Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Southwest Community Association of Neighborhoods

Following the outrageous meeting Monday night over the MSD proposal, I started thinking: Why hasn't there been a formal organization put together to be one uniting voice for the community that would address issues such as these? You know, some sort of neighborhood association that may have a bit more pull than 200 screaming maniacs in an unventilated courtroom.

My search led me to something called the Southwest Community Association of Neighborhoods, or SCAN. Founded by Southwest resident Diana Newton in 2000, SCAN's mission is "to improve the quality of life, the environment and the general welfare of the Southwest Louisville Metro area and its residents".

I read through the association's website, hoping to find some signs of recent activity. Surely something on such a grand scale would be utilized to benefit residents in this fight. I read further into the mission statement: "Providing information and education on issues of interest to the community including zoning, development, health and safety; Promoting improved infrastructure, appropriate land use and economic development and responsible use of public funds; Encouraging communication and cooperation among residents of neighborhoods throughout the area; Encouraging residents to work together through neighborhood organizations and Engaging in other charitable and educational activities."

After being founded in 2000 SCAN was incorporated in 2003 and finally established as a 501-(c)-3 charitable/educational organization "focusing on neighborhood improvement" in 2007.

I found out through doughawkins.com that Diana Newton, founder of SCAN, works as a staff assistant for Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins (R-25), and was a candidate for the Louisville Metro Council's 14th District in 2004.

An Aside: According to the Internal Revenue Service, organizations with a 501-c-3 classification are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to influence elections to public office, but they are permitted to conduct a limited amount of lobbying to influence legislation. Although the law states that "no substantial part" of a public charity's activities may be devoted to lobbying, charities with very large budgets may lawfully expend a million dollars or more per year on lobbying. All 501(c)(3) organizations are also permitted to educate individuals about issues or fund research that supports their political position as long as they don't overtly advocate for a position on a specific bill.

The way I understand the law, (and I may be wrong), officers or directors of a 501(c)(3) cannot participate in a candidate's campaign for elective office.

By law, this organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ and they are obligated to give you a copy if you ask.

It looks as if this organization has either folded or is not filing reports with the IRS. One thing is for sure, it is not improving the welfare of the citizens of Southwest Louisville. That is a shame, because an organization dedicated to these principals is badly needed.


  1. It folded a couple years ago.

  2. It was just turned into a 501(c)3 in 2007, and had a meeting as recently as 04/2007. A man named Gene Bolin is listed as Director.

    I visited the Louisville Coalition of Neighborhoods website. It lists as of this year, as a board member:

    Gene Bolin, Southwest Community Association of Neighborhoods

    If this group has folded, why is this guy still using his association with it?

  3. Also found this item on SCAN site:

    "Community Calendar

    Neighborhood Beautification Funding
    When: 12-1-2008, Time Undetermined
    Where: Louisville, KY
    Contact: Diana Newton

    Call me, Diana Newton, Director of SCAN 500-6691 or 935-9411 for more information. SCAN is a registered 501-c-3 non-profit neighborhood organization that has been working in the Southwest for over 8 years with neighborhood groups just like yours. We can partner with your group to assist you in completing the required forms, and compiling the information needed to apply and be considered for grant funding.

    Contact: Diana Newton
    Email: diananewton@excite.com
    Phone: 502-935-9411
    City/State: Louisville, KY "

  4. GENE BOLIN is closely aligned with BOB HENDERSON, the Metro Council Rep for that area.

  5. Keep up the good work BTucker. I am becoming a fan of your website. Very informative.

  6. The last that I had heard on this group was that they had convinced then Rep. Northup to approve a beautification project for the area of Dixie Highway between East Pages and Stonestreet. However, Northup was defeated and apparently the funding dried up as a result. I have heard no more from SCAN since that time.