Amber Duke: Today is Friday, August 17. This is Amber Duke interviewing Mrs.Lula Howard at the Anne Braden Institute for Social justice Research at the University of Louisville. Mrs.
Howard, thank you for your time today.
Lula K. Howard: You're quite welcome.
AD: For the recording can you acknowledge that you signed and understood theconsent form that I gave you?
LH: I did sign the consent form.
AD: Great. And can you say and spell you name for the record?
LH:My name is Lula K. Howard. The K is an initial. L-U-L-A the initial K. H-O-W-A-R-D
AD: Can you tell me when & where you were born?
LH:I was born March 30, 1936 in Louisville, KY. Do you need the hospital? [Laughs]
AD: No that is ok [laughs]. Can you describe your educational background?1:00
AD: High school if you like.
LH: Okay, well, I attended Central High School and my class 1953 was the firstclass to graduate from the current location.
LH:Which was 1953.[Long pause]
AD: Do you want to talk a little bit about your professional background?
LH:Well -- basically my profession has been with insurance company which wasDomestic Life and Accident Insurance Company that was at the time 6th & Walnut Street now Muhammad Ali Blvd. And when Supreme Life Insurance Company bought them out then I became a civil servant with city government. I was hired at the 2:00Louisville & Jefferson County Planning Commission. I worked there 27 ½ years, I started out as a planning -- I started out as a clerk. Do you want everything that I did?
AD: I would love it.
LH:Wow. I started out as a clerk and I was promoted to supervisor of clerks.[whispers, it's been a long time.] Then I became a planning technician. I guess as a planning technician was when the transportation planner and principle planner saw potential in me and they sent - well I had a six-week introductory course for computer mapping through Harvard University Graduate School of Design. I attended Harvard for six weeks, I attended there for a few weeks, I 3:00can't remember. That was in 1967. Then I worked on the comprehensive land use plan for 1960 -- through land use surveys of the entire county. I supervised the work of the surveys. I became a planner in 1970 -- well I was hired in '63. September 1963. I became a planner in 1975, I think. Between '63 -- '75 I always 4:00worked in what they called advanced planning which was the comprehensive plan work of gathering data for housing statistics or land use statistics.
Population. I wish I would have thought about bringing my bio.
LH:[mumbling] I think I transferred to regulatory division in 1977, and that'swhen I started working with the land use, zoning regulations as a staff report writer for zoning cases. Zoning and development cases. Of course I was promoted 5:00to planner II and then in '85 -- '86, I think it was '85, sometime in the '80s I was promoted to planning manager. That's when I managed the entire regulatory division. I did not have a planning degree. I guessed I worked my way up to you know while I was there.
AD: And then am I to understand you left and worked in the private sector for a while.
LH:I retired in 1991
LH:I started my own Howard Group Consulting firm. Really started it in '88, butI retired in '91. It was called Howard Group Incorporated. [Pause] I guess you stay I liquidated it; I don't know what the word is. But I didn't consult 6:00anymore after 1999 because my mom developed Alzheimer's Dementia.
AD: You also chaired?
LH:I was the chairman -- first I was a member of the zoning board adjustment,county zoning board of adjustment. And after the merger I was a member -- no I became a member of the planning commission before October 2002. I served as a member of the zoning board of adjustment and a member of planning commission for two years. I was a member of the county board of zoning and adjustment longer than that, two years as both. And then in 2003, I was elected chairman of the 7:00Louisville & Jefferson County Planning Commission, I don't know how many years I served as chair, about three I think. I guess that's it.
AD: [laughs] So much [inaudible] in a couple of minutes. One thing, well as anAfrican American woman I'm always interested to hear the stories of pioneering women in various fields, so is it correct that you were the first African American that was hired in planning services?
LH:I'm not the first African --well I guess I was the first African Americanfemale, probably first African American period because when I started in '63 I was -- it was two African Americans another lady, she is deceased now. We were 8:00hired at the same time and it was four Caucasians, but I was the first one hired. First one promoted or first African American planner. Now I didn't go to planning school like a lot of others did, but I got my training through IBM and I graduated from Spencerian College. And that was, had to do with computers as well. The first, I can't remember when the first professional African American planner came on board. It was probably in the 70's, and I was not prompted to planner until the '70s. But I was the supervisor of twenty-something clerks in the '60s and '70s until I was promoted to a planner.
