Singing For Democracy in Lexington | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Singing For Democracy in Lexington

KFTC and allies held a powerful Singing for Democracy event in Lexington last week to continue to build support for our campaign to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society. 

Primarily organized by KFTC member and leader Tayna Fogle, this is KFTC's 9th Singing for Democracy in the last few years.

gIMG_6395More than 250 people gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church for the event.  Performers included. Total Grace Missionary Baptist Church's choir, Bethsaida, Imani Church's choir, Antioch children's choir,   many solo singers, dancers, and more.  We also heard from a few elected leaders and half a dozen former felons telling their own stories. 

“We will not be quiet or sit still until every one of us has the right to vote," said Rev. Owens of the Shiloh Baptist Church.

“Singing for Democracy is a good title. That's all we're asking for – democracy. Senator Thayer ought to have the respect and decency to allow this bill to be discussed as part of the Democratic process,” said Lexington Council member Chris Ford.

“That's how this country started out – no taxation without representation. It wasn't right then and it's not right now. If Senator Thayer and others need a history lesson to help remind them of that, then I'm happy to help do the teaching,” said Teddi Smith Robillard, a former felon.

Tayna FogleFor more pictures from the event, visit our flickr gallery here

Some KFTC members are exploring the possibility of additional Singing For Democracy events in 2012, including one in eastern Kentucky.

Participants in the event, also took action by filling out postcards to legislators, pledging to call in to the legislative message hotline, or by registering to vote.

“If you don't get out and vote ... well that should be the crime. People died to give us the right to vote.  Back in the Civil Rights Movement, when people saw something that isn't right, we got out into the streets and did something about it. And that's what we're starting to do now,” said Teddi Smith Robillard, a former felon.

Teddi Smith RobillardIn other Voting Rights News, Republican Senate leader Dan Seum of Louisville made headlines recently when he made a public statement in support of voting rights for former felons. Seum has long been a supporter of voting rights like most of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, but it is rare for a Republican senator to voice an opinion that differs from Senate President David Williams in this way. This might be the state of a productive legislative session when senators return to Frankfort early next year.

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