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Supporting Underserved Communities Amid COVID-19: Insights from Louisville's COVID-19 Community Impact Survey

February 10, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable people across the United States, including racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants. Many have faced challenges in retaining employment and meeting the basic needs of their families. In order to better support Louisville's underserved communities and expand equitable access to services for all residents, New American Economy (NAE) partnered with the City of Louisville to survey residents about their experiences during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Impact Survey, conducted between February and May of 2021, asked Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and immigrant communities in Louisville about their essential needs, the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing, and what assistance they have received to support their families through the crisis.

Democracy Defended: Findings from the 2020 Election

September 2, 2021

Despite an unprecedented series of challenges—a global pandemic, extreme weather, rampant misinformation, voter intimidation, and coordinated efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters of color—Black voters turned out in record numbers in 2020 to have their voices heard in one of our nation's most important election years.But let's be clear. The election did not go smoothly. Record turnout nationally and in many states was only possible thanks to a Herculean effort on the part of many non-profit organizations and many thousands of individuals and volunteers, as well as the enormous sums of money spent on election security and countering misinformation.

Modern, Effective, and Compassionate Billing: How Louisville Made an Overdue Upgrade to Assistance Programs and Improved the Utility-Customer Relationship

June 1, 2021

Access to water and sanitation services should not hinge on background, geography, or how much money someone makes—but it often does. Studies show that between 2012 and 2019, local water bills increased 31 percent nationally, far outpacing inflation and the consumer price index. Historical declines in federal support for water infrastructure have made this trend even worse. Local officials and water utility leaders have had no choice but to raise local water and sewer rates to pay for the needed operation, capital, and maintenance costs. Without federal and state support, local water and wastewater rates have increasingly become unaffordable for millions of Americans, and utilities have operated with outdated billing systems and often struggled to enroll low-income residents into the modest assistance available.Financial stress incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has brought water affordability into sharp focus, and innovators have been seeking solutions to meet their communities' rising needs. The water and wastewater utilities in Louisville, Kentucky, provide one such case. Louisville shows how new, smarter solutions to bill relief are helping people in need while improving the utility-customer relationship by balancing care, bill assistance, and debt relief with needed revenue stability to maintain essential water systems. This case study explores key facets of the challenge, what Louisville achieved for its residents, and how the city's approach provides a model for other utilities to consider as they move forward. Sections discuss: How traditional customer assistance efforts have failed to meet customer needs, struggled with enrollment, and overlooked their fundamental purpose of guarding against revenue instability.What a modern, user-friendly approach to bill assistance looks like and how, combined with compassionate messaging, it can shift utility-customer payment and service relationship for the better.Why establishing innovative bill assistance options is especially wise given current and future federal funding opportunities to provide debt relief.Longer-term actions the federal government should prioritize to make safe, reliable water and wastewater service affordable for all. 

Warrant Enforcement in Louisville Metro and the City of St. Louis from 2006 –2019: A Cross-site Analysis

December 1, 2020

This report describes and compares bench and fugitive warrant arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky (hereinafter Louisville Metro) and the City of St. Louis, Missouri during the period 2006 to 2019. The report is based on two site-specific reports that focus on the individual jurisdictions (see "Warrant Arrests in the City of St. Louis: 2002 –2019" and "Examining Warrant Arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky: 2006 to 2019" for additional details). The goal is to shed light on the enforcement of warrants, which are a large part of policing practice. This comparative approach provides insight into variability in the levels and nature of warrant arrests in communities with differing legal contexts and government structures. This report is a starting point to understand trends in warrant enforcement across two jurisdictions with similar social and economic landscapes. It is our hope that the findings are useful for stakeholders as they consider ways to make the criminal legal system more efficient and equitable. 

