KFTC Blog

4th Annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy

Posted by: Dari’Anne Hudson on October 2, 2017

The cold and chilly weather brought by hurricanes ceased in Louisville the 4th annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy block party. The energy of friends, neighbors, vendors, and performers were only rivaled by the clear, bright sky. Taking place at the Jefferson County Chapter headquarters of 745 Lampton Street, the block party proved to be another success.

Louisville has experienced many ups and downs of the current political climate in the nation. Widespread violent crime, threats to undocumented immigrants, continued environmental injustices, and many other issues are evidence of the uphill battle that is present. Yet, hundreds gathered in Smoketown to celebrate gains in affordable housing, community revitalization, and unified organizing efforts across various issues. The Smoketown neighborhood is no different in its successes – it has maintained a strong momentum toward creating a neighborhood where all residents thrive.

Louisville resident, Cassia Herron who has attended the event in the past said, “I had been looking forward to attending as a stress-free, family-friendly, bike-able event for me and the kids. I love live music and I love to dance so the event was like a free mental health care session for me! Dancing can be liberating and a great way to relieve stress. I also like the event because it's a chance to catch up with people whom I otherwise would not get to see, but know from other work. I appreciated getting to catch up with the Smoketown Family Wellness Center folks and the picture booth is always fun!”

A key piece of ensuring that residents continue thriving in Smoketown was the newly announced Smoketown Boys & Girls Club on Jacob & Finzer streets. The Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana and the Community Foundation of Louisville in partnership with The Wheelhouse Project announced plans of development at the block party.

The exciting announcement came on the heels of breathtaking performances by local musical artists and young dancers that are taking the arts community by storm. And in true fashion, the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC stayed on the course of furthering the mission for democracy: 11 were registered as new or renewing KFTC members, 10 people updated voter registrations and 5 people were registered to vote for the first time.

The 4th annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy was successfully carried out in a spirit of fun collaboration with community partners, and we all look forward to getting down together next year.

See more photos from the GetDown

https://www.flickr.com/gp/kftcphotos/0J28r3

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7KUuSL

Check out the StoriFy made about the GetDown

https://storify.com/kentuckiansftc/2017-smoketown-getdown


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Members Host Constitutional Convention Workshops!

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on September 20, 2017

Late last year members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and allies began to notice an increased presence of organizations working to pass a call for a constitutional convention in Kentucky. We began to work closely with allies to learn more about the issue, and came out in force to help make sure that the proposed 'con con' didn't receive a vote in the last General Assembly.

KFTC is about bringing people together, building power

Posted by: Meta Mendel-Reyes on September 16, 2017

A few days after the KFTC annual meeting, I was in Frankfort to participate in a rally to ask the governor to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol rotunda. As in Charlottesville, Durham and other Southern communities, many Kentuckians believe that it’s time to remove symbols of slavery and the war to defend it. At the end of the rally, attendees were invited to step forward and identify their organization. As the newly elected chair, I was proud to say that Kentuckians For The Commonwealth was in support.

Georgetown residents plan second local Pride event for October 28

Posted by: KFTC staff on September 16, 2017

Scott County members and allies have continued the push for a fairness ordinance in Georgetown, and hope to build upon the success of the campaign over the past year.

Scott County chapter hosts community conversation on taxes

Posted by: KFTC staff on September 8, 2017

The Scott County chapter hosted a community conversation around tax reform, allowing for members and others to discuss what they envision for Georgetown and Kentucky, and the role of state governm

KFTC members challenged, inspired at annual meeting

Posted by: KFTC staff on September 2, 2017

About 250 members enjoyed KFTC’s Annual Membership Meeting this past weekend, exploring the theme of arts and culture in organizing.

A Day in the Belly of the Beast

Posted by: Jeff and Sharman Chapman-Crane on August 23, 2017

President Trump has stopped a federal study looking at the relationship between strip mining and human health.

Laura Greenfield receives national youth warriors against poverty award

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 22, 2017

Laura Greenfield of Paris, Kentucky has been awarded the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award by the Marguerite Casey Foundation.

Community Backyard Brisket ‘N Badminton in London

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 20, 2017

KFTC hosted a community social event for members, friends and local residents interested in learning more about KFTC at the London office on August 18.

The Histories Told and Ignored at Cheapside

Posted by: Carly Muetterties on August 16, 2017

To those who believe removal of the statues at Cheapside Park is a destruction of history or an affront on Kentucky’s heritage: 

Happy 36th Anniversary, KFTC!

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 16, 2017

 It was 36 years ago today – August 17, 1981 – that a group of 26 people from 12 counties meeting in Hazard agreed to officially form a new organization: KFTC, then known as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition. 

"People, especially in eastern Kentucky, were getting to know each other. All around the region there was a loose network of people who had worked together with each other in various ways over the past 15 years or so. What we didn't have in those days was a structured connection between us. There was a no interlocking of these community-level efforts, until KFTC."  –  Herb E. Smith, Letcher County

According to the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

"We just knew that it made sense to work together across county lines because the problems we faced were similar and needed to be addressed on the state or national level," said Gladys Maynard, who was representing the Concerned Citizens of Martin County and became KFTC's first chairperson.

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