KFTC Blog

Voter Registration Deadline is October 9. How can you help?

Posted by: Dave Newton on September 11, 2018

Fresh Fusion 6 - 2018

Today is exactly 4 weeks until the October 9 Kentucky Voter Registration Deadline. What are YOU doing to register voters and make sure people you know are all set to vote?

If you're not registered, or need to update your voter address, get down to your local County Clerk's office or register online - http://www.govoteky.com

If you want to check your voter registration status just to be safe, visit the Voter Information Center - https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/vic/

Note that students who are away from home going to school have the right to either use a permanent home address or temporary local address as their voting address, but I encourage students to consider registering locally especially if home is far away (Election Day is a school day).

Peace Slam 2018

Note also that 17 year-olds can register to vote now if they will by 18 on or before November 6, 2018.

If you'd like to volunteer to register voters, please contact your local KFTC organizer to volunteer or to suggest an event to register voters.

If you're outside of the area where a chapter is working, you can set up a voter registration drive of your own by reaching out to KFTC for training and materials.  Tom Herrick and Laura Lee Cundiff (pictured below) recently put together a voter registration drive in Versailles, for example. If you'd like to volunteer to set up your own voter registration event, please reach out to Dave Newton, Democracy Organizer at 859-420-8919 or Dave@kftc.org

Voter Registration in Versailles

Another way to get involved is to sign up for our Voter Engagement 101 Volunteer Training Online, with the next one on September 18. You'll learn how to register voters and why this is such a critical moment for voter empowerment work.

KFTC members are taking part in a week of climate action in California

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on September 9, 2018

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Seven members and two staff of KFTC are in San Francisco right now, participating in a week of climate actions called Solidarity to Solutions (Sol2Sol for short), aimed at bringing grassroots voices and solutions to the forefront during a major global climate summit that is being hosted by California Governor Jerry Brown and attended by many corporate and state leaders. The Kentuckians are among 500 grassroots delegates organized by It Takes Roots, a collection of four important networks, including the Climate Justice Alliance, Right To The City, Grassroots Global Justice, and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The Sol2Sol week has been planned with the following goals: "To serve and be in solidarity with the leadership of communities in the Bay Area, across the state, and around the world; to challenge, expose and stop the massive subsidies being handed to multi-national corporations that are violating and destroying our families, ecosystems, and climate; to move public funds to repair, restore and protect Mother Earth and all her peoples; to end the epidemic of disaster capitalism, and redirect stolen wealth to the service, solidarity, and support of communities who are developing place-based solutions to address the root causes of climate change, poverty, and the crisis of democracy."

On Saturday, the nine KFTC members joined with more than 30,000 others in a large and boisterous march in downtown San Francisco, organized by the People's Climate Movement. 

"I'm honored to be here," said Alexa Hatcher from Bowling Green. "Yesterday was about connecting to one another. Everyone was taking care of each other. We were marching with a single purpose and that's to build solidarity where corporations and government powers have historically worked to keep us apart. We are not fighting against each other for scarce resources anymore. We're coming together against a common enemy that has worked to keep us silent and dependent to build a better future for us all."

Voting Rights work in Louisville over the weekend

Posted by: Dave Newton on September 8, 2018

KFTC's members attended today's Rally for Recovery in Louisville, hosted by PAR (People Advocating Recovery).  It's an annual event organized by people in long term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, and friends with the goal of building community and reducing the negative perceptions associated with addiction recovery.  It has been PAR's experience that the road to recovery is filled with obstacles that hinder reintegration into society and one of those obstacles is felony disenfranchisement.  Kentucky is one of just a handful of states where if someone is convicted of a felony, even something not serious enough to warrant one day in jail in some cases, they lose the right to vote for the rest of their lives unless given the right to vote back by a governor's pardon.  

That's not right.  We think that all people should be allowed to vote and at the least, former felons ought to be given the right to vote back after they've served their debty to society.  

KFTC members were on hand at today's event to help people who could to register to vote and we circulated petitions to lawmakers to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society.

