We took our climate justice work to the world stage at the COP21 climate talks in Paris, helped pass a minimum wage increase in Lexington, and moved the needle on voting rights. And in communities across Kentucky, we raised our voices for renters’ rights, environmental protection, racial justice and more.
Members gathered all over the state, from Madison County to Whitesburg to Covington to Lexington, last night to watch, process, and come up with action plans to push for adequate funding for health care and preserving kynect and Medicaid expansion, access to higher ed, protecting the arts, and community health.
Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal reasoning may have been fuzzy, but his moral obligation is now clear: When the legislature convenes, the new Republican governor must overcome roadblocks within his party to restoring the voting rights of felons who have paid their debts to society.
KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown opened the first We Are Kentuckians rally in Frankfort by sharing a vision of healthy communities, good jobs, the best health care, fairness, racial justice and a healthy environment across Kentucky.
“Our collective voice is so important in this political landscape – the voice of real people. We’re churning our dreams – you and me – with people all over our commonwealth. And we have the solutions that can make them a reality,” Beasley Brown told the crowd of 200 gathered in the capitol rotunda on January 5, the first day of the 2016 General Assembly.
Let’s start the new year off with a declaration at our Capitol!
We have a shared vision for Kentucky. We have momentum, with raising the wage in Lexington and restoring voting rights. Now is the time for us to work even harder together, to grow stronger, and build new power.
Be in Frankfort on January 5th to shout our vision for a better Kentucky.
Kentuckians throughout the state are elated that Gov. Steve Beshear has taken steps to restore the voting rights for tens of thousands of state residents.
“Pretty awesome,” is how KFTC member Mantell Stevens reacted to the news. “To be able to vote means a lot to me. I always encourage people to vote, but now I can lead by example. I tell my nieces and nephews the importance of voting, but I could never vote myself.
“To be able to actually go and vote and to show them the importance of participating in democracy will mean so much to me,” added Stevens, who lost his right to vote in 2000 after spending 30 days in jail and three years on probation for a drug possession charge.
Last month the Jefferson County Chapter hosted the 2nd annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy block party: the party hasn’t stopped since! The event was a celebration of the history of the Smoketown neighborhood and the innovative ideas from local residents for its future.
The Northern Kentucky chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth held a forum on March 15th raising awareness about the challenges facing former felons upon returning to their community. Member Rick Traud opened the event by welcoming the 40 people who attended, and talking about his personal expreience dealing with former felons trapped in a cycle of poverty as the result of mistakes in their past while working as a volunteer with Saint Vincent De Paul in Northern Kentucky.
The Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC (JCKFTC) partnered with eight local allies to host a Grassroots Lobby Training on January 27. This two-hour training was free and open to the public and was attended by nearly 80 community members, a majority of whom were new to grassroots lobbying.