In response to a violence epidemic, Kentucky’s governor is asking for roaming prayer groups in Louisville’s troubled West End.
The Louisville Courier-Journal assigned three reporters to the unveiling of Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s plan to reduce violence.
“Bevin urged faith leaders, public officials and residents to take a 10-block span, walk corner to corner, and pray with the community two to three times a week during the next year,” the Courier-Journal reported.
It was unclear how this would reduce violence, who would organize it, or when it would begin.
According to the Courier-Journal, “Bevin pointed to several West End ZIP codes in need of the spiritual actions he outlined — he suggested 10 or more walks in 40203, 40210, 40211, 40212 and 40215 in his document titled ‘Reclaiming Our Communities.'”
The West Louisville Ministers Coalition rebuked the idea that the prayer is the solution to violence, and instead suggested 10 policy solutions to curb the killings.
“If you are serious about fixing violence in west Louisville, then you must have the courage to address its root causes of injustice and racism,” the Rev. Clay Calloway said at a pre-press conference response to the Governor’s proposal.
“He’s really having an oversimplified discussion about a cultural and spiritual deficit, which is really irresponsible at the end of the day,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods.
Not all local residents were convinced that walking around and praying would reduce the epidemic of violence.
Governor Matt Bevin, “doesn’t care about the West End,” retired bus driver Toya Johnson said after she walked out early. “He is an insult to Louisville. … He won’t come down and walk with us.”