AD:And how many women worked in the department at that time?
LH:In the '60s? [Long pause] They had women as administrative secretaries and9:00things like that. We were hired as what they called clerks to mark cents; IBM cards, in those days you marked and IBM card and had to put it in a machine to interpret it. It was 22 of us I believe or 24 and right now I can only see about, well it varied because people would come and go. But it was a total of 24. And a majority were Caucasian, but I can remember at least ten African Americans back in those days.
AD: And of course in the '60s in the time of the Civil Rights movement a lot was10:00going on in Louisville. Open housing movement related, how were those things or were those things talked about in the office or playing out in the work that you did?
LH: Yes, it did because I worked on population studies with an advance planning.We had a planner that I worked with at the time and we actually went out and pretended to be looking for apartments.
AD: Oh yeah?
LH:I was one of the people that did; just to get a feel for how AfricanAmericans would be treated when then went to try to rent an apartment. I never did go to anybody for buying a house, but I always went to apartments.
AD: And was that a program that your office came up with?11:00
LH:It seems to me that the person who was in charge of it was working withHuman; it used to be in the center on Muhammad Ali - Rights Commission --
AD: Human Relations Commission?
LH:Do you know the man, Galen Martin?
AD: Yes, Galen Martin.
LH:He was the executive director of whichever one it was. The girl that I didthe work with was named Susanne Combs.
AD: Okay, and was taking part in that program part of your responsibilities --
LH:Part of working with her yes. At the planning commission.
AD: It was? Okay.
LH:She did the report. She wrote the report, I actually did the visits. She alsovisited too just to get a feel for how they would do. I remember going on 12:00Bardstown Road, no Breckenridge Lane at Bardstown Road, I went to Country Acres and there's another one besides it [pause], they are both there now. I can't remember - the one that I can't remember the name of, they were more courteous I guess. The other people tolerated me at Country Acres at the time. But the - gosh I wish I could think of the name of it [pause], but anyway. The one that I can't remember the name of, they were courteous and it appeared as those they would let me rent there. You know because they gave me all the information and gave me information to call back and whatever. The other one it was -- I don't 13:00know because it's been so long ago. It was a female and you had a sense just from her facial expression that you won't be living here.
But the other people that I went too, because I went in as though I wanted torent and I wanted a certain number of bedrooms. I got the one lady was very cordial. She gave me the amount of money I would have to pay and all that kind of stuff. The other lady it was no giving me any information, just listened to me but she didn't give me any information. So, that I took it back. I don't know what they put in the report.
The other thing we used to have discussions about the discrimination at work14:00because, you know we were dealing with land use and I would be sending people out to survey properties and occasionally some of our -- like we would send an African American and a Caucasian person together and when they would come back in, it would be amazing to hear Caucasians not know how things were in certain parts of the city. They didn't know, this was the '60s so we still had some parts, Little Africa, are you familiar with that?
LH:So they didn't know that there were people still living down there --
AD: Without houses.
LH: Right without houses and water and bathrooms and it was an eye opener forthem. A lot of times we talked about, gosh my mind's not working-- there was a 15:00racial uprising early in the early years, I guess when I was growing up and I didn't know anything about it. They were talking about it and how some of the Jews were persecuted here in Louisville. I didn't know anything about that. They talked about things like that. We also had a book that came out [whispers] I can't remember the name of it. It was a book that someone had; I guess we'll say they projected the future and said that Caucasians would be moving back to the West End or to the inner-city by 1985. Well that hasn't happened. I can't 16:00remember the name of that book.
AD: It was a report of the planning --
LH:Somebody did it for, I guess the planning commission or for governmentbecause it was a report. And I don't know the name of it, but it was a report of, you know like [pause] people had begun to move out into the suburbs, okay, in the '60s and '70s. So this report had been done and in the report it said that the people would be moving back --
AD: To the cities --
LH:To the cities yeah, by 1985. Well it didn't really happen. [Whispers] I wishI could think the name of it. I'll think of it tomorrow
AD: [laughs] You can always email me.
