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February 8th, 2021

5th District Newsletter 




Hello Neighbors,

This week is shaping up to be quite cold! I've included some tips in the newsletter to keep in mind as we continue to face this cold front. 

I hope you were able to watch the Mayor's State of Government address on Tuesday, January 26th. She highlighted the many challenges that Lexington faces and the historic nature of this time. She focused heavily on the good work that has been done by all of LFUCG despite the pandemic, budget constraints, and the transition to largely virtual work settings. Our economic outlook is better than projected in 2020, but we still have work to do to remain within our means while providing the services our residents deserve. The budget process is underway, and I will be providing updates as developments occur. 

In addition to serving on two of the Council's Committees, I've recently been confirmed to serve as a Councilmember representative on various Boards and Commissions in order to delve deeper into some of Lexington's pressing issues, and work towards solutions. I now serve on the Mayor's International Affairs Advisory Commission, the Senior Services Commission, the Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Board, and I'm continuing as a member of the MEI Workgroup. The Mayor's administration is committed to receiving a perfect score of 100 on the Human Right's Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI), and this workgroup was organized in 2020 to help us achieve that goal. 

Day-to-day, I've been meeting with various Directors of divisions, community groups, and touring facilities to better familiarize myself with the layout of our government. I've also been working with neighbors and the wonderful folks in Traffic Engineering to help find solutions to some of our traffic woes throughout the district. We've gotten calls and emails about COVID vaccinations, leaf collection, small business and rental relief, utility and internet rates, construction projects, downed road signs, concerns about our tree canopy, our environmental efforts, and questions about how the City is working to implement the recommendations of the Mayor's Commission on Racial Justice and Equality. I appreciate the opportunity to serve and do this work for the 5th District. Please contact the office if you have any questions or concerns. 

Meetings to add to your calendar in the upcoming weeks:  If you'd like to make a public comment at a meeting you can learn more about the process here

Stay warm this week! As I've said before, we must continue to social distance, wear face coverings, and wash our hands frequently while we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Please sign up to receive your vaccine if you are able. Your efforts help to keep yourself and others safe during this historic time.   

Take Care, 
Liz 
UK & CIVICLEX FORUM
CivicLex flier announcing a virtual panel discussion with Councilmember Liz Sheehan and her Legislative Aide, Layton Garlington.
Friday, January 29th, my Legislative Aide and I spoke with UK students about the importance of local government, how to get involved, and some of the barriers to that involvement. It was a great conversation filled with very thoughtful questions from the students and moderators. I even got to "see" one of my former psychology students, and got to speak with a 5th District voter!
LEXCALL & 911 OPERATIONS TOUR
Photograph of Councilmember Liz Sheehan and Director of E911 Robert Stack posing together in the 911 Dispatcher call center. Both are wearing face masks in the photo.
I recently toured the Public Safety Operations Center with E911 Director Robert Stack. The state-of-the-art facility is home to our 911 dispatchers and LexCall (311) employees (although most of the 311 team is working remotely due to the pandemic). In 2019 our division of Enhanced 911 was the first of its kind in Kentucky to receive Public Safety Communication Accreditation through CALEA after meeting rigorous standards regarding their policies, procedures, and practices. Hats off to the hardworking professionals who roll up their sleeves every day of the year to respond to the needs of our residents. 
 
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Photograph of the first destination of the African American Heritage Walking Tour located near the Old Courthouse downtown Lexington.
Black History Month serves as a time to celebrate, honor, and learn about the historical contributions of Black Americans to our nation's past and present. Black History Month evolved from renowned historian (and former Lexington resident) Carter G. Woodson's efforts in 1926 to do just that. The organization that he cofounded with minister Jesse E. Moorland is today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

There are many ways to celebrate and learn even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • You can participate in Lexington's African American Heritage Tour (an audio version is also available through the Public Library). 
  • The Living Arts and Sciences Center currently has a gallery exhibit available either by reservation or virtual viewing.
  • The UK MLK Center has various programming throughout the month of February.
  • The ASALH also has virtual programming available.
UPDATE: MAYOR'S RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUALITY COMMISSION
Photograph of Lisa Higgins-Hord
During her State of the Government Address last week, the Mayor announced that Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement at the University of Kentucky (and former 6th District Councilmember), Lisa Higgins-Hord will be working to implement the Mayor’s Racial Justice and Equality Commission recommendations across government. After countless hours of meetings and discussion from July to October of 2020, the 70 person Commission compiled 54 recommendations to address systemic racism in Fayette County. You can read the full report here. 
Informational flier about Racial Healing Circles that will be led by the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative and the Center for Healing Racial Trauma.
Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative in partnership with the Center for Healing Racial Trauma will be leading a virtual series of racial healing circles for Black community members to, "to discuss racial identity development, racial socialization and cognitive, emotional and somatic responses to racism. Participants will learn strategies for coping, healing and resistance." 
Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up no later than Saturday, February 13th, 2021 to receive priority. Click the above image to learn more information. 
POPULAR ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
"The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government is proud to present this Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). This is a short form report that provides summarized information about the Government’s financial activities. It is intended to give readers an overview of the Government and its finances, and does not provide all the detailed information required by accounting standards. It does not include information on all of the Government’s Funds or Component Units. Detailed financial information, including the audited financial statement, is available in the Government's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, commonly called the CAFR. The CAFR provides full disclosure of all material events in the notes to the financial statements, as well as required supplementary information and historical statistical information. The CAFR and PAFR are available online."


 
VACCINATION CLINIC
A photograph of a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that was distributed at the Lexington Senior Center.
A health professional preparing to vaccinate two Lexington residents at the Senior Center.

