Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together
Citizens of Louisville Organized & United Together (CLOUT) is an organization of religious congregations and groups which are working together to solve critical community problems. We are not a service provider, but a grassroots, direct action, multi-issue organization, which has come together to be a powerful force for improving the quality of life in our community.
Since CLOUT’s beginning in 1991, the organization has brought people together from different religious denominations, different areas of the community, and different races to work together on issues of common concern. These are just a few of the community improvements resulting from CLOUT’s work since its beginning:
In 2018, CLOUT got the Louisville Metro Council to approve an allocation of $10 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund; the previous year’s allocation of $9.6 million had funded 22 different housing initiatives which resulted in affordable housing for 1100 families. CLOUT has been fighting for full funding since the creation of the Trust Fund in 2008, and is continuing to work for dedicated funding for the Trust Fund going forward.
In 2017, after two Nehemiah Actions addressing public transit access to the 115 businesses and 7000 jobs at the Riverport Industrial Park, officials from TARC (the local public transit agency) and Metro Government won a federal grant for a $3.2 million circulator bus to help workers get and keep good-paying jobs.
Also in 2017, in the first year of CLOUT’s campaign to win care, not jail, for people with mental illness and addiction, CLOUT got Louisville Metro Council to allocate $325,000 for a “Living Room” crisis stabilization center in Louisville (as an alternative to jail), and got judges and prosecutors to get additional training in the use of Drug Court. In 2018 CLOUT won for the Living Room an allocation of $1 million for FY 2019-2020.
In 2016, after a six-year campaign which also won the creation of a district-wide bullying prevention training program, CLOUT won a commitment from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to begin district-wide whole-school Restorative Practices, plugging the “school-to-prison pipeline;” addressing racial disproportionality; and reducing suspension rates, referrals to alternative schools, and drop-outs. As of 2018, eighteen schools have received whole-school training, and ten additional schools will receive the training in the coming school year. Also, 24 JCPS staff have been trained as certified Restorative Practices trainers.
In 2014, as a result of CLOUT taking on the issue, the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously (26-0) to “Ban the Box,” making it illegal for local government, and vendors and contractors who do business with the city, to inquire about a person’s criminal record on an initial job application. Louisville is just the 16th city in the US to adopt such a policy, which opens up job opportunities for ex-offenders and ensures that people aren’t punished twice for mistakes made long ago.
In 2010, officials with the JCPS and the local juvenile court committed to implement “restorative justice” approaches for dealing with youth crime and violence, in order to address the “school to prison pipeline.” The resulting program in the juvenile court, called “Restorative Justice Louisville,” uses “family group conferencing” to deal with select juvenile court cases that hold the offender more accountable, allow for restitution, and avoid incarceration. Also, at CLOUT’s request, County Attorney Mike O’Connell committed to discontinue the practice of referring all school-related offenses directly to court without the opportunity of diversion.
“We have a lot of residents in our community, but not enough citizens. Your work is direct evidence of what real citizenship can do. I applaud your work.”
– Jerry Abramson / former Mayor of Louisville, KY –
In 2009, CLOUT got Louisville’s mayor and local banks & credit unions to agree to develop an initiative to reach out to the 29,000 unbanked households in the Louisville area by providing more affordable & accessible products and services. Since summer of 2010, when “Bank On Louisville” was launched, with 16 financial institutions participating, over 16,000 persons have opened new accounts, with an average balance of $853 and with 91% of the accounts remaining open.
In 2008, state and local health officials committed to remove barriers to the enrollment of uninsured children in the Medicaid and Kentucky Child Health Insurance Program (KCHIP), with Gov. Beshear eventually committing to enroll 35,000 more, with a total state/federal commitment of $112 million, over the following two years. As the result of these changes, over time an additional 60,000 children were enrolled in KCHIP.
In 2007, commitments from state and local officials made changes that have helped stop the “revolving door” of the criminal justice system, including: (then) Ky. Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Lambert doubled the size of the Drug Court program and to provide more training for judges; (then) Ky. Dept. of Corrections Commissioner John Rees created a new training program in drug & alcohol addiction issues for all Probation & Parole staff statewide; and (then) Mayor Jerry Abramson established a new drug treatment program in our local jail.
The Family Health Centers hired more bilingual interpreters, translated key documents into Spanish, and had all 270 employees participate in cultural competency training, resulting in improved access to health care for the growing Hispanic/Latino community.
The Housing Authority of Louisville committed to replace one-for-one the 728 public housing units that are being demolished for the redevelopment of the Clarksdale Housing Development, meaning that Louisville will not lose any badly needed affordable housing units.
JCPS implemented the Direct Instruction (DI) reading curriculum in several struggling elementary schools; the result is that thousands of more kids are reading at or above grade level.
JCPS developed a program of supervised suspensions, so students on suspension would not be out in the community during the school day getting into trouble and falling further behind on their schoolwork.
TARC installed 6 bus shelters up and down Dixie Highway where there were none, so that people no longer have to stand out in the rain and snow to wait for a bus.
Read more about CLOUT in the news.
Presently, 21 congregations and groups with over 10,000 individual members are members of CLOUT. We come from all parts of the Louisville Metro area, and we represent a diverse mix of persons by race, economic class, and religious traditions.
Board of Directors
- Co-President – Rev. Reginald Barnes, Brown Memorial CME Church
- Co-President – Karen Williams, Centennial Olivet Baptist Church
- Vice-President – Jane Buckley, First Unitarian Church
- Chris Kolb, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
- Treasurer – Evelyn Clark, Bethel Baptist Church
- Recording Secretary – Mildred Franks, Christ Church Cathedral
- Corresponding Secretary – Mike Kolb, St. John Paul II Catholic Church
- At-Large Executive Committee Member – John Bates, St. Edward Catholic Church
- At-Large Executive Committee Member – Jimmy Mills, Mosaic United Methodist Church
- Beverly Duncan, Jeff Street Baptist Community
- Barbara Lee, Third Lutheran Church
- Courtland Rose, Fourth Ave. United Methodist Church
- Elissa Hill, St. Edward Catholic Church
- Hugh Ella Robinson, Westwood Presbyterian Church
- Jane Gilliam, Mosaic United Methodist Church
- Joyce Voss, Epiphany Catholic Church
- Min. Theresa Hazard, Bethel Baptist Church
- Rev. June Dorsey, Ralph Avenue A.M.E. Church
- Rev. Denise Guillian, Lampton Baptist Church
- Yvonne Lovell, Magazine St. Seventh-Day Adventist Church
- Rev. Angela Johnson, Grace-Hope Presbyterian Church
- Anna Peterson, St. Gabriel Catholic Church
1113 S. 4th St. Suite 350
Louisville, KY 40203