LH:Ok. Really for me too, are you talking about discrimination period right?17:00
LH:Even on the job when professional planners would come in - be hired, they hadgone to planning school and got their degrees and excreta and they see this African American female who is in charge of all these women and the first thing they would say is, "What school did you go to?" And of course I didn't, I mean I went to Spencerian, but I didn't go to a planning school. My training was on the job as well as the people sending me to be trained. I always got that from Caucasian males. We had Indians like from India, as principle planners, they never questioned me. But a Caucasian male would always ask me what school I went too.
AD: And then you could say Harvard
LH:Well in a few years I could, after I went to Harvard I could say that. Plus18:00my certificates were on my wall as well. It was good to say Harvard School of Design. And I put that in my resume now.AD: Absolutely.
LH: But IBM is the company that got me started because I took an aptitude testthere in 1955 [pause, thinking]. I took an aptitude test at IBM and they are the ones that got me my job at the Domestic Insurance Company, I was really working on computers at the insurance company and that's when we had the huge computers where you had to wire them. And program for what you wanted to do. I always ran the policies on the computer for the life insurance policies or whatever kind 19:00they were. I wired the boards to program the computer. We verified key punch so I had to wire the interpreter board. That was interesting. But, when they closed to move to Chicago for Supreme Life Insurance, I tried to get on to Brown Williams as a computer person wiring the boards. Brown Williamson told me they didn't hire females because the weight of the Boards, you know the ones you had to wire. So I didn't get hired because I would become pregnant and injure myself.
AD: And it was perfectly legal for them to say that?
LH:Yeah, it was perfectly legal, yeah right. So I didn't get hired, then I gothired with the government so it's okay.
AD: Well I wanted to go back to something you mentioned about when the surveyors20:00would go out into the community you would have a Caucasian and an African American. Was that on purpose to have a bi-racial team or would it just be a coincidence?
LH:Probably a coincidence but a lot of times I looked at who worked welltogether I had one African American woman in particular who seemed to get along with Caucasian males very well. She was a good driver and knew her way around Louisville, she was from Ohio. But she knew how to get around all the little areas I didn't know how to get around. She got a long really well with the men. I had another one, who was an African American woman who was a good talker, communicator. So I tried to place people with people who I thought they would work well with. 21:00
AD: I had another question that's just gone out of my head.
LH: We'll come back.
AD: I do want to ask before I start asking you some things specifically aboutzoning and that sort of thing, I am curious, outside of your professional life, in your personal life. Were you involved in any Civil Rights work, any involvement in the open-housing movement?
LH:I never marched, no. I always went to the January 1st services, but that wasabout the extent of it. They had it every year, January 1st, Emancipation Proclamation Day, is that what's it called? You are not familiar with that, it's 22:00every January 1st? They it at African American churches, they had it at Broadway Temple this year at 13th & Broadway this year. And that's inter-denomination; it's through the inter-denominational ministerial association that may be why. But they have Emancipation Proclamation Day every January 1. That's probably my extent of being in the movement because I used to go there every year.
AD: Okay, I thought I would ask. I want to talk specifically about zoning and toget your opinion on if there is any correlation between zoning and segregation.
LH:[pause] [mumbling] Well with zoning I wouldn't say so much. Land use maybe,but zoning -- it's possible. If you think about when zoning came into play in 23:001943 in the county. 1931-30 something in the city and when zoning was first, when they first started zoning areas a lot of the West End was zoned industrial. And especially along the railroad track, like 31st I think its 31st, between 24:0029th and 31st there was some railroad tracks. That area was zoned industrial and a lot of our people lived in those areas where the zoning was industrial. I'm talking about African American people. And because of that zoning you could not, if the residential houses you could not expand the scope of them because of the zoning. Now if you call that segregation I don't know. What was your thought?
AD: Well, for example, this is kind of in the reports about fair housing hererecently. People having picked up on the R4 zoning designation as an impediment to fair housing.
LH:Okay and what are their reasons? Because everything was zoned R4 exceptindustrial and commercial, all of the land was R4. 25:00
AD: Right. I talked to Mr. Bills about this and he said that R4 was sort of thegeneric place holder designation.
LH:Right, it didn't mean everything had to remain R4 though.
AD: Exactly it could be rezoned to something else. I think their argument isthat the intent is not residential segregation, but because of the lot size that R4 requires, that R4 if I am correct is for single family --
LH:4.84 dwelling units per acre.
AD: Right, and because of that, that in it of itself sets up a certain scenarioof the cost of what a single family home would be on that property. So if you have so much of the county that's zoned R4 then that limits where you can build multi-family or affordable housing.
