Powerful Voting Rights lobby day in Frankfort

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Today nearly 100 KFTC members and close allies gathered in Frankfort to talk to legislators about restoring voting rights to people with felonies in their past and push for a constitutional amendment that would recognize the right to vote of 312,000 Kentuckians who can't vote now because of our felony disenfranchisement law that is out of step with the rest of the United States. Dozens of the people who came out talked about the issue from first hand experience, having the right to vote in Kentucky taken away from them. 

We had meetings with over 30 legislators and built up support for the issue with Democrats and Republicans alike, including many legislators who just got elected for the first time this last November. The vast majority of senators and representatives we talked to said they were in favor of restoring voting rights.

print-9844About 80% of  people at the capitol today were new to grassroots lobbying and had never talked to their legislators. That means that an awful lot of people gained key experience that we'll need as we build up support throughout this year and in the 2020 General Assembly. 

Numerous bills in favor of voting rights have been filed in both the House and Senate this year. KFTC isn't endorsing any particular bill but instead is pushing for the strongest, "cleanest" bill we can get that would restore voting rights to everyone with a felony in their past as soon as they compete prison time, probation and parole. We think of this year as a rebuilding year to grow grassroots support and a network of allies around this issue, so we can collectively make a stronger push in 2020. 

g20190219_123530Allies who were a part of the day were the Kentucky Council of Churches who held a prayer day of action focused on the issue, Kentucky ACLU of Kentucky that brought out numerous people directly affected by this issue to tell their stories, the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. 

Many of our members also came out to the Black History Celebration led by the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus.

If you had to miss the day, you can still call the legislative message line and let your representative and senator know you care about this issue. Just call 800-372-7181, and the operator can help you leave a message. The message should be something simple like “I support restoration of voting rights for all people with felonies in their past.” Go ahead and add that number to your cell phone!

On Twitter and Facebook, you can contribute to the conversation about this issue using the hashtags #LetUsVote #Stand4KY and #kyga19.

print-9826You can also download our new voting rights factsheet or download our petition to use at meetings and gather support for this cause. 

Our next major event is tentatively a Voting Rights Rally on March 13 in the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort. Feel free to save the date.

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