KFTC Blog

Turn your anger into action: Support KFTC during our fall campaign

Posted by: Tanya Torp on November 28, 2016

I was out of town on election day. After voting by absentee ballot, I went on a much needed vacation with my family. I didn’t have internet access on the trip, and when I turned on my cell phone the day after the election, it started pinging with message after message from friends back home.

Folks were asking, “What can I do?” – trying to turn their feelings of powerlessness into hope.

The first thing I thought of was KFTC. I wanted to share KFTC’s vision statement with everyone who was asking that question. And I wanted to give my friends a way to do something, to channel everything they were feeling into action.

I first got involved with KFTC because I wanted to turn my anger into action. My activism had largely been “clicktavism” – a lot of clicking on social media, being outraged but not actually doing anything. KFTC offered me the chance to do something.

Before long I was sitting down with my elected representatives, sharing my story and my concerns. KFTC taught me that I have a voice, and that as a citizen lobbyist I have just as much right to stand in front of my elected officials as those corporate lobbyists do. I’m still angry, but now I’m also empowered to use my voice for change.

My husband and I recently became foster parents of a baby boy. Being a parent has just deepened my resolve. I want a brighter future for him. I want to leave a legacy of a Kentucky that our foster son can be proud of and thrive in.

We owe it to our children. We owe it to the coal communities and coal miners to fight for a just transition and a new economy. We owe it to cities like Louisville that have incredible pollution to fight for clean air and healthy neighborhoods. We owe it to those struggling with low wages to fight for a higher minimum wage. We owe it to returning citizens to fight for their right to vote. We owe it to all of us to fight for racial justice and fairness.

Will you join me today and invest in this vision?

  • Renew your membership today. Your gift of any size will renew your membership for another year.
  • Become a Sustaining GiverSet up an automatic, recurring gift and help us meet our match. In honor of KFTC’s 35th birthday, a generous member has offered to match all new Sustaining Giver pledges in 2016, up to $35,000. And we’ll send you a perk!
  • Recruit a friend or family member to join KFTC. As our numbers grow, so does our power.

If, like so many other folks, you’re wondering “What can I do?” – take heart. Thousands of people across our state share a vision of a better Kentucky. We want you working alongside us to realize this vision.

Join us. Take action for justice.


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Remembrance of Patty Wallace's remarkable life

Posted by: KFTC staff on November 24, 2016

Patty Wallace, a long-time KFTC leader, former KFTC chairperson and an inspiration to many, passed away on November 20.

“Patty was a real heroine to those of us in KFTC,” reflected John and Jean Rosenberg. “Beyond that, she was a lovely caring person. We will miss Patty a lot. When strong leaders are being counted, Patty will always be remembered.”

“Patty was a wonderful person and an inspiration to many,” remembered Henry Riekert, the KFTC chairperson 1994-95.

Shelby County KFTC tables at Light Up Shelbyville

Posted by: Lisa Aug on November 15, 2016

Shelby KFTC (Lisa Aug, center) with allies at Light up Shelbyville Saturday. By sharing our space with Shelbyville area NAACP (President Janice Harris left) and the new Shelbyville Simpsonville human rights commission (vice chair Andrea Cottrell, right), we drew more people and were able to spread the word about all three organizations. Stronger together! Photo by Ariane King.

Reflections on the election of 2016

Posted by: KFTC on November 10, 2016

We are Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, a community of people inspired by a vision, building New Power and a better future, for all of us. 

By now, you've likely seen lots of reflections, commentaries and postmortems on the election of 2016. We hope you have the stamina for one more.

Something big – titanic perhaps – happened on Tuesday. Our world has changed, as well as our pathways to change. The ultimate consequences of this election are uncertain, unknowable even. But the impacts are being felt across the country, across our Commonwealth, in our communities, schools and homes.

While many surrounding us are celebrating the new reality, most of KFTC woke on Wednesday possessed by grief, anger, dread about the future, fear about tomorrow, newly separated from at least some of our neighbors, perhaps even from family. We should take note that the feeling of vulnerability, of isolation that some of us may be experiencing for the first time, is not new at all for many of us. 

The seemingly endless campaign of 2016 was, for most of the country, demoralizing, embarrassing, repulsive. It was a campaign dominated by cynical attacks and baseless blame, fueled by exploiting fear. The damage inflicted by such tactics on our people and our democracy is profound. We must overcome their impact and reject their continuation.

We encourage each of us to take the time to take care of ourselves, to linger but not loiter with our grief. We need to support each other, and stand in solidarity with those most at risk.  

We encourage each of us to listen – to our heart, to our family, our community, one another – so that we may understand our common anxieties and our shared aspirations.

Then we step forward, together, with courage and conviction, with determination and integrity.  Some things changed on election day; more things did not. Our resolve, our core values, our vision for a better Kentucky, our commitment to action for justice, are as certain, as reassuring, as ever.  

We are Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, and together, we are our best hope for change.

Reducing harm in our communities

The Letcher County Chapter meeting
Posted by: Sara Estep on October 28, 2016

During the Letcher County chapter's October meeting, members wrote letters to the fiscal court of Letcher County.

Members of the Letcher County chapter are working to bring a clean needle exchange to Letcher County and other counties in eastern Kentucky.

The Story of the Roanoke Electric Co-op

Posted by: KFTC Staff on October 26, 2016

Curtis Wynn is the CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative in North Carolina. He was the keynote speaker at KFTC's Empower Kentucky Summit on October 1, 2016 in Louisville. He described ways his co-op is leading the nation with an innovative approach to energy efficiency and building on a model developed by rural co-ops in Kentucky. Watch this video of Curtis describing his work to empower the members of his co-op.

3rd Annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy

Posted by: Bryan Burns on October 25, 2016

This past September saw the of the 3rd Annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy block party and the community spirit was out in full force.

Pride comes to Georgetown!

Posted by: Clare White on October 18, 2016

Pride has come to the city of Georgetown. On October 8, Georgetown Fairness held Georgetown's first Pride Festival.

Rowan members building support for local planning

Posted by: KFTC staff on October 13, 2016

Rowan County KFTC members have been introducing county officials and residents to a planning and zoning approach to protecting their property and health from the threats of a hazardous liquids pip

Overcoming weather, Rowan chapter satisfies the hungry

Posted by: Annie Adams on October 13, 2016

The Rowan County KFTC Chapter held its annual fundraiser at the Old Time Music Festival at Jaycee Farm in Morehead on July 29 and 30.

Federal review to look at mining’s health damages

Posted by: kftc on October 5, 2016

After more than a decade of studies pointing to significant health impacts for Appalachian residents living near mountaintop removal operations, the federal government has decided to take a look.

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