We are Kentuckians: Martha Flack | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

We are Kentuckians: Martha Flack

Martha Flack keeps showing up to learn from other members and build a better and brighter Kentucky

Martha Flack is a member of the Jefferson County KFTC Chapter. She has served on KFTC’s Steering Committee and Voter Empowerment Committee, as well as the chapter’s Air Quality Committee. She’s made many trips to Frankfort to lobby with KFTC and helped to build grassroots power as a PowerBuilder.

How did you get involved with KFTC?

In 2006, I became aware of KFTC through work at my church, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, when we were looking to become a green sanctuary program. We had to partner with an organization for an environmental justice project as part of the requirements. We looked at three different organizations. I was the one to check out KFTC. At my first meeting they were trying to work with the other two organizations around voter issues. My church chose to partner with KFTC and ended up working on the I Love Mountains Day rally in 2007. We’ve never stopped doing that (helping to promote and attend I Love Mountains Day), and I never stopped going to KFTC.

Why have you stayed involved?

I’m a rebel. I think that I am, not always to my benefit, an underdog person. I have a pretty good barometer for injustice in the world, but sometimes I don’t see all the angles. It’s good to have caring and compassionate people around me to see all of the angles and to challenge me. Also, it’s not hard to convince me that things are wrong with the world. I’d rather do something about it than to just be worried or to complain.

Back in 1979, I helped develop an operator assistance program to help small coal companies meet new federal requirements. I was naive about the effects of coal mining, how little the federal or state governments held coal operators to the regulations, and the damage being done to miners and communities. I was busy making a living and being a single mom. I was less informed. I’m sure the lung risks were known as much as anything else. I’ve learned a lot through KFTC. I’m less naive.

What else have you learned by being involved at KFTC?

I’ve been very fortunate in my life. A lot of people at KFTC opened my eyes to things that I just wouldn’t know about. People were willing to tell me their stories and confront my lack of knowledge or misconceptions.

I didn’t know that so many Kentuckians were prevented from voting due to past felony convictions. I had no clue how that process works.

I’ve learned a lot about what we call our democratic process. I’m not too impressed. Like this whole thing where one legislator has the ability to keep an issue from being voted on by the full House or Senate - I don’t feel like it’s very democratic at all. We need to take a critical look at how we do business in the U.S. and state legislature.

You’ve shown up for quite a few days of lobbying. What keeps you coming?

I can see a lot of what needs to be changed, and I have to do something. If I want to see a better world, I have to create that world. Also, when you show up at lobby days or to lobby, you see that you’re not in it all by yourself. You’re in it together with 9,000 other KFTC members. We can do more to make the world more just. More like what we want it to be. Showing up makes a difference.

I also keep showing up because I’m not good at it. I was in a meeting earlier this month with members from Shelby County and their state senator. I might have talked too much. Sometimes, I get angry. I try not to carry anger with me into the room. Sometimes I don’t feel that I understand the complexity of the issues, but I show up anyway, because I can make a difference, and I want to get better at it.

Why should someone get involved with KFTC?  

It is a grassroots organization led by the people of Kentucky, doing what needs to be done to create the state that we want it to be. 9,000 members means that you’re more likely to be heard when you might not be heard alone.

KFTC is made up of more than 9,000 individuals who come together to amplify our voices and to fight for a better Kentucky. As individuals we bring our own talents and treasures with us to the organization. We Are Kentuckians is a new series that will profile KFTC members in various aspects of the organization.