Rowan chapter offers festival- goers healthy food options

Posted by: Annie Adams on October 11, 2015

The Rowan County KFTC Chapter held its second fundraiser of the year at the Cave Run Storytelling Festival, September 25 and 26.  The chapter was one of many food vendors at the popular festival, vendors that included professional carnival merchants as well as volunteers from other nonprofits, such as the Boy Scouts of America. 

What set the relatively modest KFTC booth apart from both the food trucks and the nonprofits with bigger tents was its range of healthy, homemade food options that were reasonably priced. 

For only four dollars, festivalgoers could get a big bowl of soup beans (vegetarian or with meat), lentil chili, African peanut stew, or Brazilian black bean soup and a generous helping of corn bread (sweet or non-sweet).

For three dollars, the storytelling crowd could get a delicious piece of homemade cushaw or apple pie; for one dollar, they could get a gluten-free muffin; and for fifty cents they could get (gluten-free or non-gluten free) cookies or brownies. 

Although the damp and chilly weather adversely affected attendance, and the KFTC booth was positioned near the end of the food gamut (and thus relatively far away from the tents where the storytelling took place), the chapter sold out of a number of items, including the lentil chili, non-vegetarian soup beans, African stew and pie). 

A number of festival-goers were particularly delighted with the healthy options, and they were pleased to see so many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.  This response confirmed what some members of the Cave Run Storytelling Board have been telling chapter members for the past few years – there is a real appetite for delicious and healthy food offerings at the festival.  Some of the children and adults may be content with only spiral spuds, deep-fried baked goods, and various meats on white buns, but a number of attendees want a range of options that include hearty whole foods like the ones the Rowan County chapter provided.

Invited back for next year, chapter members look forward to fine-tuning their offerings and (hopefully) benefiting from better weather.

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Members ask for strong protections for streams affected by mining

Posted by: KFTC staff on September 24, 2015

Members of KFTC, the Sierra Club, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Kentucky Conservation Committee, Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Resources Council and others had a strong presence at a public hearing September 3 to advocate for the strongest possible protections for water in communities where coal is mined and downstream.

KFTC members "All In" during exciting annual meeting

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 25, 2015

EmPower Kentucky panel at 2015 Annual Meeting

KFTC members affirmed once again that we are “all in” for a better Kentucky.

Celebration of Tanya Turner

At the 2015 Annual Membership Meeting August 21-23, members from across Kentucky gathered at General Butler State Park to strategize, envision, share ideas and have fun together.

Happy 34th anniversary, KFTC!

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 17, 2015

 It was 34 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.

Sustaining Gifts, when joined together, make a big impact

Posted by: Dana Beasley Brown on August 13, 2015

As KFTC chair, I’ve learned what an impact member gifts make on our ability to do the work every day, especially monthly gifts. Being able to count on that income makes a difference in our ability to respond to issues we’re facing on the ground. We can plan better, do more and get closer to our vision for Kentucky.

In our vision statement, we have some pretty lofty goals, like wiping racism from our laws, habits and hearts. But it takes a long time.

Members reflect on Louisville Governor's Forum

Posted by: Kentuckians For The Commonwealth on July 24, 2015

Members left a gubernatorial forum in Louisville feeling like they didn’t hear much, and nothing that they’d hoped to.

The forum was hosted by non-profits that work with health and family services, a setting ripe for hearing some clear plans about policies to reform Kentucky’s tax code and generate good revenue for our schools, health systems, public protection, and a good quality of life.

Legislators asked to consider safety of pipelines

Posted by: KFTC staff on July 20, 2015

Two legislative committee hearings in July focused on pipeline safety in Kentucky.

On July 16, KFTC member Bob Pekny joined Rep. David Floyd to talk about the Pipeline Safety Bill that was introduced in the 2015 legislative session.

“Kentucky is crisscrossed with pipelines of various sorts, most of them related to energy” Rep. Floyd told the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism. “We believe an increase in precautions would be wise.”

Wilderness Trace hosts third successful Barn Bash

Posted by: KFTC staff on July 10, 2015

Heat and threats of storms didn’t keep about 100 people from coming out to Woodwind Farm in Junction City on June 13th for the third annual Wilderness Trace KFTC Barn Bash. The weather behaved just right for people to enjoy a great afternoon of good music, delicious food, beautiful surroundings, lake swimming, and friendly silent auction bidding, all to benefit KFTC.

Members at the Barn Bash

Thanks to event sponsor, Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda, the chapter was able to highlight locally sourced foods for the second year in a row. Folks who came hungry were delighted to enjoy sausages from Sunwatch Homestead, hot dogs from St. Catharine Farm, and burgers from Rising Sons Beef. KFTC members filled out the rest of the meal with wonderful side dishes and plenty of desserts.

While folks chowed down on food, they got to hear a little bit from member, Jim Porter, about why he is proud to be a KFTC member.