LH:Well for multi-family you'd have to gone in and ask for rezoning.
LH:To R6 or whatever the zoning designations are now. So people are probablybeen arguing about density. 26:00
LH:Okay. [Pause] I don't know - do they talk about specific areas, because wehave a lot of R5/R6/R7.
AD: And I not as familiar with these others, I just know that R4 -- [inaudible]
LH:R4 is the generic residential zoning district that people -- that the county-- everything was zoned R4 that was not industrial or commercial. Open-wide area, everything was R4. And if you wanted to change that you had to come in for re-zoning. And I guess that's the way, it was R4 before I started working there. Everything I guess became R4 in the '30s or at least '43. 27:00
That's when the county, zoning took place in the county in '43. So everythingbecame R4 I guess in '43 if it was not already industrial or commercial. There is some R1 land if they want to argue -- there is - R1 which is agricultural. But also estate, you'd have huge estate lots. R4 was our main residential land use, but I didn't think of it in terms that people couldn't build apartments or whatever else they wanted because all they had to do was come in and ask for a zoning change. But if that's the way people feel I can't change that. [Laughs]
AD: Right [laughs].
LH:[pause] I know Cathy Hinko is probably one of them that feels that way.28:00
AD: This appears in their analysis -- it was in 2010, that they prepared theAnalysis of Impediments to Fair Housing and they came up with the list of ten impediments and one of their very top -
LH: Is the R4?
AD: Is the R4 zoning.
LH:Did they use any area, particular areas where R4 zoning is that is an impediment?
AD: I think their general argument is not so much areas, but that just --because of - just because of the basic, though this is a generic placeholder. 29:00Mr. Bills, I talked to him about this, he was saying it was never the intent whenever anything was zoned to cause segregation. But the argument I think of MHC is that the outcome of this generic placeholder.
LH:That amazes me because I don't know how much R4 land is left. That reallyamazes me. [Pause]. There must be some areas in the county that I can't remember. Oh! Maybe because of certain areas in the county. People don't, there are, okay, there are some areas like around -- [pause] Oh gosh, the creek [pause] You don't have a map do you? 30:00
[Long pause, 22 seconds]
AD: Here's a partial map.
LH:It'll help me. Oh that's good. [Pause] It's out, east, it's not north. Wellyeah, northeast. You can see here there couldn't be too much - land like this see where that yellow is, that's probably R4 land. Right in there. Down in here, 31:00that's R4 land with no development. Right in here is industrial because that's where the railroad tracks are. But if you see a lot of blank space like that, it's probably where the R4 land is. Anywhere you see -- don't see streets or whatever that's probably R4. But I need more of an area out this way. I was thinking of the creek [pause]. It's off of Taylorsville Road; well it runs north and south. It's an area where I know people don't want that land developed. They want it to remain R4. So there are some people who want some land to remain R4. But for the most part -- see all of this, very little of this land is R4, where you see all of these streets. So it has to be areas of the county that are undeveloped that are still R4 that they are talking about. Maybe there are areas 32:00of the county that they want to put some houses. Oh southwest Jefferson County, yeah. All of this is probably industrial -- well maybe not up there, but down in here is probably industrial zoning. But there are areas that would be; if they are still vacant they would be R4. I guess their impediment, their reason for calling it an impediment is you can't just build on this land if you want to do X number of units you've got to go get a zoning change. So that must be their problem. 33:00
AD: Talk to me about the zoning process. Mr. Bills said it happens all the time.
LH:Zoning? Oh yeah. People file for zoning cases all the time The process -developers don't like the process because it takes anywhere from four to six months, maybe longer to get a zoning case finally approved where they can develop. It starts out with a pre-, a plan going into the planning commission office for a staff to review to see if it meets the comprehensive plan and the zoning regulations. And then the - at this meeting then the applicant can come back, if they don't have any corrections to make, they can file. But if they have corrections to make they've got to come, make the changes to the plan which can be expensive. You draw one plan and you have to have another one drawn. If 34:00you use engineers and lawyers it's really costly.
