I Love Mountains Day
Sean Hardy is a member of the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC's Air Quality Team. The following is the speech Sean gave at the 10th Annual I Love Mountains Day rally at the State Capitol in Frankfort. To learn more about the chapter's Air Quality Team click here or contact our Jefferson County chapter organizer Alicia Hurle at email@example.com or 502-589-3188.
Hello, my name is Sean Hardy and I have been a proud KFTC member for the last 2 years. I also am a native of West Louisville, Kentucky. The West Louisville neighborhood is one that has provided both economic empowerment and home ownership to many African Americans throughout the years.
It is also home to a conglomeration of chemical plants aptly named “Rubbertown” – referencing its WWII ties as a rubber manufacturing company.
“We are here to express our love for Kentucky and our belief in its bright future,” said KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown as she welcomed the crowd to KFTC’s tenth I Love Mountains Day.
Frigid winds and snow flurries couldn’t compete with New Power as hundreds of people from across Kentucky marched up Capital Avenue and rallied on the capitol steps for a brighter future for Kentucky.
Beasley Brown thanked KFTC members for “your vision, your courage and your persistence” and recognized the many communities across Kentucky who were represented in the crowd.
The Saturday following I Love Mountains Day, the Northern Kentucky chapter celebrated their own love for the mountains with Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains. Aimed at raising awareness about issues that impact Kentuckians from the Appalachian region, this event focused on the devastation of mountaintop removal and the need to re-imagine the possibilities in eastern Kentucky.
During this short 2015 Legislative Session, it can be difficult for many Kentuckians to make the trip to Frankfort and share their good sense with lawmakers. That’s why members of the Harlan, Letcher and Big Sandy KFTC chapters spent time this February writing to their senators, representatives and key leaders of both chambers. More than 50 cards, letters and postcards are on their way to more than two dozen lawmakers in Frankfort! Some were even hand delivered to House members during the Clean Energy Lobby Day late last week.
The budget proposed by President Obama today calls for significant new investments in economic transition in Central Appalachia. The President's ideas for the region are being called the "Power + Plan."
Among the highlights of the President's plan are the following:
$1 billion over five years to restore lands and waters degraded by decades-old mining and support related sustainable development projects.
$56 million to invest in job training for laid-off miners and to support economic development efforts in Central Appalachian mining communities. This figure includes an additional $20 million in job training for miners and power plant workers; an increase of $25 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission's annual budget, to be directed at "communities most impracted by coal economic transition"; $6 million more to the Department of Commerce for "place-based regional innovation efforts," including grants to economically distressed communities; and $5 million more for the EPA's brownfields program to help communities deal with the closure of coal-fired power plants.
$3.9 billion over 10 years to shore up health and retirement benefits for many retired miners.