LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With just a few days left in 2021, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer took time to look back on the year and all that the city has gone through. 

What You Need To Know

  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says he is optimistic

  • Fischer points to several programs that have grown

  • Fischer says public safety is his top priority

  • 2022 will be Fischer's last year in office

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said despite how the world is right now, he’s quite optimistic. He said this year has been a gut-check for America, between racial justice protests of 2020 and the pandemic. The Mayor said as a city, from the economic perspective, is Louisville is doing well. He points to advanced manufacturing, logistics and e-commerce and bourbon tourism as a few areas of growth. The Mayor said Louisville’S $388 million share of American Rescue Plan money will boost public safety among other things.

“The investments we’re making are in public health infrastructure to combat the virus. Homeless and affordable housing investments have been decided. As additional public safety dollars have gone into everything from intervention and prevention to a new police contract and then our final areas of investment are going to be in what we call health neighborhoods and then workforce development and small businesses development also." Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer explained to Spectrum News 1. 

The Mayor said the City of Louisville is in a much stronger place than it was a year ago.

“We’re almost back, economically, to where we were before the pandemic. That’s good. Our hospitality is strengthening, which I bring that up because it’s important for our economy as well. Our public safety efforts are really focused, but I’m not happy with the gun violence, gun homicides taking place in Louisville and most every big city for that matter.” Mayor Fischer explained.

At last check, according to Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), there were more than 180 criminal homicides in the city, in 2021. The Mayor said public safety is his top priority.

“Gun violence has been one of the most frustrating areas of this past year. Each morning, when I wake up, before I get out of bed, I look at the LMPD report and I look at the COVID report. Those are 2 big challenges for us. When you look on the optimistic side, we have more money available to us than ever before to invest in the reduction of gun violence, creating a safer city. We haven’t had this before. So, 2022 is going to be a big test for us, as a city, to see how these resources are going to work” Fischer explained.

Mayor Fischer said the city’s COVID-19 response this year has been largely good, although he admits he’s frustrated.

“Louisville’s handled COVID better than most cities, when you take a look at what the numbers are. Certainly better than our rural areas also. But that being said, we’ve lost almost 1,800 people. I’m frustrated by the folks that will not get vaccinated, because the science is really clear. If you want to protect those around you, get vaccinated, get boosted." Fischer said.

Fischer points to several programs and investments in equity and inclusion. Equity and justice is something the Mayor says he and his office are intensely focused on.

“When you take a look at upending racial inequity, it comes to changing systems, accessibility, education, health care, housing. Those are all areas we have worked on and we’re gonna keep working on.” Fischer told Spectrum News 1.

As the City of Louisville steps into a brand-new year. 

2022 will be Mayor Fischer’s last year in office. He’s reached his term-limit. Spectrum News 1 asked the mayor if he knows what he’s going to do next, to which the mayor said with a laugh that he’s going to take a vacation. He said he doesn’t have any plans right now, because they’ve got more than enough to do in this last year. He wants to see significant improvement with the gun homicides and he wants the city get to a better place with COVID. He said it’s going to be an active 2022.