Jefferson County Birthday Bash

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Social justice, democracy, and rock n' roll. 

That's how the Kentuckians of Jefferson County kicked-off their 30th anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

In the heart of Butchertown – down the block from the former Jefferson County chapter office – the Tim Faulkner Gallery hosted the Birthday Bash, which featured music from a variety of local artists including Leigh Ann Yost and The Blacktop Farmers.

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Host of Kentucky Homefront John Gage and WFPK host Laura Shine co-emceed the celebration. Between the musical acts, KFTC members and allies took the stage to give testimonials and tell stories of how they became passionate about social justice activism, and how that passion led them to join the work of KFTC. 

Among the allies present were ACLU of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign, Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Louisville TimeBank, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Guerrilla Putt-Putt, and Network Center for Community Change. 

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Visitors that strolled along the gallery were able to play games like putt-putt, darts, and ring toss while learning about affordable housing, hazardous waste reduction, and workers rights. Additionally, there were KFTC booths that highlighted the achievements of Jefferson County chapter members and raised awareness of economic and environmental justice issues in the state. There was even a mock voting booth at the democracy table, where people could select an issue that they thought was most pressing for Kentuckians.

The deal-sweetener, however, was the introduction of a specially-crafted beer made from the combined forces of Bluegrass Brewing Company and (our friends across the river) New Albanian Brewing Company. That's not even mentioning the raffle, with prizes ranging from restaurant gift cards to a weekend pass to the Forecastle music festival.

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It was quite a ruckus for a Birthday Bash. But for the citizens of Jefferson County who have been positively impacted by the work of KFTC, it was a ruckus worth having. In the end, the Birthday Bash proved to be a great success as it brought in 5 new KFTC members and raised $850 in chapter fundraising. 

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What started as a grassroots movement in eastern Kentucky in the early 1980s quickly became a statewide mission: to work for a day when the needs of ordinary Kentuckians mattered more than profits. It was a belief that struck a chord for citizens across the Bluegrass, reaching as far as Louisville, where people were fighting similar battles for social equality in urban areas.  

As the story goes, in 1983, the Jefferson County Chapter joined the statewide social justice organization known then as Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition (KFTC changed to its current name in 1987). It's an anniversary worthy of a proper celebration: with music, beer, and amazing people who still continue to work for that day.

 To see more pictures from the event, check out this album on flickr.

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