Louisville, Kentucky , United States
|| September 12, 1946
Nov 28, 2012 06:46pm
|Info||Pledging to help transform what is now the 16th largest community in America into one of the best, Jerry E. Abramson was inaugurated the first Mayor of Louisville Metro on January 5th 2003. |
Abramson?s inauguration marked the culmination of 40 years ? and several campaign attempts -- to merge the governments of the city of Louisville and Jefferson County. With the merger, Louisville Metro government serves a community of some 700,000 people.
?Today, Louisville stands at a new crossroads ? where decades of dreams meet reality,? Abramson said in his inauguration. ?After 40 years of discussion and debate, two years after Louisville and Jefferson County made the brave and bold decision to say ?yes? to unity, we can now celebrate the birth of our new city.?
The new government, according to Abramson, will focus on ?four Rs? for the future: Research, Risk-taking, Regionalism and Revitalization.
Abramson believes increasing research efforts will be necessary to bring more high-tech, high-wage jobs to the new city of Louisville, particularly in the growing biomedical and health-care fields that already comprise a large part of the community?s economy and employment base.
Moreover, Abramson is committed to finding ways for the new government to encourage ? and partner with ? risk-takers, the entrepreneurs who will create economic opportunity by building homegrown businesses.
Abramson also wants to expand the community?s regional involvement by working with neighboring counties and communities on economic development, transportation, land-use and workforce training.
And, finally, Abramson believes a successful merger will be one that helps accomplish targeted revitalization in all corners of the new community ? from downtown, the heart of the new community, to keeping city and suburban neighborhoods healthy.
? In my judgment, our fortunes are inextricably linked ? from city center to suburb,? Abramson says.
To those daunting tasks ? the job of building a new merged government to serve a new community -- Jerry Abramson brings a unique and incomparable blend of public service experience and enthusiasm. It?s a blend of skills that Louisville Magazine said made Abramson an overwhelming No. 1 in its recent listing of the 50 most powerful people in the community
? Now, as mayor of a newly consolidated city-county government, his power in the local political arena is, literally, unrivaled,? the magazine recently proclaimed.
Abramson is the only person to have served three terms as mayor of the city of Louisville. His tenure as mayor from 1985-1998 was marked by historic growth and economic progress in Louisville.
Consider just some of the accomplishments of Abramson?s 13 years as mayor Louisville:
Led the effort in initiating the $700 million expansion of the airport, which has resulted in an additional airline service and the creation of more than 23,000 jobs regionally.
The development of the city?s Waterfront Park.
The recruitment of international headquarters for Tricon Global Restaurants, Presbyterian Church (USA) and UPS Air Hub 2000, among many others.
The development of the Louisville Enterprise Zone, the nation?s most successful, which has attracted more than $1 billion in investments.
The creation of Operation Brightside, a city-wide, comprehensive cleanup and beautification program in which more than 85 percent of the city?s households participate in voluntary curbside recycling and composting program.
As a result of those efforts, Abramson?s administration won national acclaim. In 1993, Abramson received the U.S. Conference of Mayors? Distinguished Public Service Award, which has been given to only 13 others in 50 years. In 1996, Newsweek named him one of the Top 25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America. And in 1987, Abramson was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 20 Mayors in America.
After leaving office in 1998, Abramson was of-counsel to Frost Brown Todd LLC, one of the region?s largest law firms. He also founded The Abramson Group, Inc., which specialized in urban and regional economic development and business strategies.
In 2000, Abramson was one of the primary leaders in the campaign for merger of Louisville and Jefferson County. Many believe that his central role in the campaign led to merger?s passage after several failed attempts.
On November 5, 2002, Abramson was elected the first mayor of the new, merged Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, capturing nearly 74 percent of the vote.
Abramson was inaugurated as the first Mayor of Louisville Metro on January 5, 2003 and took office on January 6, 2003.