Using State-level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality

November 17, 2020

In this report, we examine how seven states use state policy levers to advance policy change to improve the quality of school principals. These states are all actively engaging in a collaborative initiative focused on principal preparation program redesign. We consider the following questions, drawing on data about the use of various policy levers in the states:How does a state's context shape its use of policy levers to improve principal quality? What  policy  levers  are  states  using,  how  are  the  levers  used,  and  what  policy changes have states made that affect the way levers are used? What supports the effective use of policy levers?What are the barriers to and facilitators of policy change?All seven states in the study were part of The Wallace Foundation's University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). Launched in 2016, UPPI is supporting seven university-based principal preparation programs to work in collaboration with their district and state partners to redesign and improve the programs to better support the development of effective principals.  The programs were chosen for the initiative, in part, because they were located in states that had favorable conditions for supporting principal quality. In addition, the programs had expressed interest in and already conducted some initial work toward redesigning their principal preparation programs. The UPPI programs and their respective states are Albany State University (Georgia), Florida Atlantic University (Florida), North Carolina State University (North Carolina), San Diego State University (California), the University of Connecticut (Connecticut), Virginia State University (Virginia), and Western Kentucky University (Kentucky).We drew on three data sources for this analysis: (1)  biannual interviews with UPPI participants, (2) interviews with state-level stakeholders across the seven UPPI states, and (3) relevant secondary data, such as state plans, state licensure requirements, state legislation, reports from state departments of education, and research literature on school leadership. In this report, we focus on seven policy levers that states can use to improve school leadership. The first six of these were drawn from research as described by Manna (2015), and the seventh was derived from Grissom, Mitani, and Woo (2019): setting principal standardsrecruiting aspiring principals into the professionlicensing new and veteran principals approving and overseeing principal preparation programssupporting principals' growth with professional development evaluating principalsusing leader tracking systems to support analysis of aspiring and established school leaders' experiences and outcomes.

Misdemeanor Enforcement Trends Across Seven U.S. Jurisdictions

October 1, 2020

This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions:  Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY;  New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

June 1, 2020

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2017. This is the first analysis of the 2017 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. This study is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

Strengthening State Systems and Policies to Foster Two-Generation Strategies and Practices

September 1, 2019

This policy brief reports on the first three years of an initiative to work directly with five WPFP state partners in AR, CO, GA, KY, and NC to enhance their state's commitment and ability to serve and support adults and children collectively as well as drive local programs to do so by reviewing the efforts of the five state partners. After first providing more background on Two-Generation efforts across the U.S. in recent years, this brief discusses: 1) the WPFP concept and approach to the initiative; 2) the work of the five state partners, including the state systems identified for this work and specific items identified for improvement within those systems as well as progress to date; and 3) lessons learned and observations of this work with a clear recognition of the challenges and complexities inherent in undertaking systems change work.

City Profile on Racial Equity Louisville, Kentucky

November 19, 2018

Erasing the Historical Lines of Division Drawn by Law & PracticeStrong mayoral leadership and a robust foundation of data helped Louisville Metro, the metropolitan government for the combined Louisville/Jefferson County area, begin a process to address the modern impacts of segregation policies. To do this, the city acknowledged past mistakes and facilitated community dialogue to build a vision of a more equitable Louisville.

Profiles in Parole Release and Revocation Kentucky

February 1, 2018

Sentences imposed in Kentucky are for a specific number of years (i.e. "three years"); referred to as a "fixed" sentence in state statute. Kentucky does not have sentencing guide-lines or a sentencing commission. Parole was first authorized in Kentucky in 1888. In 1900, the Board of Prison Commissioners was granted releasing authority. A full-time parole board was established in 1962 and, most recently, was expanded to nine members in 2010. In 2011, HB 463 (the Offender Accountability Act) passed; as a result, parole release now requires risk and needs assessment, parolees can complete some correctional programming in the community, and many other changes have been made. In 2012, some provisions were modified by HB 54, a bill that allowed the Department of Corrections to set special conditions of parole based on risk assessment. Finally, in 2015, SB 192 modified parole release for some serious heroin offenses and now requires cost calculations for reentry services for those with opiate or other drug addictions.

Partnerships for Health: Lessons for Bridging Community-Based Organizations and Health Care Organizations

January 31, 2018

Given the impact that social factors have on health status and expenditures, and the shift toward value-based payment models that reward providers based on outcomes, health care organizations (HCO) and community-based organizations (CBO) across the country are increasingly working together to address patients' social needs. In Massachusetts, MassHealth is investing in accountable care organizations and community partners to integrate physical health, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports and also funding certain approved "flexible services" that address health-related social needs that are not otherwise covered as MassHealth benefits. Based on a review of promising HCO-CBO partnership models, this brief outlines characteristics of effective HCO-CBO partnerships and provides recommendations to guide the development of successful collaborations between health care and social service organizations. 

Toward a Healthier Kentucky: IJC on Health, Welfare & Family Services

August 16, 2017

This slide show accompanied Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President and CEO Ben Chandler's testimony to the Interim Joint Committee on Health, Welfare, and Family Services. The data includes the state's health rankings, risks and deaths for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and other diseases.