Criticized for closed door conversations, SCALA opens meeting to media

Criticized for closed door conversations, SCALA opens meeting to media
For the first time, SCALA opened a meeting to the media.
David Jones Sr. is the founder of SCALA. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
David Jones Sr. is the founder of SCALA. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time, media was allowed to sit in on a public safety meeting of the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville's Agenda (SCALA).

Previously, conversations between the group only took place privately. Critics accused them of being secretive.

Tuesday's talk focused on reducing shootings and homicides in the city. But, there's one issue that always finds its way to the forefront.

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"Public education is a problem and we've got to fix it," David Jones Sr., SCALA founder, said.

Jones wants to take on the community problems he says public institutions haven't been able to fix.

SCALA is his solution. He put together the group of around 70 prominent people at the top of their professions to discuss what needs to be improved and how.

"I've been called a lot worse than, what was it -- secretive, nefarious, elitist," Jones said. "You can call us what you like. It's a bunch of people that have earned positions of power, perhaps of clout, and I think, of respect."

With fixing the public school system at the top of their list, Superintendent Dr. Marty Polio rejected Jones' invitation to join.

Monday, Polio said SCALA's stance on a possible state takeover would have to change before he signs on.

"We have to do something that's effective," Jones said. "All this talk back and forth about who did this and who did that and whose motives are this or that doesn't help. We have to find a way to deal with the issue."

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The group hasn't figured out exactly how they'll move forward into action. Members said it could be a combination of initiating policy changes and providing funding.

It's unclear if media or people in the public will be welcome to future meetings.

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