Voting Rights News

Perry County Chapter hosts 'Singing for Democracy'

November 5, 2012 at 07:41pm

KFTC members, advocates for democracy and church members came together on Sunday, November 4th for the first Singing for Democracy in eastern Kentucky. 65 people came to the Consolidated Baptist Church in Hazard to hear singing, testimony and share fellowship over a chili supper cooked by church members and Perry County chapter member Jenny Williams.

gDSC_0543Consolidated Baptist Church pastor Rev. Lowell Parker of Wheelwright, Floyd County, served as emcee for the night, introducing the speakers, distinguished guests and even singing with the church choir. The program started with a rousing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Lexington singer Special K. The Consolidated Baptist Choir and visiting Rev. Jake Ravizee fueled the event with songs of praise and worship.  Evangelist Jake Ravizee has been an Ordained Minister-Evangelist and Vocalist for over 35 years. He lives in Lynch, Kentucky with his wife and three children. His years of service through prison ministries made him especially excited to be a part of this important event.

There was an impressive turnout both from local community members and from local elected officials. State Senator Brandon Smith, Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo and Commonwealth Attorney Teresa  Reed all attended the event. Judge Stumbo, who is seeking election to the state Supreme Court, spoke briefly about the meaning of democracy after Rev. Parker invited her up to the podium. Her vision of democracy included memories she had of being a child in Floyd County, watching her father tally votes off the radio during election nights, and watching the impressive campaign led by KFTC in the 1980s to stop the broad form deed.

Power of Voice - Tayna Fogle

November 4, 2012 at 12:25am

Our friends at the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Equal Voice just put together a powerful video following one of our leaders, Tayna Fogle, of Lexington.

Power of Voice from Equal Voice on Vimeo.

Tayna Fogle is a grandmother, basketball player extraordinaire, and former addict who spent nearly part a decade in prison. In order to stand up for the issues that were important to her family, she had to bravely defend against harsh drug sentencing policies and learn to navigate bureaucratic mazes to regain her right to vote. Today she works with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth as an organizer and voting rights activist to help others do the same. Her story is appropriately called “Power of Voice.”

Eastern KY Voter Mobilization Update

November 2, 2012 at 05:56pm
Perry County

training KFTC members from Perry and Letcher counties came together last night to hold an East Kentucky phone-banking event in preparation for election day, next Tuesday November 6.

With support from members of these two chapters, we held the largest phonebank that East Kentucky has had in at least the last three years, with 8 members, staff and volunteers calling over 300 members – every person in our database for the east Kentucky counties and the 100 people we helped register as new voters during the fall voter registration period.

Upcoming Singing for Democracy in eastern Kentucky

October 24, 2012 at 05:08pm

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gDSC_0366The Perry County KFTC Chapter and the Consolidated Baptist Church of Hazard are excited to be hosting the first gospel event Singing for Democracy in eastern Kentucky.

This celebratory event  – to supportthe restoration of voting rights to former felons who have served their time – will feature gospel performances by the Consolidated Baptist Choir, Rev. Jake Ravazi of Lynch, and others. Everyone is welcome to come join in the singing of hymns of redemption and hear testimony about the restriction of voting rights in Kentucky from prison ministries as well as from those who have been disenfranchis

10th Singing For Democracy a big success

October 24, 2012 at 02:57pm

Last night at Total Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, KFTC members and friends held our tenth Singing For Democracy Gospel Fest.

About 150 people gathered for the event, which included a step show by Thunderous Praise, performances by Total Grace's choir and Renew, plus solo acts and former felons telling their personal stories. 

Tayna Fogle opened up the events amidst a stage filled with ladders, hammers, saw horses, and power tools and talked about building a Democracy - and the enfranchisement of former felons as an important step in that process.

TWO Singing For Democracy Gospel Festivals soon

October 15, 2012 at 05:45pm

We've held nine Singing For Democracy Gospel Fests over the last few years to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their time.

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Operation voter madness a success in Lexington!

October 8, 2012 at 05:00pm
Central Kentucky

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You may have seen in the Herald Leader last week that groups all over town were focusing on registering as many voters as possible before the deadline this coming Tuesday October 9th. The central Kentucky chapter held a 36 hour voter registration marathon in Lexington over the weekend. Starting on Friday October 5th at 6am and going until 6pm on Saturday October 6th, volunteers registered people to vote at the transit center, on UK campus, the Catholic Action center, the William Wells Brown community center, local bars, Tolly Ho, Spaulding Donuts, Race for the Cure, The farmers market, N. Limeston coffee and donuts, the Village Branch library and door to door around the Lexington rescue mission in the Georgetown St. area.

Join KFTC at the Vice Presidential Debate in Danville: Thursday, October 11

October 5, 2012 at 02:42pm
Wilderness Trace

The new Wildnerness Trace chapter of KFTC invites you to join them at the Vice Presidential Debate Festival in Danville on Thursday, October 11, 2012.

KFTC members will be speaking on the issues we work on that are important to the national debate--either because they're being addressed or have been ignored and need to be heard.

If you come to join us for the day, please wear your KFTC t-shirt if you have one, or any bright green shirt. We want to stand out in the crowd!

4:30 pm -- KFTC Speakers at the Speakers' Park Introduction to KFTC and local organizing -- Wilderness Trace Chapter members Economic Justice: Tax and Budget Issues -- Dana Beasley Brown Voting Rights -- Tayna Fogle Coal & Energy -- Carl Shoupe

Voter Empowerment update from Perry and Letcher counties

October 1, 2012 at 03:04pm
Perry County

Dad registering to voteAs the election nears, KFTC members in the Perry and Letcher chapters have been tabling at local fall festivals to register voters. KFTC had a booth at the Hazard Black Gold Festival again this year and registered 25 voters over 2 days. Perry County Steering Committee Representative Katie Pirotina and Knott County member Fern Nafziger helped staff the table during Black Gold, enjoying the parade that passed right in front of our tables while we registered voters from throughout many eastern Kentucky counties.

Weekend's Rally For Recovery a big boost to our Voting Rights campaign

September 25, 2012 at 03:01pm

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This past weekend, our allies at People Advocating Recovery (PAR) held their big, annual Rally For Recovery in Louisville and KFTC members were invited as always to talk to people about our campaign to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society. 

In all, we collected over 250 postcards in support of voting rights for former felons, registered half a dozen voters, and helped over a dozen former felons to start the process to request their rights back through the Governor's office. 

Some of the former felons we met were veterans of the armed services or otherwise people who had served their time long ago.  Few had any idea what the process might be to get voting rights restored in Kentucky and some had been given a lot of misinformation in the past.