City Councilman James Brown is currently running for re-election to the seat he has held representing District 1 since 2015. District 1 spans from the area around Rupp Arena to the Northside and East Lexington, and also includes Transylvania’s campus.
Brown was appointed the seat by Mayor Jim Gray.
One project that stood out to him as a great opportunity to serve his community was the role he was able to take in the planning of the 100th anniversary celebration for the opening of Douglas Park.
“We were able to use this opportunity to bring the community around the park together,” he said of the project.
Councilman Brown was very complimentary of the role Transylvania has played within the 1st District in both opening itself to the community as well as taking an active role in supporting the surrounding area. He stated that he believes that Transylvania plays a vital role within the 1st District, but that he would like to see more student involvement in the community.
Brown brought up the effects of gentrification on the communities that exist within the 1st District. He believes that the clustering of low-income housing has had a detrimental effect on the communities within the 1st District and in order for the district to flourish, there needs to be “a mix of both low-income housing and market rate housing.” He believes that for this to happen, there needs to be more access to jobs already within the community.
When asked why he voted against the proposal to move city hall to the current Herald-Leader building, he said that “All options should be looked at and we didn’t have enough information for me to feel comfortable voting yes.”
After the vote on the original proposal, Brown voted to move ahead so the city council could get more information in order to make a final decision.
Brown spoke excitedly of his love of the diversity and culture that is present within the first district. He referred to the many parks and individual communities that exist as well as the art scene.
When asked to give 4 words that exemplify the 1st District, he responded with “diverse, inspiring, enriching, and maturing.”