They have to notify the neighborhood. Now they notify a lot of neighborhoodsbecause we have a lot of neighborhood groups now. So they'll probably notify more people than I know of for an area. The process itself, the plan, the application I guess I should say, that is submitted, they have to submit the names of the first and second tier people who are adjacent to this land so they know the zoning case has been filed. They should have had some meetings with the people in the neighborhood prior to filing. To get some questions answered or whatever. They will notify them once it has been filed. And after the application if filed they have what they call Land Development Transportation Committee Meeting where they deal with land use, the traffic development issues of the proposal. And at the Land Development Transportation Committee Meeting 35:00the citizens can come in and voice their opinions as well, pro and con. And then a date is set for a public hearing, it has to be at least 30 days out, because we have to -- well I don't, they have to post the notification in the area so the people know that it's happening.
And after that they have the hearing. It depends on what city it's in. The cityof Louisville, J- town -- 5th, 6th class city. From the hearing, I mean from the planning commission making the recommendation it goes to the legislative body and that could take another month or more. So, I'm saying it's usually a 4 -- 6 36:00month process. It depends on the case on how long it takes.
AD: I think that's part of the argument as well --
AD:- as well, is that. I mean I'm not a developer, I'm not a planner, I don'thave that mindset, but that one, and there is sort of a distance into it. If you are wanting to build affordable multi-family housing. There is that process you have to go through so there is the regulatory barriers. But then also that process of public comment which of course needs to happen and it's important. Another one of their big impediments that they point to in their report is NYMBism--
LH:Not in my backyard.
LH:Or else is the LULU -- Locally Unwanted Land Use.37:00
AD: Oh, I've never heard that.
LH:[laughs] Well you heard it today.
AD: Well, tell me about that. You mentioned it earlier when I was asking aboutzoning and segregation you mentioned that it could be maybe a land use issue. Can you talk a little bit about that?
LH:Well the apartments, today apartment units are so expensive that people don'tcomplain as much as they used to. Say the developer wants to build an apartment complex and the density is going to be more than twelve units per acre, the neighbors will come out in full force not wanting that land use. It's a Locally Unwanted Land Use it's a LULU, or NIMBY. It could be either way.
But as a rule, people in Louisville do not like high density. And apartments38:00caused you to have more density and traffic. And sometimes their reasons are legit because of traffic more than it is for the land use; because the more people you have the more traffic you are going to have. With most families today we've got two, three cars, four cars. I've got four sitting in my driveway.
Not in our driveway, two in the garage, two in the driveway.
But the other kind of land use would be people don't like churches in theirneighborhoods anymore because of off-street parking. They just don't want them. Let's see, let me think of another one [pause]. I'm going to tell you something 39:00I feel like is discrimination, sometimes people look at the person or the persons who are developing property or who are wanting a zoning change -- I'll say who are wanting a zoning change, I'm thinking of this instance right now when a Mexican came with a zoning application to have a Salsa bar, you know what I'm talking about -- I guess where they meet and drink --
AD: Right, to dance.
LH:It was going to be on Poplar Level Road and because she said that they wouldhave a security guard there, which I thought was a good idea. We had people on 40:00the planning commission, members on the planning commission thought it was horrible that they would have to have a security guard. So I spoke up and said they have security guards at my corner grocery store on Breckenridge Lane, they also have security guards off Brownsboro Road in the Kroger. That bothered me that they thought it was ridiculous to have a security guard. Where have they been?
AD: Right [laughs].
LH:They recommended denial, and it was denied. I didn't vote for the denialbecause I thought it was discriminatory. And of course she didn't get it, but I wanted to bring that up. Sometimes it just depends on who you are whether you get something as well. And I'm sure there are other commissioners who would not agree with me, but I sat there and know how I felt on several occasions on how people were treated. 41:00
AD: That's interesting.
LH:And I'm sure the same thing happens in Metro Council. Because -- I'm notgoing to name them, but there are two council people right now that are very much prejudice that are sitting on the council now. You can tell sometimes just by reading the newspaper how prejudice they are. It's going to happen because you can't change people's views sometimes. I just wanted to throw it out there, it can also be who you are when you bring your case as to whether you're going to get it or not. And it can meet all the zoning regulations it can meet the comprehensive plan, but if they find a way -- I'm sure you can also find a way to deny something if you want to deny it.
AD: Another thing that comes up a lot is sort of like code words, so people --42:00I'm kind of talking about the I guess it would be the LULU or NIMBYism where people hear things like "affordable housing" --
LH:Oh yeah, that turns people off.
