Jerry Abramson is an A+ person, we can all agree. Grading his 21 years as mayor brings to mind dining out in Montreal during my first trip to Canada in 1989. Describing Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, my dinner companion said: “He’s so articulate, charming and glib that he makes us proud for the way he represents us. But …”
She then moved on to the substance of Mulroney’s five years in office, and her tone immediately became much more skeptical.
And you’d better know I was swallowing my linguine hard, eager to tell her how well I understood what she was saying.
Twenty-one years later, my feelings about the mayor haven’t changed. As a freelance journalist covering several conventions in Louisville, I saw delegates listening in rapture to welcome speeches, so thrown by the unexpected erudite ways of the mayor of a medium-sized city not thought of as cutting edge that they immediately began reassessing their pre-conception of Louisville.
A few may even have thought of moving here. Abramson’s spirit affected those who were already residents, too. And it won the mayor a mountain of political capital. But when we consider that it was the far less polished and often clunky David Armstrong who signed the first gay rights ordinance, an issue on which Abramson refused to risk any of that capital, and launched Fourth Street Live, the first successful downtown retail initiative since the 1960s, it becomes clear that performance often is eclipsed by style in ensuring a legacy.
George Morrison, Original Highlands
Walk the Walk
If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet lately, you’ve likely seen Congressman John Yarmuth’s “It gets better” YouTube video. Having been a victim of bullying when I was younger, I was inspired by the words of hope our congressman was sharing directly with LGBT youth in a medium where they’re likely to find it.
I was so inspired, in fact, it took me a day to recognize the hypocrisy inherent in his message. Representative Yarmuth still HAS NOT joined the other 120 progressive members of Congress who have co-sponsored the Respect Marriage Act, which will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk, congressman. It’s not going to get better by itself.
Curtis Morrison, Highlands
Dear Sara Havens,
I just read your New Year’s resolutions Bar Belle column (LEO Weekly, Dec. 29) and wanted to tell you you’re awesome. Good luck Facebooking less.
Linda Golden, Highlands
Editor’s Note: We are 75 percent sure this letter writer does not know the Bar Belle personally. We swear.
Check It, ’Ville
Being a veteran of the improv and sketch comedy scene in Chicago, I ask that the Louisville community give Second City a very warm welcome. “It Takes a ’Ville,” now playing at Actors Theatre, is very funny.
I saw the first Louisville preview and was dying of laughter.
Daniel Solzman, East End
Stop the Hate
The hate rhetoric in America has gotten increasingly worse the past few years. Sadly so, a tragedy like the one in Tucson was inevitable. The hate rhetoric must stop. So many people are in denial that hate rhetoric is even a problem. Political leaders, spiritual leaders and the media must show some leadership and speak out consistently against the hate that threatens to destroy us.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews