Members from Jefferson County, Northern Kentucky, and Central Kentucky recently traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in Populism 2015, a conference organized by National People’s Action (NPA), Campaign for America’s Future, Alliance for a Just Society, and USAction. The conference was a gathering of grassroots organizers, activists, and leaders “committed to building a new, multiracial populist movement to transform our country.”
KFTC members from across the state told their Congressperson that they stand in support of the People’s Budget. This included policy supports for tax fairness such as the Estate Tax, so that as a country we can make investments in our nation’s bright future.
The Central Kentucky Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth wants Fayette County to raise the wage! CKY KFTC supports a Lexington Fayette Urban County Government ordinance to raise the minimum wage in Lexington to $10.10 per hour over a period of three years. Right now, the ordinance is in the Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee of the Lexington Fayette County Government. The next hearing is set for Tuesday, June 23rd at 1 p.m. at Council Chambers located at 200 E. Main Street. Supporters will rally before the meeting at 11 a.m. at the Courthouse Square in Lexington and walk to the meeting together. However, KFTC members, some members of the LFUCG Council, and allies are pushing for an earlier hearing and for the ordinance to be heard by the entire council by swiftly moving it out of the budget and finance committee.
KFTC Southern Kentucky chapter members used the 2015 General Assembly to give their local work on renters’ rights a statewide platform.
The Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) is a set of codified best practices to clarify the terms of agreements between tenants and landlords.
It simply clarifies and standardizes the terms of a lease and protects renters from retaliatory evictions for reporting housing that is not up to code.
Based on best practices from the rental industry, URLTA is called a “win-win” for renters and landlords. Several states have adopted URLTA statewide. Kentucky’s state law, however, only allows individual communities to opt in to URLTA; it falls short of adopting it statewide.
Linda Stettenbenz, a Jefferson County member who serves on KFTC’s Economic Justice Committee, reached out to Jefferson Community and Technical College professors who are involved in an international movement to demand fair treatment for adjunct professors – professors who don’t have tenure and who often work for near-poverty wages with no job security from one semester to the next. Adjuncts at several colleges and universities opted for walk-outs; JCTC organizers opted for a teach-in.
Last night's JCKFTC meeting brought out twelve members of the chapter to deliberate, discuss, and take action on affordable housing, an LG&E rate change, the local air quality and economic justice campaigns, and events going on in the social justice world. Here is a summary of some of the good work the chapter is doing.
KFTC members have been active in Frankfort this week, supporting several economic justice bills as the session draws to a close. House Bill 374, which closes corporate tax loopholes to fund a state Earned Income Tax Credit, received a hearing in committee yesterday, and CKY member Jesus Gonzalez testified in support of the EITC. Here is Jesus's testimony:
Vision Smoketown began as a volunteer-based community canvassing project conceived after the Jefferson County KFTC Chapter moved its office to Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood in July 2013. Members of the chapter’s Economic Justice Team were focusing their attention on local affordable housing issues. After moving to Smoketown, the team wanted to understand the desires and needs of Smoketown residents within the changing dynamics of Louisville.
Where are we, Louisville? How is our local narrative fitting into larger regional, statewide and national social conditions?
Louisville, like the rest of the country, has become a place with a more visible and increased militarized police presence. Less than a year ago our local media in conjunction with with many elected officials and police, used an incident with young people downtown to funnel over $200,000 into more surveillance and policing of youth of color particularly along the Waterfront and new areas of “urban” development. Young people were framed as rioting and dangerous. The damaging effects of this increase in the policing of young people can be seen in the case of the Misidentified 4, where young men from our community were brutalized and whose families have been vocal about the need for a civilian review board.