KFTC Blog | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth


SRO's: There's a better way

Posted by: Anastasia Kaufmann on September 11, 2019

Jefferson County Public Schools has ended its contract with the local police and sheriff departments to directly provide “school resource officers” or SROs. State law mandates that SROs must be present in our schools if funding is available. The School Board is currently planning how the SRO program will be designed and who they will hire. This is good news, since JCPS can put limits and guidelines in place! 

The risk is that JCPS might choose to simply duplicate, and ultimately double in size, the previous SRO program. That would look like hiring retired police officers, putting them in uniforms, and arming them with deadly weapons. Having armed, uniformed police officers in schools is bad for all students, and especially students of color! When police are in schools, arrests go up – and they especially go up for Black and brown students. This reinforces the school-to-prison pipeline. And despite the hype, SROs do not make schools safer or prevent mass shootings. 

We call on JCPS to develop an SRO program that is centered around restorative practices and restorative justice, and that does not permit deadly weapons within our schools. Further, we call on JCPS to recruit and prioritize hiring teachers and retired teachers, social workers, and mental health professionals whose priority is helping our students and keeping them safe. 

Take Action: Contact Your School Board Rep

Click here and scroll down to Find a Board Member. Enter your street address to get your school board member’s name and contact information.

Suggested Email or Call Script

Hi, my name is ___. I am one of your constituents within district [number]. I am also [any connections you have to JCPS, such as: I am a graduate of JCPS, a parent of a current or former JCPS student, a teacher, etc]. I am writing to you about your upcoming work on the School Resource Officer program.

Changing the way that the School Resource Officer program is important to me/my children because…[share your story and concerns]

I am asking you to…

[actively recruit and prioritize the hiring of teachers and former teachers, social workers, and mental health professionals for the School Resource Officer program]

[prohibit SROs from carrying deadly weapons within schools]

Take Action: Attend a School Board meeting or hearing

September 24: The School Board will have a work team meeting to discuss SRO policies. Public speakers are not allowed, but your presence is powerful and you can hold an 8.5x11 inch sign.

Location: Van Hoose Education Center, 3332 Newburg Rd.
Time: 7 PM

October 15: The School Board will vote on policies for the new School Resource Officer program

Location: Van Hoose Education Center, 3332 Newburg Rd.
Time: 7 PM – we recommend arriving 20 minutes early if you’d like to sign up to speak!

Join the Jefferson County KFTC Educational Justice team

Join our next Education Justice Team meeting on Tuesday, October 12 at 2:30 p.m. We will be meeting at the KFTC office, 735 Lampton St. If you can’t make it, click here to join our mailing list and hear about upcoming events and actions!

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JCPS Student Assignment Plan: What's most equitable for our kids?

Posted by: Anastasia Kaufmann on September 11, 2019

We all want the same thing for our kids: for them to be able to go to a school that’s the right fit for them, a school that will give them a great education in an environment that’s safe for all students and staff.

The Jefferson County School Board is currently considering decisions that will have an impact on every student in Jefferson County Public Schools. We want to make sure that they hear from us all about how these decisions will impact our kids and all students.

The Student Assignment Plan

Right now, any student who is not accepted to a magnet or other special school program attends their “reside” school. For most students, that means a school close to where they live. But students in West Louisville have been assigned to “satellite resides” in order to increase diversity – their “reside” school is often on the other side of the county from them!

Why speaking out should matter to everyone

Posted by: Jessica Shorkey on September 5, 2019

Last Monday, August 26, 2019, started out as just another workday for me. I was tired. I’d been working a lot lately, and I had many chores to do at home. I had grocery shopping to do.

Who is in office matters for protecting our water quality

Posted by: Maria Truitt on August 26, 2019

The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is a water pollution control agency established in 1948 among eight states that border the Ohio River.

Voting Rights Campaign updates

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 21, 2019

Debra Graner leading the Second Chances: Voting Rights for People with Felonies in Their Past workshop.

Our campaign to restore voting rights to 312,000 people with felonies in their past continues to move forward as we enter election season, with work happening all over the state.

We asked candidates for Governor and Secretary of State about where they stand on this issue. Read those responses, and learn more about all of the statewide candidates on the ballot this fall, at our voter guide.

Our work to register and educate voters this year and build our electoral muscles is absolutely key to winning this issue. We plan on registering more than 2,000 voters, and talking with 62,500 voters in the next few months. It’s a big job, but it’s worth it. You can find ways to get involved or support this work here

Meet and Greets build the base for real democracy

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 21, 2019

CKY Democracy Team Meet & Greet

Most Kentuckians know that the political leaders now in office tend to not have the best interests of the people at heart. And until they do, we have a hard time bringing to life our vision for stronger and more just Kentucky.  

To build strength and get more progressive people elected and better policies passed, KFTC members are taking to the streets, going door to door, talking to their neighbors, hosting events across the state and using phone, email and text to reach out to voters and remind them that who’s elected really does matter.

A new tool in the toolbox is an event they're calling a "Meet and Greet."

Through canvassing, tabling and other outreach efforts, KFTC is meeting a lot of new people out in the community. Some are interested in getting involved in fighting for democracy. It's going to take all of us to win in November and beyond, so we need large numbers of people to be engaged in our work.

Voter registration on campuses kicks into high gear

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 20, 2019

JCTC voter registration 8/19/19By the end of the first day of classes yesterday, KFTC members had registered 164 students to vote at nine events at Northern Kentucky University, Jefferson County and Technical College, Thomas More University, and Gateway Community and Technical College.

Most people don’t realize it, but students have the right to be registered to vote at school where they live and that’s an especially good idea if their parents live far away.  Tuesday, November 5th is Election Day, but it’s also a school day, so we want voting to be as accessible as possible for students. 

NKY Loves Democracy preview

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on August 20, 2019

Members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth love democracy. That’s why we spend so much time fighting for voting rights, fair representation, registering voters, working on our voter guide, and doing all we can to make sure that every voice is heard and respected in our democracy!

Fairness Moving Forward

Fairness Campaign Celebrates Dayton Becoming 12th City to Pass Fairness Ordinance!
Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on August 20, 2019

On August 6, Dayton became the 12th city in Kentucky to pass a fairness ordinance!

Mayor Ben Baker, who helped found the Northern Kentucky KFTC Chapter and served as its Steering Committee representative for several years, led a process that resulted in 5-0 vote in support of extending non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ Kentuckians living and working in the city! (You can watch the video here!)

Disability Justice 101: Community Care for Every Body

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 19, 2019

KFTC's annual meeting featured a Disability Justice 101 workshop co-facilitated by Centrak Kentucky KFTC member Tiffany Duncan and KFTC staff members Chandra Cruz-Thomson and Beth Howard. The workshop gave an introduction of Disability Justice concepts, a timeline of disability justice and disability rights organizing and modeled ways to incorporate disability justice tools and principles into our meeting spaces. 

According to Disability Justice activist Mia Mingus, “Disability justice is a multi-issue political understanding of disability and ableism, moving away from a rights based equality model and beyond just access, to a framework that centers justice and wholeness for all disabled people and communities.” 

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:

"We just knew that it made sense to work together across county lines because the problems we faced were similar and needed to be addressed on the state or national level," said Gladys Maynard, who was representing the Concerned Citizens of Martin County and became KFTC's first chairperson.


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