Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Vandegrift to Democrats: Progressive agenda can fit with job creation; leaders must take stands

In the wake of Democrats' landslide loss of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift sent the following letter to newspapers very early Wednesday morning.

By Grayson Vandegrift
    There will undoubtedly be autopsies performed of the Kentucky Democratic Party in the coming weeks, but I’d rather focus on a plan for the future, not a postmortem of what went wrong. The fact is, many people already know what’s been going wrong for some time: very few, including Kentucky Democrats, know if the KDP stands for anything that may be seen as controversial.
    In Midway, we’ve proven that a socially progressive agenda can perfectly coincide with a common sense approach to job creation, infrastructure, and quality of life. Despite passing what some opponents called a “job killer,” our fairness ordinance hasn’t resulted in the loss of jobs, but rather, a dramatic increase in them. We are experiencing a nearly 100% increase in jobs in our city since our civil rights bill was passed. That’s not to say that these jobs were created because of the ordinance, but they certainly weren’t deterred by it.
    Increased revenue has allowed us to begin to invest in programs that are resurfacing roads, fixing sidewalks, upgrading our water and sewer systems, and making enormous improvements to our city parks.
    I serve as the mayor of our city in a non-partisan office, and I’m thankful for it. But I am a registered Democrat, and proud of it, even if only because I find the Republican Party mostly unappealing. But I have many Republican friends, and today I’m telling them one thing they must be proud of – at least I know where they stand. If I understand anything about politics it’s this: you have to stand for something that might get you criticized before you can achieve anything worthwhile.

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