AD:Right. Or I'm trying to think, but I can't think of the name of thedevelopment. There was a case where there was a development that said there were going to be twenty units and of those twenty units, five of them were going to be -
LH:Affordable, right --
AD:- Affordable units and people fought about against that.
LH:The affordable units thing came into pay in the 2000s. We had a lot of caseswhere the sub-divisions were coming in a certain number of those lots had to be 43:00for affordable housing, and yet people did fight it. I don't' even hear about those things anymore.
AD: Sadly with the economic downturn there is just not a lot of --
LH:Yeah, but you are right; people did come in a fight. They didn't want --because the units were not necessarily going to look any different from the rest of them. Because you have a land use code -- certain things have to happen. Maybe they weren't going to be all brick; they could have had a brick front maybe just had the siding. It would not have been much different than theneighborhood. They were going to have a yard like everyone else. Everything else would have been meeting the code. But they did fight it and a lot of times they used the word traffic to say it would cause more traffic, but that's not necessarily true. There is the code word is affordable. It's a good word, but it's also a bad word for some people. We do need housing that people can afford. 44:00I'm one for people being able to afford housing. I'm for mixed housing and development. I don't think every house needs to be just alike and look alike. We didn't start out zoning that way or even building houses that way. You look in older neighborhoods and you see all kinds of developed homes. They're not the same size, the same shape, the same character. But now a days when you build a subdivision it seems almost every house has to look alike. [Laughs] I don't like that.
LH:I'm trying to think about this affordable housing. I do remember peoplecoming in, and they just say "them," they say "those people," they don't say Caucasian or African American. They just say those people. We don't want "them" 45:00in our neighborhood. But you have to assume they are talking about African Americans, but they could be talking about anyone who is poor.
Now a days I guess they would definitely be talking about the Mexicans becausethe Mexicans have oodles of people living in their home.
LH:I guess we're not going to get rid of racism.
AD: Not anytime soon.
AD: In your opinion do you think that there are any governmental laws, rules, orregulations that you believe are impediments to fair housing choice?
LH:Do I think of any that are impediments to fair housing choice? If you hadasked me that a few years ago, I would have said yes. To me our zoning 46:00regulations years ago only [pause] Prior to 2003 and the new comp plan and the way we, I'll say -- prior to Cornerstone 2020, that's the comp plan now. Our original zoning book was developed only for land that needed to be developed, it didn't give you any, and what can I say [whispers something].
LH:I always told them when we had our planning meetings that the book was justfor developed land. It didn't help existing situations in the West End. It 47:00always dealt with could be developed and not how things really were. Okay, but now, the plan we have now, the comp plan we have now, is much better in terms of looking at the character of a neighborhood. And not trying to make every neighborhood be sterile I guess is a good word. But the old regulations definitely were discriminatory. I don't know how to say that other than it was only for suburban areas, it was not - it was only good for suburban areas. It didn't help what was going on with existing development in our inner-city. But today's plan and land use regulation and land use code is much better in terms of -- and yes, years ago I would say yes. 48:00
AD: Can you say a little bit more about that, for example, were there projectsor things that couldn't take place in those parts of towns because of the way the regulations were?
LH:Sure. In the inner-city if the house was a residential home and they wantedto add on to the property, they wanted to add some rooms because the family was growing larger, they could not get -- they were not supposed to get a building permit because the zoning did not allow it. It was an existing house in an industrial zone, and because it was in an industrial zone the house should not have been there in the first place, but it was grandfathered in. But just because it was grandfathered in does not mean you could add to the- what's the 49:00word I want to use -- you could not ignore the zoning regulation to do a new thing. The only other thing they could come in and ask for a zoning change, but it was very difficult if you were just doing one little lot. Okay?
AD: And so I guess then because, well -- I mean it's hard because that's thehard thing about trying to thinking about this history for two reasons. One because of the merger and city and county, I know the zoning was merged. Is that correct?
LH:No, zoning wasn't merged; the city and county were merged together as anentity, a government entity. But the zoning had stayed the same, in terms of R4, is that what you are talking about?
AD: No, was there a city planning commission and a county --
LH:No, it's always been Louisville Jefferson County Planning Commission. And nowit's just Planning and Design. But it was always Louisville Jefferson County. 50:00
AD: Just in doing this research, there are some areas and some things you haveto think about the city and the county not being merged [inaudible] always merged.
