Madison County members take action at Andy Barr event

On August 27, the Berea Chamber of Commerce invited U.S. Rep. Andy Barr to an annual luncheon and legislative discussion. However, this year, local constituents responded to Barr’s presence with questions and concerns. Joining others from the community, KFTC members took the opportunity to demonstrate publicly.

Those present advocated for various issues, causes and pursuits. Some present, such as KFTC member Maggie Park, lifted up health care as a major concern. According to Park, “he doesn’t fight for what Kentucky needs, like health care.”

Park and others present, however, did not stop there. As Park explained, “Barr doesn’t fight for federal funding that creates jobs like the US National Park Service and researching renewable energy sources, or directly remedies our drug crisis.”

Some pointed specifically to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which is under political attack despite its necessity for securing the well-being of those who suffer from the debilitating disease. Additionally, these attacks are happening in the face of an increasing number of black lung cases.

Despite the variety and apparently disparate nature of the issues raised, something still unified the crowd. Besides the friendly chants and singing, there was a sense of a community coming together to build itself up. Park exemplified this sentiment, saying, “I see it as my duty being a community member and citizen to be engaged in my government. I don’t think Barr represents us in the House; he rubber stamps the current trend in bills.”

Less than a month prior, Anthony Thigpenn delivered the keynote address of KFTC’s Annual Meeting in Berea. The overarching feeling at this demonstration was one of building the beloved community that members had united over during the annual meeting. In spite of all their differences, those present at the Berea Chamber of Commerce event came together over their goals, desires and common cause for making our shared world a better, more just world.

In this case, Andy Barr’s presence presented an opportunity that the community of Madison County could not ignore to bring their concerns together. With a sense of common purpose, Madison County presented Barr with a powerful statement of solidarity as well as their grievances and concerns.

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