Chapter: Harlan County

In Harlan County and eastern Kentucky, we have a rich culture, natural beauty, valuable resources such as mountains, forests and water, and a history worth preserving. We are a chapter of KFTC because we believe that these assets and characteristics define who we are, and in preserving and protecting them we are defending a way of life and leaving what is most special about this place for future generations.

Harlan County residents helped create KFTC, and we are one of its earliest chapters. Our local chapter was built on the dedication and struggles of many who came before us, and since 1981 we’ve continued their efforts. Through the years, we have been involved in successful campaigns to save the upper elevations of Black Mountain (Kentucky’s highest peak) from strip mining and logging, help communities win water lines and a new bridge, and so much more.

Today we are working to build new power in the mountains to protect the water and a way of life threatened by destructive mining methods, while  supporting KFTC’s broader efforts to make coal mines safer for miners, fully fund schools and keep college affordable, bring clean energy jobs to this area and expand voting rights.

Recent Activities

Kentuckians act to support miners with black lung disease

Kentuckians took action today in Washington, DC and London, Kentucky to urge Senator Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress to do right by coal miners with bl

Fixing What's Broke: why Congress must support a Just Transition for miners with black lung and communities

A new report from KFTC describes ways Kentuckians are organizing to demand action from Congress – and especially from Senator Mitch McConnell – in support of a Just Transition for miners with black lung disease, retired and laid off miners, and their communities.

To build a new economy in coal communities, the report says Congress should start by "fixing what's broke," including strengthening funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, passing the RECLAIM Act, and protecting miners' pensions.

Local black lung resolution is picking up steam

Update 12.10.2018: Johnson County became the 15th local government in Kentucky to pass a resolution calling on Senator McConnell and other members of Congress to do right by our miners and coal communities!

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Knott, Letcher, Rowan and Pike counties became the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th local governments in eastern Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass several bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal miners and their communities. The fiscal courts in Letcher and Knott counties took the unanimous action at their respective monthly meetings on October 15, and Pike and Rowan counties acted the next day.

Advocates say other local governments will soon follow their example. The resolution was first adopted by the City of Benham in Harlan County in September. That action was followed quickly by local governments in the cities of Jackson, Morehead and Whitesburg, and in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, Rowan and Pike counties. 

Update 11.30.2018: The Floyd County Fiscal Court became the 10th Kentucky community to pass the resolution on October 18. Magoffin County quickly became the 11th, followed by Ohio County, in Western Kentucky, Knox County, and the City of Lynch in Harlan County.

Benham & Jackson are first Kentucky cities to pass a local resolution supporting miners and communities

The Benham City Council in Harlan County and Jackson City Council in Breathitt County are the first local governments in Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass three bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal workers and their families and communities. Benham’s city government took the unanimous action at its monthly meeting on September 13. Jackson's city government adopted the resolution one week later on September 20, 2018.

Advocates hope other local governments may soon follow their example. A similar resolution was adopted several weeks ago in Virginia by the City of Big Stone Gap.

A community conversation with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

2018 0329 PPCNCMR Benham KY stevepavey (40 of 43)On March 29, nearly a 150 people from across Kentucky and central Appalachia gathered in Harlan County for a community conversation with each other and with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, as part of the national listening tour of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

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Chapter Feature:

DSC_0931"Many of us are working to create a better future for our children and grandchildren - and we've got lots of possibilities and real ideas about how to do that. We've got a bright future if we want it."

- Carl Shoupe, Benham, KY

 

Visions from Black Mountain coverVisions from Black Mountain

Residents of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland share their visions for the unique Tri-Cities area.

Regular Meetings:

We meet every other even month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. We move our meeting locations around the county. Check the calendar!

Chapter Organizer:

Harlan, KY 40831
606-632-0051