LH:We were always one entity.
AD: And the other thing is thinking about, of course now we talk aboutaffordable housing and fair housing and thinking back in the history, one how a lot of these regulations didn't exist before and there also wasn't - there wasn't sort of a vocal push from housing advocates for apartment buildings.
LH:Not in the '60s, no.
AD: That is something that is hard for me to think about. I was going to askyou, if someone wanted to build an apartment building because of the industrial zoning --
LH:They would have to go through a zoning change.51:00
AD: But in that era [inaudible, Lula starts to talk]
AD: This is part two of Amber Duke with Mrs. Lula Howard. Starting after we hada memory card that was full. If we can remember where we were, we were discussing the challenges of the old regulations, before the new land use -- the new land development code that came with Cornerstone 2020. And we were talking about giving an example of West Louisville and how much of that was zoned industrial and we're talking about an era if someone wanted to -- the challenges of someone wanting to build in West Louisville after Caucasians had started 52:00moving out of West Louisville.
LH: And I was saying that if an African American wanted to build and apartmentbuilding or rezone for an apartment -- the house could be big enough in several areas in the West End to have apartment units. Probably in that day and time if it was just all African Americans in the area, they probably would not have had a problem. Because the people did not understand zoning to begin with. If there were Caucasians there may have been some issues, because they didn't want the density for one thing. And they would also be thinking about the traffic and I 53:00don't want "them" in my neighborhood. But today if those same areas if they are still zoned industrial, which I'm sure some of them are, we have enough people who are more familiar with zoning regulations and land use that I think you'd have more people coming in saying we don't want apartment units or whatever.
Even now in single family homes in some areas you have people who come in --well I'll say like
- it's not Portland area necessarily, but west of 34th street -- I'm trying tothink, I don't think it's Portland, but is west of 34th street where some women had built some housing, I don't know if they have built anymore and they had a little opposition, but the zoning was approved for them to build their homes. 54:00People are more aware now of land use and zoning than they were in the '60s. We always had Caucasians who knew zoning laws or whatever. African Americans were not into it until, I'll say '80 maybe.
AD: Do you sense that, we may have talked around this a little bit, but do yousense that housing discrimination in Louisville is getting better or worse?
LH: Housing discrimination is getting --
AD: Better or worse? The same? You don't know of any?
LH: I don't personally know of any. [pause] So I really couldn't say, if55:00discrimination is getting
-- [pause] Now if you say something about school system I'd say yeah of course.
LH: [pause] For one thing so many of us have moved into so many neighborhoods Idon't know how people are being treated in their neighborhoods or if they are friendly or whatever. I would say, to my knowledge it's better than the '60s now. I'm in a subdivision, I've been in my subdivision since 1975, we've never had any problems with our neighbors. In fact we have good neighbors. When I first moved on my street there were only two other African American families 56:00living there. All of them are deceased but African Americans still live in the homes. We've never had a problem. More and more people are moving wherever they want too these days, at least to my knowledge they are. I don't know -- we never had a problem in my area and I'm off of Breckenridge Lane, near where I did the apartment studies. [Laughs].
LH: I really can't say that it's any worse because I have a brother who lives[whispers] see where my mind goes. He's in Prospect, he's in a really expensive subdivision, he has no problems what so ever. Our family uses their community 57:00building for our Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and we have a large family. I have a sister who lives in Aleia (?)it's a subdivision, it's just condos that wedged in between Ballard High School and another subdivision. No problems. I have another sister who lives off of Darcy Lane, north of Shelbyville Road, no problems. I've got relatives who live in the Shively area, no problems. To my knowledge it's better. Now in terms of moving into apartment complexes and 58:00stuff, I don't know. Single family homes I think it's much better. But apartments it could still be a problem.
In fact, we have an apartment building on the entrance to my street. There is anapartment complex on both sides and they don't discriminate against who's there, my neighbors. But they do keep watch on how the people act because sometimes there's a lot of fighting, tension or whatever. I've even had to go and look up 59:00owners of some of these apartment buildings for my - what we call ourselves, neighborhood association. Just so the owner of the property could be aware of what was happening. In terms of discrimination, no they don't say, you can't live here. But they do watch how they act, how they behave. And I think that's good you know because where one of the apartment buildings is, next door neighbor is a single family home. It's been about 10 -- 12 years ago, some people who lived in that complex, who lived there broke into these people's house. Apparently they saw them leave home. But the next door neighbors heard the commotion and they got caught. So they just watch. I don't think its 60:00discrimination, they just watch.
