Letter to the People
Dear Residents, Neighbors, and Friends of Louisville,
My name is Shameka Latonya Parrish-Wright and I am running to be your next Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky. For years, I’ve used my lived experiences, education and a variety of skills to bring the will and missing voices of the people in all that I do. While I can never erase my humble beginnings, my adverse childhood experiences made me knowledgeable and relatable to diverse groups of people, while allowing me to successfully navigate conflict resolution. It has been those experiences that shaped my leadership style and gave me the solutions-based skills that those in academia, city & state government, and social service agencies have come to rely on. I’ve had to show up, assess, listen, support, delegate and negotiate until we create what is needed- in every situation. I’m old enough to know your words and actions matter, but I’m still young enough to know that real change means we all have our role in society and, no matter what we do, we must keep human rights first.
Some of you may have come to know me from this past summer, fighting for justice for Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and others lost to police violence. But injustice doesn’t just exist within our police department. We need more equitable solutions across the board. My lens extends from social services to the justice movement and onward to economic growth, public health and safety. I’ve worked within the faith community, assisted with immigration and criminal justice reform, and initiated business development support within our city. My hands have intentionally and continuously touched just about every crevice and industry. And because of that, I’m able to translate the macro and micro view of issues and concerns, make equitable decisions that positively impact different groups of people, and appropriately distribute resources to those doing the work or in need. My combined years of service on community boards and advocacy groups in Louisville has prepared me for this opportunity to lead our city on a larger scale. During the past ten months alone, I’ve developed coalitions and bridges within our community and local government and I will work to ensure those relationships are strengthened once I become Mayor.
The truth is, our city is hurting, our infrastructure is severely damaged, and our youth and seniors have too little to look forward to. Too many of our community members are struggling with job insecurity, houselessness, inadequate health care and coverage, access to education & training, low wages, and a lack of social services to help them make it through the obstacles that exist in a post-COVID world. The long-term impact from COVID-19 will present us with tough choices and the next administration must be prepared to work hard to recover, which will require a certain grit and resourcefulness that cannot be taught.
These are some of the reasons I’ve accepted the call to run for Mayor, fully understanding this will be the biggest race of my life for my family and every supporter of my campaign. I say, “We get there together,” because it will take all of us to reimagine our community beyond the racial uprising and pandemic our City continues to live through. Local politics have never been more important and, right now, we need one another to foster the change required to keep going. Which is why Louisville deserves someone who will fight for the best interest of everyone who lives, works, grows and plays in our city.
That includes the over six thousand Louisville Metro employees who work within LMPD/LMDC, manage our parks, provide health & human services, benefits, sanitation, youth services and development, and a host of other essential services. In my first year, I’ll work to align our expenditures and use money wisely to improve our parks, roads, human services, public transportation and, most of all, our public health so we can reimagine public safety. Our current and previous elected officials surrounded themselves with some of the best and brightest, yet failed to lead from behind. Many of those employed by Louisville Metro have great ideas on how to get things done, but they have not been heard. My work has always been purposeful, educational and engaging. Real solutions, inclusive leadership and more opportunities for all Louisvillians is the goal. As Mayor, I’ll be intentional on listening to our employees, advisors, and staff to ensure that we won’t just get to the Mayor’s office together, we’ll make this City the best it can be. It is in that same vein that I respectfully ask for your support and vote.
Let’s see what we can do TOGETHER…the WRIGHT WAY.
I currently sit on the following community boards:
Shively Civil Service Board
Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice
Research Community Council
Louisville Books to Prisoners
Carl Braden Memorial Center Board
The Sowers of Justice Network Board
The Coalition for The Homeless Continuum of Care Board
The Kentucky Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression
Hispanic Latino Coalition
Kentucky Jobs With Justice Steering Committee
National PUSHBack Network
The Louisville Family Justice Advocates