On January 28th, 2021 the Lexington Senior Center located off of Richmond Rd was the site of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in partnership with the Health Department. The Director of Lexington's Aging and Disability Services Kristy Stambaugh and her team helped to identify seniors over the age of 70 facing barriers to vaccine access. Hundreds of our neighbors were able to receive a dose at the Senior Center that day. 

Over 80,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Fayette County to date. Based on the calls and emails that I'm receiving, I'm aware of the many residents who are eager to get their vaccine. Know that while demand for vaccines is still outpacing supply, progress is being made! Thank you for your continued patience. 

COVID-19 Testing Sites Throughout Lexington
Find information about current COVID-19 testing locations by visiting the City website. 
COVID-19 VACCINE WEBSITE

Visit the City's vaccine website to find the most up-to-date information on how and where to obtain your COVID-19 vaccination. There is widespread interest from residents in Lexington to get their doses of the vaccine; all levels of government are working diligently to get these "shots of hope" into the arms of everyone as quickly as possible. Until we have the vast majority of people vaccinated it is still important to wear our masks, keep our distance, and wash our hands often. 

LFUCG DATA HUB
"Lexington’s data hub [is] a collaborative effort between LFUCG and the community. Our mission is to promote the openness, transparency and accountability of local government by providing high-value government data in standards compliant, machine readable format. This will serve as the basis for the creation of useful civic applications by third party developers."
PARKS FEEDBACK
As budget priorities are being set, the Mayor is seeking feedback from community members about potential public park improvements, programming, or projects. If you have ideas about how we can improve, enhance, or preserve your local park please email or call the office to share your thoughts!

A list of 5th District Public Parks:
  • Clay's Spring Park
  • Ecton Park
  • Idle Hour Park
  • Johnson Heights Park
  • Kenwick Park
  • Lansdowne-Merrick Park
  • Lakeview Park
For a list of all City Parks, visit this website. 
WINTER WEATHER TIPS

"In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness.  Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simply guidelines.

  • Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops.  Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise.  Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision.  Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.
  • No matter what the temperature, wind-chill can threaten a pet's life.  A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors.  If your dog is an outdoor dog, however, he/she must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat.  The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.  The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.  Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.  Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
  • Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood.  To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  • The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet.  Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
  • Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children.  Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach.  Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.

Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.  The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.  Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship.  Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family."

Our neighbors facing housing insecurity and/or experiencing homelessness are at increased risk of illness and death during winter months. The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention continues to provide resources and shelter to Lexington residents that need it. By clicking the above image, you can review the City's 2020-2021 Homeless System Winter Response Plan. 
LFUCG BOARD AND COMMISSION VACANCIES 
Joining a board or commission is a great way to have your voices heard on local issues that matter to you. If you're looking for a way to give back and help to shape the direction of Lexington's future, I encourage you to review this list and apply!  You'll find the current list of vacancies for the City's boards and commissions, application deadlines/requirements, and meeting schedules.
The 5th District is fortunate to have many active and engaged neighbors! The City of Lexington maintains a list of current Neighborhood Associations on the City website. It's a great place for folks to find out if there is a Neighborhood Association (or similar group) in their area. 

If your neighborhood association, HOA, or Security/Street Maintenance Association have had changes in leadership, please let us know! You can email neighborhood@lexingtonky.gov with the updated information which will then be reflected online. 
The Lexington Academy of Barbering (located at 1132 Winchester Road, Suite 175--directly behind the Waffle House), is continuing to offer free hair cuts Monday through Friday from 8:00am-10:00am and again from 1:00pm-3:00pm. The professionals at L.A.B intend to offer free haircuts throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to give back to local residents. While walk-ins are accepted, they do encourage you to call 859-231-1820 to schedule an appointment. 

Over 100 Lexington residents
have already benefited from this wonderful offer of community support. When you make your appointment, let them know you were referred by Councilmember Sheehan! 
Job Club is a partnership between The Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Kentucky (UK) Alumni Association and UK Human Resources STEPS Temporary Employment.

From the Job Club Website: 

"The purpose of Job Club is to provide a positive environment for motivated job seekers to meet, connect, share and learn. The free group is open to the public and meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, from 9:00–10:15 a.m. Job Club is for you if you are a motivated professional and currently out of work, underemployed or looking to make a career transition. In addition, recruiters and employers are always welcome and introduced to Job Club attendees."

Tomorrow's presentation will, "address how companies and their products establish brand-identity and distinguish themselves from competition and explore how personal branding similarly operates."

Visit their website to learn more about the upcoming conversations that are currently scheduled until May 25th, access their Resource Packet, and previous Job Club Sessions
 
The Civic Artist Residency program is accepting applications until March 26th, 2021. From the program webpage: 

"This is the inaugural Civic Artist in Residence program in Kentucky and is a partnership between CivicLex and the City of Lexington. We believe artists of all practices and educational levels are uniquely able to provide new perspectives on solving challenging social and civic issues. In this program, three artists in residence will collaborate with three LFUCG departments (Environmental Quality & Public Works, Finance, & Social Services) to reimagine how they work and engage with the public.

We hope this program will create new approaches for how the city engages with the public."

If you or someone you know would be a good candidate for this program, apply here

5th District Council Office Contact Information:
Councilmember Liz Sheehan, 859-280-8242 (lsheehan@lexingtonky.gov)
Legislative Aide Layton Garlington, 859-280-8258 (lgarlington@lexingtonky.gov)

 
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Councilmember Liz Sheehan · 200 E Main St Ofc 520 · Lexington, KY 40507-1310 · USA

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