The Urbanophile has a great post up with some thoughts about Mayor Jerry Abramson’s impact on Louisville over the years as he winds down his final term before running for Lt. Governor. There’s no denying that Abramson is an iconic leader in Louisville, to whom the Urbanophile compares Chicago’s Mayor Daley. Whether you agree or disagree with the so-called “Mayor-for-Life,” the Urbanophile’s level-headed look at the transformation of Louisville for better and worse is well worth a read.
Here’s an excerpt:
Still, when looking back, I think it is easy for people to take for granted all the positive changes and momentum that Abramson brought to the table. Back in the 80’s, Louisville was a struggling place, hit hard by the ’80-’82 recession and economic kryptonite as a result of the “strike city” moniker it earned in the 1970’s.
Abramson brought a needed dose of change to the city. While no one could have prevented the declines in manufacturing employment, Abramson was extremely successful at preserving the Ford assembly plant operations. He also was instrumental in bringing the UPS air hub to Louisville, which has arguably been the greatest economic engine of growth in the city. And unlike most sorting hubs, this is also a headquarters operation. UPS Airlines, one of the largest in the world, is headquartered in Louisville, with large white collar employment including, for example, around 900 IT positions. YUM Brands and others were also lured to town or retained.