Madison County KFTC celebrates Pi(e) Day with 5th annual Pie Auction

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 27, 2015

More than 60 people came out for the Madison County KFTC chapter’s 5th annual Pie Auction, and it was a rousing success, chock-full of laughter, puns, cheers for KFTC, and, of course, lots of pie! This year’s annual event was held on Saturday, March 14 at Union Church in Berea. The Pie Auction was extra special this year as it landed on Pi Day – 3.14.15, making this a once-in-a-century Pie Auction. 

Dana Beasley-Brown and Megan Naseman scope out pies.

Local KFTC members and Berea College students Jonah Cabiles and Megan McKinney emceed the event. Sam Rosolina, a singer/songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee played a wonderful mix of songs for the evening’s entertainment.  

Dana Beasley-Brown, KFTC’s chairperson, ventured all the way from Bowling Green to join Madison County members for the evening and to share some of her story about how she came to be involved as a member:

Growing up in the midst of both love and poverty, living in the crucible between life giving love and the hope stealing, dream snatching, power pilfering, voice silencing thing we call economic injustice has made me into the hope-filled, empowered, dreamer I am today. Not because I have pulled myself up by my own bootstraps, quite the opposite. It is because many of you here today faithfully gave your time and resources to KFTC. If KFTC did not exist, I would not be the woman I am today.

Dana went on to talk about our vision and even connected the work we do to the work of making good pies.

The vision that we share for our future will not come easily. In fact, it’s a lot like pie making. Pie making is not for the faint of heart. Many have tried and failed. But it is after the trying and failing – the too-dry crust, try again; the burnt crust, try again – that the perfect, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust is made. It takes patience, exactness and experience, and a little love to make the perfect pie. And it will take no less to make our dreams for Kentucky come true.

Right now, we are facing tough truths about our world. In this moment, we face hate and fear. The type of hate and fear that perpetuates racism, creates bathroom bullies and climate change deniers. It will take courage, experience, and patience -and most of all, love to bring about the change we need…

In our test kitchen called democracy, it might seem like we have flour everywhere and only burnt crust to show for it, but we have a choice. We can take steps toward our vision, or we can spiral back. We know what we need to turn these dreams for our children into reality. 

Megan McKinney was shocked at how high bids were for her key lime pie.

After Dana’s powerful words, the main event got underway with Kent Gilbert serving as live auctioneer. A record number of 32 homemade pies were donated this year, ranging from chess pie to sockeye salmon quiche to gluten-free strawberry rhubarb to everything sweet and savory in between. Folks were generous in their bidding with few pies going for less than $40. The most expensive pie of the evening was a homemade apple pie in a ceramic heart-shaped pie plate that went for $145. Homemade pies made in donated Turning Wheel Pottery pie plates were also some of the most expensive of the evening.

At evening’s end, the Pie Auction brought in just over $1900 to support KFTC’s work! Members are already looking forward to next year’s event and scheming what pies they hope to bake.

Enjoy more photos from the evening by checking out this Flickr album.

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Northern Kentucky Returning Citizens Forum

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 23, 2015

The Northern Kentucky chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth held a forum on March 15th raising awareness about the challenges facing former felons upon returning to their community. Member Rick Traud opened the event by welcoming the 40 people who attended, and talking about his personal expreience dealing with former felons trapped in a cycle of poverty as the result of mistakes in their past while working as a volunteer with Saint Vincent De Paul in Northern Kentucky.

Growing Appalachia on WMMT’s Mountain Talk

Posted by: Jessie Skaggs on March 19, 2015

Growing Appalachia on WMMT's Mountain TalkLast week, members of the Growing Appalachia planning committee were guests on WMMT's Mountain Talk, which is a weekly program that covers a wide range of topics pertaining to life in the mountains. Floyd County’s Sister Kathy Curtis and Letcher County’s Valerie Horn were in the studio to talk with host Elizabeth Sanders about the history of the conference, how they got involved, and what people can expect at Saturday’s conference. They were joined in the studio by Jonathan Hootman and Hillary Neff and then joined over the phone by Mark Walden.

SOKY members work toward statewide renters’ rights bill

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 12, 2015

KFTC Southern Kentucky chapter members used the 2015 General Assembly to give their local work on renters’ rights a statewide platform.

The Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) is a set of codified best practices to clarify the terms of agreements between tenants and landlords.

It simply clarifies and standardizes the terms of a lease and protects renters from retaliatory evictions for reporting housing that is not up to code.

Based on best practices from the rental industry, URLTA is called a “win-win” for renters and landlords. Several states have adopted URLTA statewide. Kentucky’s state law, however, only allows individual communities to opt in to URLTA; it falls short of adopting it statewide.

Members speak out for economic justice and fairness

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 12, 2015

Jesus Gonzalez was in the Capitol Annex basement working on the testimony that he was preparing to offer in support of House Bill 374, which would close a few corporate tax loopholes to fund a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

“My family is straight from Cuba. That makes me appreciate the fact that I can come here today to try to influence our government by telling my story,” said Gonzalez. “It also makes me want to stand up and change the things that aren’t fair.”

How$martKY offers money-saving energy efficiency improvements

Posted by: Chris Woolery on March 12, 2015

Many KFTC members who are interested in making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient are now able to make it happen!  

How$martKY is an on-bill energy efficiency financing program that doesn’t require a credit check. This means that rural electric cooperative members with high utility bills can often get energy upgrades with no down payment, add the financed payment to their electric bill, and still save money every month.  

Jefferson chapter stands with adjuncts for economic justice

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 12, 2015

Linda Stettenbenz, a Jefferson County member who serves on KFTC’s Economic Justice Committee, reached out to Jefferson Community and Technical College professors who are involved in an international movement to demand fair treatment for adjunct professors – professors who don’t have tenure and who often work for near-poverty wages with no job security from one semester to the next. Adjuncts at several colleges and universities opted for walk-outs; JCTC organizers opted for a teach-in.

Jefferson County co-hosts grassroots lobby training

Posted by: KFTC staff on March 10, 2015

The Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC (JCKFTC) partnered with eight local allies to host a Grassroots Lobby Training on January 27.

March Jefferson County Chapter Meeting reportback

McElroy explains the need for more affordable housing.
Posted by: Ryan Fenwick on March 10, 2015

Last night's JCKFTC meeting brought out twelve members of the chapter to deliberate, discuss, and take action on affordable housing, an LG&E rate change, the local air quality and economic jus

Kentuckians call on Senate committee to hear HB 70, dragged from room

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on March 6, 2015

Wearing buttons that read "Let Us Vote," about two dozen voting rights supporters attended the last regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wedneday to bear witness as Senate Republicans yet again refused to act on HB 70, a proposed constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to nearly a quarter million Kentuckians. As expected, they did not see senators take action on the bill. But there was plenty of other action in committee room that day.

Members speak out for economic justice legislation

Posted by: Kentuckians For The Commonwealth on March 4, 2015

KFTC members have been active in Frankfort this week, supporting several economic justice bills as the session draws to a close. House Bill 374, which closes corporate tax loopholes to fund a state Earned Income Tax Credit, received a hearing in committee yesterday, and CKY member Jesus Gonzalez testified in support of the EITC. Here is Jesus's testimony:


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