Chapter: Central Kentucky

The Central Kentucky chapter is one of the oldest chapters within KFTC. We are a diverse group of people who care about making our communities healthy and safe for all people. Our chapter members are interested in a range of issues, but currently we are working on educating folks about democracy through our restoration of voting rights campaign and voter empowerment work. We're also focusing on economic injustices within Lexington through our economic justice survey project and pushing our city leaders to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to address the afforable housing crisis that Lexington currently faces. Please join us at our next chapter meeting or at one of our upcoming events. Meet other chapter members to learn about the exciting work we're doing and how you can be a part of it!

Recent Activities

Members attend Jackson Rising conference to learn more about worker co-ops

Jackson Rising brought together 500 people, including Central KY chapter member Ginger Watkins and myself, in Jackson, MS. The conference gave us the opportunity for discussion and information sharing between national and regional authorities on cooperatives, cooperative owners, and others interested in exploring how cooperatives can be part of building a better economy with a better way of doing business. Presenters included US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Southern Cooperative Association, Southern Grassroots Economics Project, Cincinnati Union-Coop Initiative, Mondragon, USA, Green Workers Cooperatives, and US Solidarity Economy Network. Participants from across the nation were introduced to the basics of forming agreements for making cooperatives work, state policy obstacles to cooperatives, ideas for seeking initial funding for cooperatives from cooperative banks and foundations as an alternative to national banks that often deny funding for cooperatives, and other details about how day-to-day cooperative business is conducted.

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KFTC members give testimony to national voting rights panel

KFTC members traveled to Nashville on May 8th to participate in the National Commission on Voting Rights’ regional hearing that was organized by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Tayna Fogle was called as an expert witness on the panel to discuss disenfranchisement of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, while Teddi Smith-Robillard, Bonifacio Aleman, and Honey Dozier all attended to give public testimony as directly effected individuals. The panel lasted for four hours and covered a range of issues around voting rights, including election administration, dilution of minority power and redistricting, equal access to the political process, the impact of voter ID, and of course felony disenfranchisement. The regional hearing consisted of testimony from Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.Honey Dozier, Bonifacio Aleman, Teddi Smith Robillard

Members traveled to Nashville and sat for hours through the hearing to share their personal stories. “I feel it is necessary to reveal the discrepancies in the process to restore felons' civil rights to the rest of the nation,” Honey Dozer of KFTC and Jobs with Justice said after sharing her personal experience. Bonifacio Aleman, also with KFTC and Jobs with Justice, made it clear to the panel why he attended the hearing by saying, “Why do I care about voting? Because that is where our power lies.” And, Teddi Smith-Robillard shared her personal story and also challenged everyone to take action: “We need to take this issue to the streets because people aren’t listening.”

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2014 Primary Election: Central Kentucky Gets Out the Vote!

The primary election is on Tuesday, May 20th and the Central Kentucky Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is getting out the vote. And, you can get involved!Hilary Crookston registering voters

KFTC has done an amazing job with candidate surveys for the 2014 Primary and the Central Kentucky chapter worked hard to develop questions for local candidates based upon local issues we all care about, such as affordable housing, homelessness, diversity, and the environment, among others. We sent surveys out to the candidates so that we can communicate their answers out far and wide and they're now online at KentuckyElection.org There are also links to candidate sites, voting location information, and more.  So please share this link with people you know.

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April Browning: Celebrating the life of a friend and activist

Our community lost a strong leader the 7th of this month with the passing of April Browning. Her strong voice for justice and equality could be heard on many fronts.  In about every speech April gave it often started out with, "First and foremost, I'm a mom." She said in one interview, "My son Elijah . . . makes every day worth living and special . . . That's the first and most important thing you need to know about me."  She went on to explain, "But after that, it's really important to me to take initiative to make my community a better place - for Elijah and everyone else."

April was a board member of Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice.  She was the inspiration and one of the founders of Occupy Lexington in 2011.  Her voice was heard at the rallies organized by Kentuckians Against the War On Women.  She was a spokesperson around the restoration of voting rights for former felons in Kentucky and for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. 

April was born in Flint, Michigan, but grew up in Central Kentucky.  She understood first hand the struggle of low-income parents in Kentucky.  She understood first hand being denied rights as a former felon for a mistake long past paid for. She understood the struggle of the 99% against the 1%.

In her words, "I am politically active and I feel that my voice as well as thousands of other Kentuckians' voices should be heard. ... I'm fighting for progress across the board and this fight is personal."

We mourn the loss of her leadership and activism, but her spirit will remain with us as the struggle continues.

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KFTC members honored as Community Heroes

KFTC members Tanya and Christian Torp are recognized among 50 Community Heroes in honor of Cesar Chavez Day, March 31. On the birthday of the late civil rights activist and labor leader, the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Equal Voice for Families campaign is featuring on its website local leaders who are redefining poverty.

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Chapter Feature:

Our local campaigns

Regular Meetings:

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Episcopal Mission House
203 E. 4th St.
Lexington, KY 40508
Monthly Chapter Meeting

We meet every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 :00PM. at the Episcopal Mission House at the corner of 4th St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (across the street from the Living Arts & Science Center) in Lexington.

Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Chapter Organizer:

Beth Howard
250 Plaza Dr.
Suite #4
Lexington, KY 40508
(386) 299-2921

Upcoming Events:

April 1

Activism and the Art of the Unspeakable Writing Workshop

251 W. Second St.
Lexington, KY 40507

With Tasha Golden. 

April 20

CKY KFTC Chapter Meeting

Lexington, KY

Join us for our monthly meeting. Meet your fellow chapter members and find ways to plug into the work on a local and statewide level. All are welcome.