KFTC Blog

Jefferson chapter helping sponsor metro council candidate debates

Posted by: KFTC staff on May 2, 2016

The Jefferson County KFTC Chapter, Louisville Urban League Young Professionals, FORward Radio, Zones of Hope, Louisville Black Lawyers Association, University of Louisville’s Malcolm X Debate Team, HOPE by HOPE and several neighborhood associations will host the Open Mic Debate Series the week before the May 17 Primary Election.

These Metro Council candidate debates will take place with candidates in Metro Council Districts 2, 4 and 6.

The purpose of the Open Mic Debate Series is to improve voter turnout in Metro Council Districts 2, 4 and 6 by educating and empowering voters leading up to the May 2016 primary election.

Organizers were spurred to plan these events after the low voter turnout during the November 2015 general election. Candidates in all three districts have been invited to the debates and will be asked questions developed by KFTC and solicited from the audience during the events.

“Many registered voters could tell you their preference between Trump, Cruz, Clinton and Sanders but struggle to tell you who their Metro Council candidates are. The goal of this debate is to change that and remind people that local politics matter,” said Kevin Cowherd, Advocacy Chair of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a KFTC Member

The first debate will take place in Metro Council District 2 on Tuesday, May 10 at Newburg Middle School (4901 Exeter Ave, Louisville). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the debate starts at 7 p.m. and will conclude by 8:30 p.m.

Candidates Caroline Grundy, Rasean Crawley, and Rick Harrison have confirmed their attendance. The debate will be moderated by Lonita Baker, president of the Charles W. Anderson Jr. Bar Association (formerly Louisville Black Lawyers Association) with assistance from the UofL Malcolm X Debate Team.

The second debate will combine Metro Council Districts 4 and 6 and will take place on Thursday, May 12 at the Main Branch of the Louisville Public Library (301 York Street) in the Centennial Room. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the debate starts at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude by 8 p.m. Candidates David James, Carol Clark, Bryan Burns, Marshall Gazaway and Barbara Sexton Smith have confirmed their attendance.

This debate will be moderated by Donovan Taylor of One West, with assistance from the Malcolm X Debate Team. For this debate the cosponsors listed above are being joined by the Irish Hill Neighborhood Association, the Smoketown Neighborhood Association, the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Association and the 100 Block of Ormsby Avenue Association.

“Our organization is pleased to collaborate with KFTC to help our constituents make a responsible choice in the District 4 primary, the first truly contested election for that office since Louisville-Jefferson County merger,” say Randy Webber, president of the Smoketown Neighborhood Association.

All the debates are open to the public and audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions during the debate.

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Rowan Earth Day activities create pipeline awareness

Posted by: Annie Adams on May 2, 2016

To commemorate Earth Day, the Rowan County KFTC Chapter created new opportunities to raise awareness of the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline Project, a.k.a.

Members attend #RenterPower2016 Summit

Summit participants. Photo by Laura Harper
Posted by: Laura Harper, Southern KY & Ryan Fenwick, Jefferson County on April 17, 2016

Homes for All is a national campaign  with international connections organized to face a commonly un-acknowledged

Bowling Green turns out to discuss Kentucky's energy future

Posted by: KFTC Staff on April 15, 2016

On Thursday evening, a sold-out crowd gathered in the Corsair Distillery in Bowling Green for the first of six community dinner conversations about Kentucky’s energy future.

“We believe all Kentuckians deserve a seat at the table and a say in shaping our energy future,” said KFTC chairperson Dana Beasley Brown.

The event, called A Seat At The Table, was hosted by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to gather public input about the best ways for Kentucky to begin a transition to a clean energy economy.

The diverse group of one hundred participants enjoyed a meal of locally grown food provided by the Pie Queen of Bowling Green and music from the local band Mud Blossom Special. After a brief presentation about Kentucky’s energy landscape, the program shifted to facilitated conversations at each table. 

Those conversations began with a chance for everyone to share a 3-minute story about some part of their relationship with Kentucky’s energy system. Then each table discussed three key questions:

  • What is your vision for Kentucky’s energy future – and why?

  • What do you think that will take? What would help?

  • What are your best ideas to ensure that all Kentuckians can benefit from Kentucky’s energy transition and are not left behind?

CKY KFTC Members Create Activism for Awkward People Training

Posted by: Candice Rider, CKY KFTC Member on April 15, 2016

I recently participated in a “response to the call to action” at the University of Kentucky.

