Help more workers afford city's rents
Everyone in Lexington benefits from living in a city with strong economic growth, rising incomes, and a high quality of life. But our economic success has driven a sharp increase in rental prices, creating an unforeseen gap in affordable housing that only affects the poorest of Lexington's households.
In 2000, 44 percent of rental units were under $500 a month, but by 2012 this fell to 17 percent, and the percentage falls every year.
A full-time minimum wage worker earns enough to afford a $350 monthly rent, yet each year Lexington has fewer and fewer housing options at this price.
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The proposed minimum wage increase will allow that same worker to afford a $485/month rent, barely keeping pace with trends in housing prices. This problem will not be solved by the market; it was created by the housing market.
Other communities have dealt with this problem with housing vouchers that allow workers to afford existing housing, effectively subsidizing the minimum-wage employer as well as the employee.
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years will adjust the lowest workers' pay to the housing realities of Lexington, and will help solve a portion of our city's affordable-housing problem.
Executive director, ProgressLex
Hubbard true winner
I was sadly disappointed in the Oct. 18 article covering the life of my classmate Carol Hubbard. The description of Carol certainly was not the person I knew.
It is true she made some mistakes (don't we all) and the writer exercised his right to remind us of her problems.
But in fairness he should have mentioned the several hundred, if not thousands, of children she taught and mentored, her kindness to animals, her accomplishments both professional and personal.
She united Eastern Kentucky during the labor/coal problems of the late '50s. We are proud of her. She was and is a true winner.
Five million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease, including nearly 70,000 Kentuckians. More than 15 million Americans are caring for someone with Alzheimer's or another dementia, including nearly 270,000 in Kentucky.
A survey by the Alzheimer's Association found 73 million voters have had a family member or close friend with Alzheimer's and 52 million have provided care or personal assistance to someone with Alzheimer's.
Four years ago, my life changed when a close friend was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We had been looking forward to a retirement of traveling and time with friends. That has changed. This disease takes its toll on the victim, and their family and friends.
Alzheimer's, which costs an estimated $226 billion annually, remains the only one of the nation's Top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. More than 28 million baby boomers are expected to develop Alzheimer's by midcentury.
We must work to find treatments, prevention and a cure.
Please encourage elected officials to make Alzheimer's a priority by supporting increased research funding and expanding dementia-specific training. Visit www.alz.org/kyin/ to take action today.
Alzheimer's Association-Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter Advocate
Cross political divide
The foundation of effective democracy is rooted in the ability to compromise, to temper the extreme demands of a divided electorate, to push forward under the banner of common humanity and our common experience as citizens.
We have developed and redeveloped the American machine, but the two great grinding cogs of democracy have developed separately with teeth that work against each other. Maybe it is time to lubricate our political system with moderation, compromise and respectability.
Henry Clay in his 1850 speech, "On the preservation of the Union": "Let us look to our country and our cause, elevate ourselves to the dignity of pure and disinterested patriots, and save our country from all impending dangers. What if, in the march of this nation to greatness and power, we should be buried beneath the wheels that propel it onward!"
This great divide can be crossed; there still exists the flame of liberty within us all. Lest it be extinguished, and this great divide become a chasm into which the future of these United States may fall inescapably, we have a responsibility to stoke this flame with compassion and empathy. We are on the same team after all.