KFTC Blog

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.

Perry County members visit Rep. Rogers’ office about border issue

Posted by: KFTC staff on July 8, 2018

Members of the Perry County KFTC Chapter of gathered Tuesday in Hazard in front of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers' office to protest the separation of families and stand in solidarity with immigrants being targeted by ICE and Customs and Border Protection.

The KFTC members met with Danielle Smoot of Rogers' staff to discuss the issue of separating families at the border. They asked for a meeting with Rogers when he is in Kentucky during a congressional recess.

There is a real fear that causes people from other countries to seek asylum in the U.S., Susan Hull of Perry County pointed out. "I lived in Nicaragua for three years. There are ‘the missing’ as they call them, the army comes in and then people are missing the next day. I know that it's true, but it's something that some of my friends here think is made up. There is a real fear."

Stanley Sturgill tells congressional hearing of attacks on coal miners

Posted by: KFTC staff on July 5, 2018

In June, Harlan County KFTC member Stanley Sturgill spoke at a congressional forum about poverty hosted by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rep Elijah Cummings and coordinated with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Love and Acceptance

Kimmy Sandlin and Mari Froude pose before the 2nd Annual NKY Pride Parade!
Posted by: Kimmy Sandlin on July 2, 2018

On June 10, 2018 I had the privilege to march in the Northern Kentucky Pride Parade. I marched with the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Northern Kentucky chapter. I am currently interning with KFTC with Joe Gallenstein as my supervisor. My friend, Mari, had stayed over the night before so we could wake up early to prepare. We were both so excited to go to the parade and to support the LGBTQ+ community. We woke up early that morning to meet Joe at Roebling Point Books and Coffee where we started our day with a cup of coffee and donuts. I had been sick for the past week, and wasn’t sure I’d have the energy needed to participate. That doubt disappeared once we walked over to our spot in the parade and waited for the parade to start.

While waiting I could already feel how important it is for our communities to show support. I could feel all the love and acceptance as I spoke with others participating in the parade. We talked about issues that were close to our hearts, and how we plan to achieve our goals. Once the parade started, I was happy to see people from our communities showing their support and I enjoyed seeing how happy the children were to catch pieces of candy. Being a part of all the love was enlightening.  Music played, people danced and sang. Despite being exhausted from my cold, my friend and I, danced and sang along as well. Being goofy and jumping around was so much fun and being a part of the parade has been a highlight of my summer. Although, we should not limit support for the LGBTQ+ community to just one month, I am very excited to have been a part of the Pride Parade this year and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

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