In all, we got nearly 300 petition signatures and several voter registrations, plus we connected with several key ally organizations and former felons who are willing to tell their stories to move this issue forward.

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Watch Anthony Thigpenn's keynote address to KFTC's 2018 Annual Meeting

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 22, 2018

On August 4, Anthony Thigpenn addressed the hundreds of KFTC members at our 2018 Annual Membership Meeting. Thigpenn is a Los Angeles-based community organizer with more than 30 years of experience. He currently leads California Calls, a powerful alliance of 31 organizations in 12 counties around the state. The primary mission of California Calls is to achieve progressive, long-term tax and fiscal policy reform by engaging underrepresented, low-income voters in state public policy decision-making.

Anthony is widely recognized as a leading expert in grassroots, civic engagement technology and programs. He ran successful field campaigns for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Karen Bass, State Senator Kevin de León, and former City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, among others.

We are excited to share his speech and question and answer session with you below. 

Happy 37th Anniversary, KFTC!

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 17, 2018

 It was 37 years ago today – August 17, 1981 – that a group of 26 people from 12 counties meeting in Hazard agreed to officially form a new organization: KFTC, then known as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition. 

"People, especially in eastern Kentucky, were getting to know each other. All around the region there was a loose network of people who had worked together with each other in various ways over the past 15 years or so. What we didn't have in those days was a structured connection between us. There was a no interlocking of these community-level efforts, until KFTC."  –  Herb E. Smith, Letcher County

According to the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

"We just knew that it made sense to work together across county lines because the problems we faced were similar and needed to be addressed on the state or national level," said Gladys Maynard, who was representing the Concerned Citizens of Martin County and became KFTC's first chairperson.

Ohio River pollution control agency wants to abandon its water quality standards

Posted by: Robin Ghee on August 13, 2018

“Protect our water” was the strong and clear message of close to 100 people who attended a July 26 public forum on a proposal to abandon regional water standards for the Ohio River by the multistat

KFTC 2018 annual membership meeting reflection

Posted by: Matthew Frederick on August 7, 2018

KFTC’s annual meeting once again demonstrated the power that a 37-year-old grassroots organization can bring to bear. Harnessing the people power of its near 12,000 strong members, KFTC brought together over 300 of its membership in Berea. They attended multiple workshops throughout a weekend full of training, learning, dialogue and fellowship.

KFTC members tour Berea College to learn about the institution’s legacy and history.Aside from the necessary administration of chapter petitions, platform changes, officer elections and recognizing the significant work and contributions of many, KFTC’s annual meeting is a time for its membership, which spans the entire commonwealth of Kentucky, to meet and talk face to face. For such a large, decentralized organization, this time is invaluable for networking, planning and growing. It’s a time for members to connect with each other when they otherwise might not, and this aspect of the meeting found special emphasis this year with the theme of “Creating Kentucky’s Beloved Community.”

Reflecting on the 2018 Organizing Academy cohort

Posted by: Fannie Madden-Grider on July 19, 2018

I want to thank KFTC for helping my husband Alvin and me keep the despair and darkness away during the last year. Last night marked our first anniversary with the Rowan County chapter.  Although we joined in April at an event in Lexington, our first meeting locally was the 2017 annual meeting. 

We recruited four more members by September, all of whom have been active on the Democracy Team. All of us except Alvin, who will soon begin working full-time with KFTC through December, have signed up to serve on local and state-wide committees. Alvin brought a new member to the annual meeting last night, and a couple more college students are going to other chapters back home this summer, then coming to the Rowan chapter in the fall as new members. 

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Posted by: Caraline Feairheller on July 16, 2018

“Somebody’s hurting my brother
and it’s gone on far too long (Yes, it’s gone on far too long)
and we won’t be silent anymore

The Poor People’s Campaign and KFTC share key goals

Posted by: Meta Mendel-Reyes, KFTC Chairperson on July 9, 2018

On a hot day last month, I stood in front of the state capitol building with hundreds of other Kentuckians, including many KFTC members.

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