizen of the United States then you should have nothing to fear. Laws are laws. If you have the proper documentation then whats to fear. People need to understand that undocumented people are not paying into the city or the tax system itself. This means we are working on less money and therefore will have to raise taxes on the people already paying taxes. I will not do that to the people of my community. Growing a city means more people which means more revenue which means less likely to raise taxes.

 

Question 5: 

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. Eighteen cities or counties 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 Lexington (population 323,780). Do you support a Fairness Ordinance for Richmond to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination? Why or why not?

My brother is part of this community and we have had several discussions about this. I feel that we do not need laws to protect others just because they identify in this way. Once you start making laws to protect certain persons then you are saying they are above the law. As it says in "Animal Farm" "Some animals are more equal than others." I don't think anyone would discriminate another person because I believe in the good of others. And if someone discriminated against my brother I would be upset but he doesn't need another law to protect him. With every law passed there is more infringement on our individual rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution. More laws means more government regulation which means less rights to you as a person. The government is here to serve the people not the people serve the government.

Question 6: 

Jail overcrowding is a huge issue in Madison County with the jail currently at 197% of capacity. Since Richmond is the largest city in the county, how do you think the city council should be involved in helping to reduce the number of Richmond residents in the criminal justice system and more residents thriving and supported in our communities?

We as a community must get to these young kids early on to show them there is a better way. I am very impressed by the community that we do have. People have started reading to kids and have done more for the homeless. It has melted my heart to see the good that everyone has shown me. On the other hand, city counsel could figure out a way to get an investor to come in and make a for profit jail on some land. This could help with the over population and could also make money for the city as well. This would also teach the inmates job skills and make them better for when they come out and can join the workforce. Its all about giving back and I feel this could be one of many ideas to do this.