AD: Do you have any ideas on housing initiatives about anything not necessarilyfair housing related, affordable housing, but just housing initiatives in general that are or could be positive in Louisville?
LH: Housing initiative that could be positive? [Pause] [Whispers] I can't thinkof anything right now.
AD: Is there anything else you want to talk about or want to mention that wehadn't had a chance to talk about.
LH: I don't know, unless I get home and I say, I should have said this, I shouldhave said that. [Laughs].
AD: [Laughs] That always happens. When I go back and listen to these interviews.I'm like, I should have followed up with this, I should have said it this way.
LH: I'm just sorry I didn't bring some of my thoughts with me. You know when I61:00speak at different places about planning and that would have probably helped me remember things that I can't remember today.
AD: Well, we can -- if you want to send me anything via email feel free too andI can add them into the notes about this interview.
LH: I really wanted to bring you the housing studies that were done in the '60sfor the West End areas. I thought that would be a big help, but I think I threw them away because I could not find any of them this morning. I just knew where they were and they weren't there. But if I do find them I'll get them to you. I think that would help to see how things, the thoughts were even in the '60s and '70s. And that's more history than a lot -- do you have any of the histories that the Courier-Journal puts out about Louisville today? I'll tell you what; 62:00I'll email you the names of them because I think I still have those.
AD: Oh okay.
LH: That will give some light to the history a little bit of housing.
AD: I haven't started that process of archival research yet, that's sort of likethe next phase, so that would be very helpful.
LH: Okay, I'm hoping I can give you some of the names of the books that would begood to use.
AD: Okay, great! This was very helpful. It was so helpful, thank you very much.
LH: I hope. I'm just sorry I can't remember some things; I can't even rememberthe name of the creek. And I'll get outdoors and it'll just come to me. And I couldn't think of the name of the study and it's on the tip of my tongue but it wouldn't come. I remember reading it myself at the planning commission and the people moving back in '85 and it just didn't happen. There are people who are 63:00now moving back into the West End. Caucasians who are now moving into houses when they become for sale that they grew up in. But it's not you know, by droves or anything but there are people who are doing that and I think that's wonderful. In terms of people moving back that hasn't happened. There's not many places they can go now unless they go to other counties because the good land is gone. I always said "The rock is going to cry out, no hiding place."
LH: We did use to talk like that at the planning commission because peoplewanted to move out away from the city and we said, "The rocks going to cry out, no hiding place."
LH: There were some interesting times but we never had a lot of fights orarguments or anything we just had discussion and I'm always one, I'm very frank 64:00I usually say what I feel and of course I did say the land use regulations -- the zoning regulations before Cornerstone 2020 development code, I did say it was only for suburbia, it was not for the urban area. They knew I said that. I guess they felt it too, but they didn't do anything about it. Other than that, I don't know. If I think of something I'll email it to you.
AD: Perfect and I'll keep in touch with you -- let me give you that. We'rehoping to have our first draft of this report by November 8, which is when we do our annual Anne Braden memorial lectures. So when we have out lectures we'll be releasing the draft. Then Cathy and Curtis will take it and - 65:00
LH: Cathy Hinko?
AD: Cathy Hinko, I'm sorry. Cathy Hinko, Curtis Stauffer, they're going to takeit and do some community conversations with folks about it and this will focus on the actions steps portion of it. We hope to have a final report done in spring 2013. I'll keep you in touch with that and get you a copy of that.
LH: I was going to ask this too, have you interviewed Cathy I guess about thehomeless shelter thing?
LH: Okay, you already did that. Okay, I was really -- I've worked with that andI'm really proud of what came out of that. So proud of Louisville Hotel, you know the Wayside Christian Mission people. I think it's fabulous.
AD: They went through a lot to get here.
LH: You can't stop something that is designed to happen and that was supposed tohappen. I really believe it, although there were people who didn't want it. The process worked and I'm happy about that.
AD: Well, thank you so very much I really appreciate your time. LH: You're quitewelcome, I just hope I can go back home now --