Recent sparks

Upcoming opportunities to mobilize your cluster in the General Assembly

Conversation spark

Now is a good time to be in touch with your cluster members and get them prepared for involvement in the legislative session. Here is a list of KFTC lobby days in Frankfort. Will you invite your cluster members to I Love Mountains Day on February 14 or the lobby day they might be most interested in?

Happy New Year! We're looking forward to a great new year with new staff and some ambitious goals.

As we do every year, in early January we turn our focus to the Kentucky General Assembly. KFTC members provide a very important grassroots presence in the legislature, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in Frankfort and at home.

Legislators met for 4 days at the beginning of the month to elect leaders and handle other administrative business. They will return to the capitol on February 5 until March 11 to consider legislation. We'll be prepared to push our four legislative priorities:

And we'll take positions on other bills as there is the opportunity or need to do so.

In order to make our voices heard in Frankfort, we need a visible and regular grassroots presence at the state capitol. Can spend one or more days lobbying with other KFTC members in Frankfort, and get some of your cluster members to come with you? It’s a great experience.

Besides the big rallies and lobby days we’ll have a KFTC presence at the General Assembly most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Our lobby day usually starts by 9 a.m. and ends about 2 p.m.

If you can make it, check with your chapter organizer for days when a group will be going from your community. If coming from other areas or on your own, please let Lisa Abbott know you are coming so we can expect you — lisa@kftc.org or 859-200-5159.

Thanks!

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Fall Fundraising!

Our Fall Fundraising Campaign is kicking into full gear.  Now would be a great time for you to contact all of your cluster members to ask them to renew their dues or to make a special gift beyond their annual dues.  Use our new online access system to see when your cluster members last donated.  And leave notes about how your conversations went.

Additionally, we will be sending out Fall Fundraising Campaign emails each Thursday through the end of the year. These may provide a useful conversation starter for you, especially as we hit different milestones towards our goal. 

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KFTC members vote!

We crunched the numbers and found that a whopping 73% of eligible KFTC members have voted in all three of the more recent General Elections we studied in Kentucky (2008, 2006, and 2005). Compare that to only 37% of Kentucky registered voters overall who voted in all three of those same elections.

Conversation spark

Are you all set to vote next Tuesday, November 6th? Do you have time set-aside between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to vote, and do you know where you’re going?  Have you had a chance to visit www.KentuckyElection.org or have you gotten to look at your KFTC voter guide or otherwise had a chance to learn about all of the candidates?

Have a good conversation with your cluster members to help them think through voting and think about what they have to do between now and Election Day to get ready.  

KFTCMembersVote

We can estimate from this that more than 95% of KFTC members who have the right to vote will vote in the big election next week.

KFTC members like you and most of your cluster members seem to be some of the strongest "super voters" in the state.  And that impact doesn't count other friends that we're reaching through phone banks, web, mailings, voter guides, or even informal contacts our 7,000 members make across the state.

Contacting your cluster members and making sure they’re all set to vote next week is a key first step!  Can you take a moment this week to make sure they have time set aside on Election Day to vote, have a way to get there, and have access to information about candidates to cast an informed vote?  You can also point them to www.KentuckyElection.org to help get them ready.  

Past that, KFTC members across the state are involved in field work like passing out voter guides and conducting phone banks to call all KFTC members, the 4,814 people we registered to vote this year, plus thousands of other people we've been in touch with lately.  If you or your cluster members want to get more involved in that work, please contact your local KFTC organizer to ask when the next phone banks are.

There are 7 days until the election.  Let’s make them count.  

 
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Training Sept. 22: "Communicating Our New Power Economy"

As you look forward toward the presidential debate season, are you feeling like you could use refreshers for your good conversations with your cluster members, friends, and family? 

The economy is front and center in this election, and between our Congressional delegation (Hal Rogers, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Yarmuth all have strong voices in matters of economic policy), our economic landscape, and the impact of federal budget cuts on our commonwealth, Kentuckians have every reason to be talking about the economy.

You, and of course your cluster members, are welcome to a training on September 22 called “Communicating Our New Power Economy.”  We will be joined by Public Works (one of the leading national research, education, and training programs focusing on economic issues), and the training will offer some great resources for shaping good conversations about the economy, the role of government, and taxes. 

(And, we hear that the Public Works folks are using some of the recent statements that KFTC members delivered in the Blue Ribbon Commission meetings! We’ll certainly use our collective work over the summer as a case study for part of the day.)

For more information and to RSVP, click here to visit our event page!

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A good conversation about tax reform

This week we're sharing a quick interview with a Jefferson County member, Linda Stettenbenz. It's just about a minute long – totally shareable – and boils down the reasons that Kentuckians deserve a fairer, more adequate tax structure. If you've been challenged by talking with your friends and neighbors about taxes, this might be a great place to start.

Share the video with your cluster of friends and neighbors, and talk with them about the kind of Kentucky we deserve. Tax reform is a vital piece of getting us there, so what do they (and you) think those reforms should look like? 

Talk to your cluster

Share Linda's video with your cluster of friends and family, maybe with any of these questions:

– There's a big conversation right now about what we want Kentucky to be, and how we can reach our potential. What do *you* think?

– How do you see the impact of the growing wealth gap, here in Kentucky? What do you think we can do to turn it around?

– Do you want to go to one of these Blue Ribbon Public Input meetings with me? Or leave a comment online?

A couple of handy things to note:

1) Low- and middle-income Kentuckians pay about 11% of their income to state and local taxes, while the state’s wealthiest 1% pay about 6% of their income to state and local taxes. (Source: Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, Who Pays Report, 2009)

2) Just since 2008, funding for many functions of our state government has been cut by around 30%, with some cuts up to 38%. Here's a recent report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy about the impact of these budget cuts on Kentucky jobs.

A couple of handy actions to take:

1)  Join us for a webinar on July 18th to learn more about Kentucky's tax and budget landscape, and how to participate in the Blue Ribbon Public Input Meetings this summer. You can find more information on the calendar, or on our Blue Ribbon Page.

2) Come to the Public Input Meeting nearest you, or leave a comment online. You can find resources and links on our Blue Ribbon page.

Thanks for all you do, and as always, we'd love to hear how any of your conversations go!

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