Restoration Rally Rocks the House... and the Senate! | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Restoration Rally Rocks the House... and the Senate!

    On Thursday, KFTC members and allies over 300-strong gathered from across the state to speak out for Restoration of Voting Rights for Former Felons who have served their debt to society. 

   Event planners had long-hoped that by the date of the big lobby day, House Bill 70 would already have passed the House and the day could focus on trying to move it through the Senate.  Unfortunately, delays in the House, likely related to the Governor's priority of the expanded-gambling bill, have meant that the bill has stalled in the House.  We have hopes that the massive show of support, and meetings with legislators will shake the bill loose in the House in the next few days, however, and get it moving again.

Mercy Students filling out postcards to their legislators (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)

Students from Mercy Academy
filling out postcards for their

    The day started with citizen lobbyists (most of whom had never lobbied before) gathering and breaking into small groups to seek out and talk to a handful of legislators each.  One thing that stood out in the report-backs was that many legislators who were opposed or unsure about the bill when we first talked to them about it have increasingly become stronger and stronger supporters of it over the last few years. 

    Forty High school Juniors from Mercy Academy were amongst the lobbyists.  The students have made Restoration of Voting Rights a focus of study and service for the year and really put some legislators on the spot.

    The day culminated with a 200-person rally in the Capitol Rotunda with eleven legislators voicing their support of the bill, as well as former-felons, KFTC members from across the state, and others speaking out powerfully.

DSC_0089.JPG (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
200 people came out to the rally in the rotunda

    Jefferson County KFTC and Alliance member Katrina Byrnes spoke out telling her story as a former felon trying to get her voting rights back.  "It's like I don't have any say in how things are run. I pay my taxes, but I don't get to pick the people who decide things."

    Special thanks to our allies at People Advocating Recovery who did so well mobilizing members and speakers to help make the day a success. 

    We still need to put pressure on the House to hear this bill in the next few days.  Please Call House Leadership and leave a message to help get this bill moving again. 

Here are some more photos from the day:

DSC_0037.JPG (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
Mary Love a Jefferson Co. chapter member meeting
with Senator Perry Clark

Tayna speaks at the rally (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
Tayna Fogle speaking at the rally
DSC_0077.JPG (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)
DSC_0059.JPG (by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth)

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