Chapter: Harlan County

In Harlan County and eastern Kentucky, we have a rich culture, natural beauty, valuable resources such as mountains, forests and water, and a history worth preserving. We are a chapter of KFTC because we believe that these assets and characteristics define who we are, and in preserving and protecting them we are defending a way of life and leaving what is most special about this place for future generations.

Harlan County residents helped create KFTC, and we are one of its earliest chapters. Our local chapter was built on the dedication and struggles of many who came before us, and since 1981 we’ve continued their efforts. Through the years, we have been involved in successful campaigns to save the upper elevations of Black Mountain (Kentucky’s highest peak) from strip mining and logging, help communities win water lines and a new bridge, and so much more.

Today we are working to build new power in the mountains to protect the water and a way of life threatened by destructive mining methods, while  supporting KFTC’s broader efforts to make coal mines safer for miners, fully fund schools and keep college affordable, bring clean energy jobs to this area and expand voting rights.

Recent Activities

Fixing What's Broke: why Congress must support a Just Transition for miners with black lung and communities

A new report from Kentuckians For The Commonwealth describes ways Kentuc

Local black lung resolution is picking up steam in Eastern Kentucky

Knott, Letcher, Rowan and Pike counties became the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th local governments in eastern Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass several bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired, and unemployed coal miners and their communities. The fiscal courts in Letcher and Knott counties took the unanimous action at their respective monthly meetings on October 15th, and Pike and Rowan counties acted the next day.

Advocates say other local governments will soon follow their example. The resolution was first adopted by the City of Benham in Harlan County in September. That action was followed quickly by local governments in the cities of Jackson, Morehead, and Whitesburg, and in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, and Pike counties. The resolution is expected to be considered at upcoming meetings in Floyd, Whitley, and Harlan counties, among other places. (Update: Floyd County became the 10th KY community to pass the resolution on October 18th!)

Benham & Jackson are first Kentucky cities to pass a local resolution supporting miners and communities

The Benham City Council in Harlan County and Jackson City Council in Breathitt County are the first local governments in Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass three bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal workers and their families and communities. Benham’s city government took the unanimous action at its monthly meeting on September 13. Jackson's city government adopted the resolution one week later on September 20, 2018.

Advocates hope other local governments may soon follow their example. A similar resolution was adopted several weeks ago in Virginia by the City of Big Stone Gap.

A community conversation with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

2018 0329 PPCNCMR Benham KY stevepavey (40 of 43)On March 29, nearly a 150 people from across Kentucky and central Appalachia gathered in Harlan County for a community conversation with each other and with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, as part of the national listening tour of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Kentuckians tell McConnell time is up, pass RECLAIM now

Senator Mitch McConnell is in a position to direct more than $100 million to economic and community development projects in communities hardest hit by the decline in coal mining.

Kentuckians held an action outside his Lexington office today asking him to waste no more time in doing that.

“The time is now to pass the RECLAIM Act,” said Lyndsay Tarus, the Economic Transition Coordinator for the Alliance for Appalachia. “This is a jobs bill. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has estimated that 4,600 jobs could be generated through the RECLAIM Act across the country.

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Chapter Feature:

DSC_0931"Many of us are working to create a better future for our children and grandchildren - and we've got lots of possibilities and real ideas about how to do that. We've got a bright future if we want it."

- Carl Shoupe, Benham, KY

 

Visions from Black Mountain coverVisions from Black Mountain

Residents of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland share their visions for the unique Tri-Cities area.

Regular Meetings:

We meet every other even month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. We move our meeting locations around the county. Check the calendar!

Chapter Organizer:

Harlan, KY 40831
606-632-0051