The Lunsford-Stumbo Plan for One Kentucky
Leave No Region Behind
"I grew up on a farm in northern Kentucky, one of the rural places in Kentucky that lacks the resources needed to succeed. Our plan will create One Kentucky, with benefits for everyone."
"I grew up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. I know what its like to be left behind. We have a plan to bring together One Kentucky."
Bruce and Greg have traveled all across the commonwealth, and one concern they continue to hear is that many communities, towns, and counties are feeling left out and left behind. They are feeling left out of the decision-making process. They are feeling left behind from the economic and educational opportunities available in the "Golden Triangle" of Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky. And they are feeling left out of the infrastructure and support they need to grow and expand.
Bruce and Greg want to change that. They understand that for all of Kentucky to succeed and prosper, no region and no community can be left behind. In order to move forward, the rural and remote parts of our state must be connected to our urban centers.
Bruce and Greg want to build One Kentucky, to ensure every region has access to infrastructure, quality education, and strong economic development. With One Kentucky, all parts of the state will be involved in the decision-making process. With One Kentucky, every child growing up in rural Kentucky will have access to a quality education. With One Kentucky, a strong and vibrant economy will grow in Eastern and Western Kentucky. With One Kentucky, every part of the Commonwealth will be connected and wired to take advantage of the global economy.
Other states have proposed similar focused and successful programs. In Arizona, Governor Janet Napolitano's One Arizona initiative is a plan to move Arizona forward in education, infrastructure and innovation. In North Carolina, Governor Mike Easley's One North Carolina is a plan to expand economic and educational opportunity to "every citizen in every region."
Bruce and Greg want to learn from other states and implement ideas that are working elsewhere.
Bruce and Greg have a four-point plan called One Kentucky to bridge the economic and infrastructure gap between regions and ensure that no region and no citizen is left behind.
1. Capitol on the Corner. Bruce and Greg will travel to all 120 counties in their first term in office to meet with citizens where they live. They will bring the Capitol to rural areas of the state and hold town hall meetings to better understand and solve issues of local concern. Too often, people in remote parts feel disconnected from the State Capitol and out of the loop from the decision-making process. Through the Capitol on the Corner program, local citizens will have direct access to the governor, lieutenant governor, top state leaders, cabinet heads and legislative leaders. Bruce and Greg want to hear directly from citizens, and want to be accountable to them. Instead of sitting in an office in the State Capitol, Bruce and Greg will bring the capitol to every corner of the state.
2. Invest in Infrastructure. In order to grow, every part of Kentucky must be connected to urban centers and the global economy. That means investing in basic infrastructure, from roads and highways to broadband Internet to airports and river ports. Remote parts of the state need good roads and highways to be accessible. Broadband connects every small business and every community to the power of the Internet. Quality infrastructure is the lifeline of commerce and necessary for Kentucky to succeed in the 21st century.
3. Strengthen rural education. Rural schools, from pre-Kindergarten to college, have barriers that schools in urban areas do not face. Bruce and Greg will develop creative solutions to address challenges such as difficulty recruiting teachers, lengthy and inconvenient bus routes, and outdated resources. Rural education needs to be strengthened so students in rural communities have access to a world-class education system. Bruce and Greg will expand distance learning and other innovative educational opportunities so that students can learn without leaving their communities. Bruce and Greg will develop and expand four-year learning opportunities in Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky.
4. Expand economic capacity. Kentucky's rural areas have great economic potential. Their talent needs to be harnessed in order to expand the state's economic capacity. The Lunsford-Stumbo Administration will open economic development offices in Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky to dedicate immediate attention and resources to growing the economy in Western and Eastern Kentucky. By strengthening rural education, investing in needed infrastructure, and harnessing the economic talent, Kentucky's economy will be able to grow in the areas that need it the most.
Most important, One Kentucky is a way for the citizens to hold Bruce and Greg accountable to getting the job done and ensuring that no region is left behind.