The minimum wage matters to real people

Posted by: Sarah Martin on July 3, 2015

UPDATE (July 7): The Minimum Wage Ordinance has been recalled from the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee and is going to the full council! There will be a council discussion session on August 20, 4 p.m. in the council chambers (200 E Main St).

Central Kentucky Chapter members are pushing forward to raise the minimum wage in Lexington, in the face of their city council members tabling the ordinance at the last Budget and Finance Committee hearing on June 23 for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

So far, it has been a summer of KFTC members and our allies in the Working Families Coalition building momentum by rallying, lobbying, writing op-eds, and giving testimony at hearings, and the chapter has no intention of backing down.

CKY Members and allies are planning to gather this Tuesday evening, July 7, at 6 p.m. at the LFUCG Council meeting to push for the ordinance to be heard by the entire Council in August after a summer recess. 

Two rallies in Lexington have already been organized and carried out by chapter members and our allies this summer, the most recent on June 23 in Phoenix Park prior to the LFUCG Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee hearing. After the rally, supporters marched to the Budget and Finance Committee hearing. 

I'll see you on the trail

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on June 30, 2015


Dear friends,

What a week it has been. Like most people I know, I’m over the moon with excitement about decisions by the Supreme Court on marriage, health care and racial justice. I’m grieving the killing of Clementa Pinckney and 8 parishioners at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. And I’m inspired by ongoing local struggles for justice, including the minimum wage campaign in Lexington and the Louisville community’s strong response to an awful and threatening letter from the head of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Lisa and Gihan

This has also been an emotional week for me on a deeply personal level. June 26 was my last day in my role as Organizing Director with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. My husband, Justin, recently started a great new job as head of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Our family is beginning to make a transition in that direction.

But first, in just a few hours I will board a plane with my 12-year old son, Hollis, and set out on a 250-mile hike starting in Yosemite National Park! Justin and Myles will join us for the second half of that journey. Once we return in August, I’ll continue to work for a time with KFTC on an exciting special project (shaping a people’s response to climate change and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan), even as our family’s home base shifts to the South this fall.

Lisa Abbott

My job transition is happening almost 23 years to the day after I was hired fresh out of college by KFTC. After my job interview, some friends asked me how it went. I answered, “I don’t think I got the job. But if I did, I think I could be there a long time.” I had a hunch that KFTC would be an extraordinary place for me to learn, contribute, and sink my roots. In the decades since, my respect for this organization and its people has only grown.

It won’t surprise any of you to know that I’m sad beyond words to be leaving Kentucky, our community in Berea, and this remarkable organization. But above all I’m left with overwhelming gratitude. Working with KFTC – and with each one of you – has been the greatest honor and blessing of my life. Thank you for all that you have taught me and shared with me. Thank you for your courage, vision, integrity and love. Individually and collectively, you mean the world to me.

Before I set out on my journey, I do have a few basic requests: 

  • Believe in yourselves and take good care of each other. KFTC’s staff and leaders are talented, dedicated and brilliant people. Everything we need is right here. If we lean on each other and support one another, we can bring out our very best.

  • Let’s go get ’em (in a loving and non-violent way). This is a critical time for Kentucky and the nation. The politics of Frankfort and Washington are as corrupt, entrenched, and destructive as ever. And yet people everywhere are in motion. People everywhere are pushing back, disrupting the status quo, and striving to create the kind of community and world we want for ourselves and our children. KFTC has such an important role to play. I know you and we will continue to be relentless, visionary, brave and strategic as we push forward.

  • Let’s continue to invest in KFTC.  Please consider becoming a Sustaining Giver to KFTC, if you aren’t one already, by clicking here. My own family has, for many years, made modest, monthly contributions to support KFTC’s work. We will happily continue to do so. That’s what it takes to sustain organizations we care about. It’s an easy, important way to help build a powerful and diverse movement for justice in Kentucky. I do hope you’ll take this moment to set up a monthly contribution of any size. And thank you.

As I’ve been preparing for our upcoming hike, I’ve found myself repeating one simple phrase: “Step forward. Step forward. Step forward.” I’ll be doing a lot of stepping on the trail during the month of July. I’ll try to remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we make our big move this fall. I am confident that KFTC, also, will keep boldly stepping forward as we rise to meet challenges large and small.

Thank you all for your love and support. I could not be more grateful.

I’ll see you on the trail.



Lisa Abbott

Rowan County chapter holds successful community forum on proposed pipeline project

Posted by: Annie Adams on June 26, 2015

The Rowan County KFTC Chapter hosted a community meeting regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline repurposing proposal on June 23 in Morehead. 

Rowan County chapter member Ted Withrow and the director of the Kentucky Resources Council, Tom FitzGerald, explained the scope of the project and outlined its significant risks. With the help of moderator Sue Tallichet, another Rowan County chapter member, they entertained a number of questions from the sizable audience, which included the county attorney, the judge-executive and many of the property owners directly affected by the repurposing proposal. 


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