There are many important stories coming out of the 2014 General Assembly – the outcomes of bills, the work of citizen lobbyists, the story of all the rallies and lobby days KFTC participated in.
For me, one of the highlights of KFTC’s work in the General Assembly – and, really, a highlight of all the work KFTC does – is the leadership development that happens around the session.
Throughout the session, KFTC is committed to developing leaders and helping their voices be heard. Whether it’s my friend Al lobbying for the first time. Or Mantell from Lexington taking his turn at the mic in front of the large crowd at the Voting Rights Rally. Or all the KFTC members who serve on various strategy teams that, throughout the session, contribute to our collective game plan … KFTC is about developing leaders.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about KFTC’s approach to leadership development.
Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law.
Yesterday, April 15, was the final day of the 2014 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Supporters of legislation to allow for the automatic restoration of voting rights for most former felons once they have completed their sentence (House Bill 70) gave the Kentucky Senate yet another chance to pass this meaningful legislation.
One of the most powerful ways our members spoke out this legislative session was in prayer. Pastor Anthony Everett from Nia Community of Faith in Lexington led three Witnessing Wednesday prayer vigils in the lobby of the Senate offices to lift up HB70 and the issue of restoring voting rights to former felons once they served their time. The vigils took place at 11:30 a.m. on March 12th, 19th, and 26th and included prayer, song, testimony, and information about the issue. More than 40 people gathered at the last vigil, including Senators Reggie Thomas, Alice Forgy-Kerr, and Gerald Neal, highlighting the bi-partisan support for this issue. The vigils brought together advocates from across the state, including members of KFTC, The Council of Churches, Fairness, Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, faith leaders from various denominations and faith traditions, and more. People across the state and nation were invited to pray and could join the vigil on livestream.
Earlier this month the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC partnered with Network Center for Community Change (NC3) to host a Legislative Call-in Party focused on House Bill 70, the bill that seeks to restore voting rights to former felons who have paid their debt to society. KFTC members joined NC3 members at their office to call the Legislative Message Line (1-800-372-7181) and leave messages for their senators and all senators asking them to recede to the House version of HB70. Members also took to social media to encourage their friends and family to do their part to support HB 70.
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KFTC works to strengthen our democracy in Kentucky in many ways, including:
Follow the links above to learn ways you can get involved and make your voice heard.
For more information or
to get involved:
Lisa Abbott | Tel: 859-200-5159