Support grassroots voices: With KFTC, I became a lobbyist!

Posted by: By Laura Harper on April 14, 2016

 My name is Laura, and this year I became a lobbyist.

But I’m not on the payroll of a big corporation. I’m a homegrown, grassroots lobbyist. I work for you, and every Kentuckian who believes that we deserve a bright future.

I joined Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to work for change on renters’ rights and other issues that matter to me. And this year I participated in the Kentucky General Assembly for the first time. With KFTC, I got to sit down with legislators and talk about policy – including renters’ rights – in a way I didn’t know was possible.

KFTC celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. This was my first time to lobby, but KFTC members have been working together in Frankfort and across the state for more than three decades. Our investment in KFTC makes it possible.

Here’s how you can support grassroots voices this year and help KFTC start our next 35 years strong. Invest in KFTC during our spring campaign!

Become a Sustaining Giver. Build New Power with a recurring gift. Small monthly donations add up to a deeper investment and a bigger impact. 

Renew your membership today. You can also make a one-time gift of any size to renew your membership and support this important work for another year. 

Join KFTC. As our numbers grow, so does our power.

Thank you for investing in the Kentucky we know is possible!

Letcher Countians speak out against proposed federal prison

Posted by: Sara Estep on April 8, 2016

Last year, Congress approved funding for a new maximum security federal prison in Letcher County – the only new federal prison in the nation. The estimated preliminary cost of construction is $460 -$510 million. Rep. Hal Rogers has touted the prison as the main economic engine in eastern Kentucky. 

In Letcher County, we have so much potential, and with the right investments could create local economic engines that serve our land and our people. The Letcher County KFTC Chapter does not believe that this prison offers the economic development that Letcher County deserves.

Local residents are joining together to voice concerns about the prison. Chapter members have formed a work team to participate and to highlight alternative economic drivers that would support a just transition for our region.

On April 1, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that it was forced to re-open a public comment period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the prison in Letcher County after facing multiple shortcomings, including violations of public notice requirements, in its "Final EIS" released last July. A 30-day window is now open on a Revised Final EIS.

Mitch Whitaker, a local resident, recently had an op-ed published in the Lexington Herald-Leader about his concerns. Check it out, below, and keep on the lookout for more.

Big Sandy chapter hosts seventh annual Growing Appalachia conference

Posted by: Jessie Skaggs on April 7, 2016


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On Saturday March 5, folks from around eastern Kentucky came out to the Jenny Wiley Convention Center near Prestonsburg for the seventh annual Growing Appalachia conference, which is a day of workshops about small-scale farming, energy efficiency and renewables.

Jefferson County Chapter hosts 3rd Annual We Are Kentuckians event

Posted by: Staff on March 29, 2016

This March the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC hosted the 3rd Annual We Are Kentuckians: Celebrating Our Common Heritage, a celebration of African American women’s heritage th

Look what KFTC members did in 2015

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 29, 2016

KFTC members did some amazing work in 2015.

We took our climate justice work to the world stage at the COP21 climate talks in Paris, helped pass a minimum wage increase in Lexington, and moved the needle on voting rights. And in communities across Kentucky, we raised our voices for renters’ rights, environmental protection, racial justice and more.

We’re pleased to share with you the 2015 KFTC Annual Report.

You’ll see lots of faces and some important wins. And you’ll see the New Power we’re building together to achieve the Kentucky we envision.

Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for your part in making 2015 great.

Donate your "change" to KFTC. It's easy!

Posted by: KFTC Staff on March 18, 2016

KFTC is part of a new fundraising opportunity called MyChange.

MyChange was started by four former organizers who wanted to level the playing field for progressive causes that were consistently being out-raised and out-spent by large political organizations. Here’s an article with more information about how MyChange got started.

"We started MyChange to transform how progressive work gets funded in America,” said Eli Il Yong Lee, one of the co-founders. “With large corporate interests trying to hijack our democracy, MyChange is our way of fighting back. MyChange is only for progressive organizations and candidates. Like KFTC has done for decades, we want to bring the power of democracy back to the people."

The idea is simple. Folks who sign up for MyChange are able to “round up” their credit card purchases to the nearest dollar, and the “change” goes to their favorite progressive organizations. They can also set a cap on how much they’ll donate in a month.

MyChange was launched in January 2016, and KFTC is trying it out. If you’d like to sign up and start giving more to KFTC any time you use your credit card, click here. And let us know what you think by emailing the Development Team at amy@kftc.org or ebeth@kftc.org.

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