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. Kinder Morgan’s proposal to re-purpose the Tennessee Gas Pipeline to carry hazardous natural gas liquids (NGLs).

On Friday, April 22, chapter members set up a table outside of the Fuzzy Duck, a local coffee shop and bookstore in downtown Morehead, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. provided patrons and passers-by with information about the dangers of NGLs and the perils of repurposing a seventy year-old pipeline.

Those who stopped to talk were given helpful handouts and recent news articles on the re-purposing project as well as copies of Balancing the Scales and promotional materials for KFTC.

As luck would have it, one of the U.S. Senate candidates was stopping by the same business while on the campaign trail that Friday, so the chapter was able to speak to the local press covering the candidate’s visit.

Doug Doerrfeld presented a succinct overview of the issue to a reporter for the local NPR station (WMKY) and Chris Merritt had a productive conversation with Larry Dehart, the reporter who had authored the wonderful series on the pipeline project for the Morehead News.

On Monday, April 25, chapter members drove out to neighborhoods in the direct path of the pipeline and, working in pairs, went door to door, providing homeowners with essential information about the re-purposing project.

People within the community were aware of the pipelines that ran so close to their homes, and many expressed a real concern regarding the dangers of a re-purposing project. Although chapter members clearly conveyed the fact that this business venture would require Kentucky to assume all of the risk for none of the profits, they also focused on the power of communal resistance, noting the positive action that has already been taken in Rowan County’s Fiscal Court and the successful efforts in western Massachusetts that caused Kinder-Morgan to halt a $3 billion dollar pipeline project there.

The response to the chapter’s efforts was overwhelmingly positive. Some homeowners expressed appreciation for KFTC efforts, and one woman even offered to follow up with neighbors.

Kathryn Reeder, one of the chapter volunteers, noted: “April 25 was a banner day for the KFTC pipeline canvassing group here in Rowan County. We visited dozens of homes to make residents better aware of the pipeline running through their neighborhoods and the dangerous implications of that pipeline should Kinder Morgan be allowed to re-purpose it. We informed some folks and commiserated with others – all the while expressing that only our joined voices can keep our county safe.”

Not wishing to let the positive momentum of the day go to waste, chapter member Erik Lewis tentatively secured a day for a public forum to be held at an elementary school that is dangerously close to the pipeline. At the forum, the chapter will be screening “The End Of The Line,” the documentary that records the successful citizens campaign to stop the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline in central Kentucky.

The chapter also will be formulating ways to foster more community involvement. Check out future updates from the Rowan County chapter for more on this important initiative.

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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


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.

Jefferson County hosts Tax Justice Meet and Greet with legislators

Posted by: KFTF Staff on March 10, 2016

There hasn’t been a week that’s gone by this legislative session without our deeply underfunded state budget making the news.


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