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Voting Rights News

Task force hears testimony on voting rights bills

October 22, 2013 at 03:13pm

For the first time, some members of the Kentucky Senate got to hear testimony on the issue of restoring voting rights to former felons.

Myrna Perez

The Interim Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs, with members from both the House and Senate, heard testimony on bills that would allow Kentucky voters to amend the state constitution to automatically restore voting rights to former felons once they’ve served their debt to society.

Southern Kentucky Update

October 1, 2013 at 08:00pm
Southern Kentucky

On September 24, Southern Kentucky KFTC members came together for their regular monthly chapter meeting with many big updates and even bigger plans for the next few months.

Steering Committee representatives updated members on the recent steering committee retreat held in Whitesburg, which provided both an orientation to newly elected representatives and an exciting start to our Fall Fundraising campaign. Several local members have agreed to participate in our Power Builders program, joining members all across Kentucky to celebrate KFTC’s focus on growing a healthy democracy as we raise funds, awareness, and members. To see how to join in this HUGE event, visit our KFTC POWER BUILDER page.

Momentum Building for Voting Rights in Kentucky

September 18, 2013 at 12:12pm

Council Member Ford and KFTC members

Momentum is building in the campaign to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their sentence in Kentucky. And comments made this week by US Senator Rand Paul are the latest indication that proposed changes to the Kentucky Constitution could finally win approval in 2014.

For nearly 8 years, KFTC and our allies have organized, lobbied, door-knocked, rallied and prayed together in support of a constitutional amendment known as HB 70. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, seeks to reform Kentucky’s outdated constitution, which has barred people with felony convictions from voting since 1792. Once adopted, the measure would restore civil rights to most non-violent offenders upon completion of their full sentence.

Shelby members encourage Sen. Hornback to support voting rights

September 16, 2013 at 11:17am

State Senator Paul Hornback favors restoring voting rights to former felons who have served their time, but wants to make them wait two to five years after completing their sentences before being able to vote.

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

September 5, 2013 at 12:18pm

KFTC sent a delegation of 11 people to participate in the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. They traveled with a group of about 100 Kentuckians on buses organized by the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. These reflections and photos are from one member who made the trip.

Fifty years have passed since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when Martin Luther King Jr. famously bellowed, “I have a dream” here on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where I now stand.

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

There are deeply eroded grooves on each marble step, worn and weary from the footsteps of previous generations who likewise marched for equality. From the 1913 Women Suffrage Parade to the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957, these steps have become sacred ground for the forgotten, neglected, and disenfranchised citizens of our nation.

Now here we stand, honoring the legacy of Dr. King, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and others who sacrificed their lives so that my generation could freely go to the polls on Election Day and attend integrated schools.

Growing a healthy democracy in Florida and Kentucky

August 21, 2013 at 03:44pm

Saturday Plenary Binary DataSaturday Plenary

Florida is like Kentucky in its need for a strong and visionary grassroots organization to influence the political tide.

For Kentucky, that organization is KFTC. For Florida, it’s the Florida New Majority. Gihan Perera, executive director of Florida New Majority, and volunteer Johann Joseph talked about their work to build a healthy democracy at KFTC’s recent annual meeting at General Butler State Park.

“We are really excited to learn from their experience for many reasons,” said KFTC member Linda Stettenbenz in introducing Perera and Joseph. “Florida, as we know, is a complicated place that has its share of challenges when it comes to democracy. Like Kentucky, Florida is among a handful of states that permanently take away a person’s right to vote when convicted of a felony. It’s a state that has a history of schemes to suppress, discourage, purge and otherwise restrict people from voting – especially if they happen to be people of color. And like Kentucky, Florida is also home to a remarkable, determined, visionary and effective grassroots organization that is building power, growing community leaders, and making change for the better.”

Fancy Farm is no picnic for black voices

August 12, 2013
The Kentucky Gazette

“The scary thing is that very few people are asking the question about where the black voices are,” said Dr. Ricky Jones, a Pan-African studies professor at the University of Louisville and director of UofL’s Center for Race and Inequality.

Central Kentucky KFTC members meet with Senator Alice Forgy Kerr on Restoration of Voting Rights

August 9, 2013 at 01:59pm

On August 1, Central Kentucky KFTC members sat down with state Senator Alice Forgy Kerr to talk about the importance of restoring voting rights to former felons. Members were happy to have her full support.

Central Kentucky members Sarah Thomas, Teddi Robillard Smith, Mantell Stevens, and Pastor Anthony Everett shared their passion for the issue and created a space that allowed for a supportive conversation about the importance of democracy and the power of having a second chance.