Jefferson County | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Chapter: Jefferson County

If you are looking for a growing base of fun-filled committed community leaders to share your talents with, look no further! The Jefferson County Chapter hosts over two thousand members from all over Louisville, Oldham County and across the bridge in southern Indiana. Our chapter hosts both the young and experienced from many different walks of life. While actively supporting all of KFTC’s statewide campaigns, members in our chapter also have work on local campaigns around air quality, economic justice, and more.

Since the chapter formed in 1983, we have supported and worked with allies on issues that affect you and me, including affordable housing, police abuse, sweat shops, hazardous waste reduction and recycling. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to fight for justice while building a compassionate, connected, and fun community here in our great city. 


Recent Activities

One Vote at a time

I picked up a man, Thomas, who lives off Preston Highway so he could vote at 6am. When we pulled up to his polling place, there was a line of people out the door waiting to vote. Fifteen minutes later when Thomas came out of St. Rita's, he said, "It's exciting to see that many other people voting." I asked him what races he was excited to vote in. "All of them! This is actually my first time voting, so I'm excited just to vote."

Thomas then told me he is a Texas native and it was his path to recovery that brought him to Kentucky. He has been sober for seven years and now teaches and helps others in their recovery. And he just voted for the first time. Moments like that is what makes this work so worthwhile, when you see democracy in action and see people lifting themselves up by making their voices heard.

- Beth Bissmeyer

Reflections from a first-time phone banker

IMG_9736In Louisville, we've been having a blast making Get Out The Vote calls to our members and to people we’ve registered to vote this year. Thanks to our amazing volunteer members, to date, we have made 1494 calls! The main purpose of these calls is to make sure people know where to vote and have a way to get to their polling place. Calling these folks has been immensely rewarding as many of the people we have reached had no idea where to vote, and we were eager to provide them that information.

Making these calls might seem a little scary to people at first, but take it from first-time KFTC phonebanker Chris Hale, calling folks is easy and exciting to do!

“Let's get ready to rumble!!!” - Voter Madness

 (Below is an account from last week's incredible 48-hour-straight voter registration marathon in Louisville)

BeckiandEmilyMost people in Kentucky know what Madness is all about. You hear people talking about it in bars, on the streets, at the grocery store, even in church. Fans are out in hordes – crazy outfits, team tees, homemade signs, cheering, dancing, shouting – going crazy. Lots of high-power individuals coming together as a team. High stakes, high scores, every second counts. The air crackles with energy and excitement.

Members of KFTC and Kentucky Jobs with Justice definitely know what VOTER Madness is all about. Starting Friday, October 5th, our voter registration teams dominated the Louisville “courts” for 48 straight hours and the crowds went wild. From St. James Court to St. Stephen's Church, from Fourth Street Live to McD's at five, our team of 20 members, organizers and volunteers brought their A-game. The result? Democracy scored big. According to WLKY News, “The number of registered voters in Jefferson County has hit a record level of more than 500,000.”

Check out the replay reel:

Jefferson County chapter registers 319 students in two days at UofL

The Jefferson County KFTC Chapter had two very successful days of voter registration at University of Louisville, thanks to the organizing efforts of KFTC members Emily Nordling, Elijah McKenzie, and Tim Darst. Emily is a recent U of L graduate and arranged sponsorship for us with the Honors Society, one of the student organizations she has been active with. Elijah is a current U of L student and Bonner Scholar who reached out to Tim, a member and officer of GRASS, an organization of students working to foster environmental sustainability and awareness on campus.  GRASS sponsored a second appearance by our members to register voters on campus.

kftc 2012electoral at u of lOn September 27, our table sponsored by the Honors Society registered 97 voters, with a good deal of help from Honors Society volunteer Taryn Cantrell.  She says of her experience with us, “It was an amazing experience to register over 100 students, knowing that I made an impact.  Though I did not know much about KFTC before volunteering, I am very glad I got the opportunity to be acquainted because many of its issues and concerns deal with my hometown of Pikeville.  I love my hometown and hope to return there someday to give back to the place that has given so generously to me. ”

Jefferson County Voter Registration Update

Howard Owens2Last week was our biggest yet in Jefferson County. Thanks to our dedicated members who volunteered, we registered 240 voters! Over a hundred of those registrations came from hitting up grocery stores in the south and west ends of Louisville. As shoppers packed food out, we packed democracy in.

Electoral organizer Beth Bissmeyer shared this story of success not only in numbers, but in spirit:

“Last Tuesday proved to be another good night to go Krogering in Shively; in just a few hours, 28 people registered to vote and several people signed our petition in support of restoring voting rights. For me, the highlight of the evening was a conversation I had with a young woman. When I asked her if she was registered, she said she didn't vote because government doesn't do anything good. We got to talking about issues she cares about including the homeless population, and I told her she could hold her Metro Council representative accountable for local issues, that these people are often at community events and live in the neighborhood. 'I didn't know that I could do that,' she said. You could see that a light bulb just turned on. She started to fill out a registration card and while doing that, she told me about the difficulties her brothers have faced as former felons and how having just a misdemeanor on her file has made finding a good job difficult. I then told her about our work around voting rights and gave her restoration applications for her brothers. While not everyone who tells you they don't vote will experience this kind of turnaround, it's worth a little bit of prodding for the ones who do.”


Chapter Feature:

Watch a video from our Open House

Regular Meetings:

First Unitarian Church
809 South 4th St
Louisville, KY 40203
Monthly Chapter Meeting

Our chapter meetings are held virtually on the 2nd Monday of the month, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. and are open to the public. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Chapter Organizer:

Corey Dutton
735 Lampton Street
Suite 202
Louisville, KY 40203