Hundreds coming to Green New Deal event Saturday in Frankfort | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
Release Date: 
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Press Contact: 
Cassis Herron
KFTC vice-chairperson

Hundreds coming to Green New Deal event Saturday in Frankfort
Kentuckians will help shape a just transition

Kentuckians will have the chance to learn more about – and help shape – what the Green New Deal would look like in Kentucky at a gathering in Frankfort on Saturday evening.

The gathering, sponsored by the youth-organized Sunrise Movement in partnership with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and SEIU 32BJ (Service Employees International Union) is the Kentucky Stop on Sunrise’s Road to a Green New Deal national tour.

Speakers will include:

  • Kevin Short, high school environmental organizer and grandson of a coal miner from Lily, KY, and former president of the Kentucky High School Democrats
  • Scott Shoupe, a 4th generation coal miner from Harlan County currently working for a just transition to renewable energy
  • Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise Movement
  • Rep. Attica Scott, from Kentucky’s 41st state House district (Louisville), and former organizer with Kentucky Jobs with Justice
  • Jennifer Bencomo Suarez, Louisville Sunrise hub coordinator and organizer with Resistencia Louisville, UofL student and daughter of two Cuban immigrants.
  • Music by Appalatin

While a Green New Deal will be possible through Congressional legislation, Kentuckians will have a major role in shaping what it looks like in Kentucky, according to Cassia Herron, KFTC’s vice-chairperson.

For example, many former coal miners and other residents of communities that once relied on coal industry jobs are working for a just transition to a new energy economy that invests heavily in the people and places left behind by coal companies. That includes making sure miners sickened by black lung disease and unreclaimed toxic mine sites are given the care they need and deserve.

"In eastern Kentucky, miners have been asking and begging and fighting for health benefits because of black lung," Herron said in a Kentucky News Connection interview. "The visions and promises of a new deal would have protections for workers who are transitioning to an economy that's focused on renewable energy."

More than four hundred people have registered for Saturday’s Green New Deal event. It will take place at 7 p.m. in Bradford Hall on the campus of Kentucky State University. Admission is free but tickets are required.