KFTC Blog | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth


Happy 38th birthday, KFTC!

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 17, 2019

It was 38 years ago today – August 17, 1981 – that a group of 26 people from 12 counties meeting in Hazard agreed to officially form a new organization: KFTC, then known as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition. 

"People, especially in eastern Kentucky, were getting to know each other. All around the region there was a loose network of people who had worked together with each other in various ways over the past 15 years or so. What we didn't have in those days was a structured connection between us. There was a no interlocking of these community-level efforts, until KFTC."  –  Herb E. Smith, Letcher County

According to the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

This Hazard meeting was not the first meeting of this group of people who were coming together from across eastern Kentucky, with supporters from other parts of Kentucky. The group had met on several prior occasions to explore the possibilities of working together on common issues. Shared concerns included the quality of (or lack of) community services and public education in eastern Kentucky counties where coal was mined (which suffered from gross inequalities in the tax system), the rights of landowners and mining-related water quality problems.

"historybookcoverMany of the people involved were organizing in their respective home counties around these and related issues. The decision to launch a new organization was based on the understanding that the issues were all related and shared a common underlying root cause: "the inequality of life with a single dominant industry – coal – that was not contributing its fair share."

We've made a lot of history since, and still are. Thanks to everyone who has been and continues to be part of KFTC's story!

Gladys Maynard

Watch "I Was There: The First 30 Years of KFTC” and learn about KFTC's history through 2011.




Want to make sure KFTC is around for another 38  great years? Become a Sustaining Giver!
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We’re in a moment – it’s time to go all in

Posted by: Meta Mendel-Reyes, KFTC Chairperson on July 15, 2019

This spring, KFTC’s Steering Committee voted to go “all in” to impact the important elections in 2019 and 2020. They saw the urgency of this moment when so many things – our health care, pensions, schools, environment and our democracy – are at stake. Impacting the elections means engaging with hundreds of thousands of voters and changing the narrative about what’s possible in Kentucky. In the letter below, KFTC Chairperson Meta Mendel-Reyes explains why this moment is different – and why we have to rise to it.

Lights For Liberty Action Friday

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on July 11, 2019

People across the world, including here in Kentucky, are disgusted and distrubed by the images coming from ICE detention facilities.

Many affected as Revelation Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on July 9, 2019

KFTC members and residents of many other coal producing states and regions have followed the activities of Revelation Energy, LLC with increasing alarm in recent years. They’ve watched closely as the company went a buying spree, acquiring hundreds of mine permits and hundreds of thousands of acres of mines in Kentucky alone from 2014 to 2018. They’ve tracked notices of dozens of safety, health and environmental violations and overdue taxes charged against Revelation Energy, many of which remain outstanding. (According to the Lexington Herald Leader, Revelation Energy has been the top violator of reclamation and environmental rules in each of the last three years.) And throughout this year KFTC members have actively organized against proposed mining permits and permit amendments sought by Revelation Energy which threaten water quality and community well-being in Harlan and Pulaski Counties.

Enterprise Coal Co. "Big Branch" mountaintop removal mine Knott County KY

Emergent strategy at the SOKY Democracy Team meeting

Posted by: Alexa Hatcher on July 3, 2019

On Tuesday, July 2, the Southern KY chapter Democracy Team gathered for a meeting. During the meeting, emergent strategy was discussed.

Community members interested in making a difference meet in Buffalo Trace area

Posted by: KFTC Staff on July 2, 2019

On June 29, more than 20 KFTC members, and folks interested in finding out more about KFTC, met up in Maysville for an informal get-together.

Introducing Yesenia!

Posted by: Yesenia Soriano-Altamirano on July 2, 2019

Hi my name is Yesenia Soriano- Altamirano and I will be working with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth this summer to better understand the work that is happening here in our home state Kentucky.  I

Reflections From Food: Our Common Connection

Posted by: Rosanne Klarer on July 1, 2019

Food is love, and is a key part of creating any community. This was especially clear at the Rolling Bluegrass first ever grassroots food fair!

Water connects us all – World Peace and Prayer Day 2019

Posted by: Maria Truitt on June 25, 2019

Twenty-three years ago, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, began traveling the world conducting World Peace and Prayer Day.

Reflections from an Organizer Apprentice: Party on the river in Hart County

Posted by: Alexa Hatcher on June 20, 2019

Members in Hart County attended a Party on the River last weekend at Thelma Stovall Park in Munfordville.

ORSANCO Makes Standards Voluntary

Posted by: Robin Gee and Maria Truitt on June 17, 2019

On June 6, the current standards set by the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) for monitoring water quality in the Ohio River became voluntary.


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