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KFTC

2012 Annual Report

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Who We Are

KFTC is a grassroots organization of thousands of members across Kentucky. We have 13 local chapters and at-large members in many other counties. We use a set of core strategies, from leadership development to communications and organizational development, to impact a broad range of issues, including coal and water, new energy and transition, economic justice and voting rights. KFTC P.O. Box 1450 London, Kentucky 40743 (606) 878-2161 www.kftc.org


Contents

Letter from the Chair

Introduction

Dear Friends,

It’s Time for New Power........................2

Last year brought many changes and new challenges for KFTC and members from Prestonsburg to Paducah. As an organization, we added two new chapters and for the 31st time came together for another inspiring annual meeting. We also set a new fundraising goal and far exceeded it. Across the state, dedicated and determined members, volunteers and staff pushed hard for economic, political, environmental and social change. We realized once again that together we can accomplish so much to bring progress to the Suzanne Tallichet KFTC Chairperson citizens of our state. Our many highlights from last year include success on each one of these fronts. Just to name a few, we became the “pit bull on the pant leg of the Blue Ribbon Commission” for state tax reform. We registered a record number of voters. We raised our voices on I love Mountains Day, made our presence known in Hal Rogers’ office, and mediated an unprecedented settlement with one of Kentucky’s largest coal companies. We expanded our human rights struggles by furthering our fairness work. As you look through the pages that follow, let me gently remind you of those who came before us because they built the firm foundation we enjoy today. Into the years to come we will continue our efforts to bring equality and justice to all of Kentucky’s citizens. We have much to be proud of and yet, as we all know, there is always more to be done. I look forward to making 2013 another year during which all of us across the state will continue to make a difference in the lives of each and every Kentuckian.

Campaigns Canary Project .....................................3 NET: Appalachian Transition ...............4 NET: Renew East Kentucky .................5 NET: Sustainable Energy ....................6 Economic Justice ..................................7 Voting Rights .......................................8

Strategies Leadership Development .....................9 Communications ................................10 Organizational Development .............11 Voter Empowerment ..........................12 Building Chapters ..............................13 Building Alliances ..............................14 Looking Forward ...............................15 Our Vision .........................................16

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Introduction

It’s Time for New Power Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people, inspired by a vision, building New Power. When we press our electric co-ops to commit to energy efficiency, when we demand that our legislature invest in renewable power and the thousands of jobs it will create, when we train our neighbors to test and protect their water, and when we ask our political leaders to act to preserve our mountains, culture, and health – we’re building new energy power. When our members testify across the state before every hearing of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on tax reform, when we fight for a tax structure that supports all Kentuckians, one that will strengthen our communities and build the better future we all want, when our members organize against oppressive payday lending or for fair housing, when we demand jobs for all Kentuckians from new graduates to laid off coal miners, we’re building new economic power. When we register, educate and activate voters, sit in at a congressman’s office and refuse to yield our deepest hopes for Kentucky, when we bring hundreds of Kentuckians to climb the capitol steps, when we raise our banners in the rotunda or lift our voices in song to call for voting rights for all Kentuckians, we’re building new democratic power. New Power is the gateway to our vision, and it’s what we’re working for every day, all across Kentucky.

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“To me New Power is about a culture shift, from the one we have now to one where clean, sustainable energy is the norm, not the exception. One where the political power is in the hands of all the people, not just those with the money or the influence. And I think it’s one where the economic system is balanced so that everybody, all of us, have an opportunity to fulfill our needs and to pursue happiness.” —Mark Henson KFTC Member Madison County

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Campaigns

Canary Project

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e’re closer than ever to ending mountaintop removal and building a better future beyond coal.

Community Science and Public Health Eastern Kentucky members trained others to test their water, share information and organize their communities, putting the power of science in the hands of people directly affected by mining.

Appalachia Rising Seven KFTC members were arrested in June for occupying Congressman Hal Rogers’ office after Rogers again refused to meet with his constituents about mountaintop removal. In all, 22 citizens were arrested in congressional offices from West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky as part of Appalachia Rising.

I Love Mountains Day We brought more than 1,000 people to Frankfort in February for I Love Mountains Day, highlighting the health impacts of mountaintop removal and building connections with allies in the Tar Sands movement. After we rallied on the capitol steps, we marched to the governor’s mansion and planted a thousand homemade paper pinwheels on the governor’s lawn to represent the 60,000 additional current cancer cases linked to mountaintop removal. Historic Litigation We reached a settlement with International Coal Group and the state that requires the coal company to have ongoing third-party auditing of its discharge monitoring. This was the first time a Kentucky state court has allowed affected citizens or environmental groups to intervene in a Clean Water Act enforcement case brought by the state.

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Campaigns

New Energy & Transition Appalachian Transition

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uilding a better future beyond coal means leading a just transition to a more diverse, sustainable and thriving economy in the mountains.

Growing Appalachia About 80 folks from across Kentucky and even a few from West Virginia attended our third Growing Appalachia conference in eastern Kentucky in April, planned and hosted by our Floyd and Knott County chapters. Growing Appalachia presented specific skills to earn money, save money or start local businesses in sustainable agriculture, forestry and energy. Much of the lunch was local and/or organic.

“We had a good cross-state discussion between West Virginia and Kentucky about what it takes to get farmers’ markets off the ground. Turns out we are all facing the same challenges, so it was good to hear about different approaches.” —KFTC Member Beverly May at Growing Appalachia, Floyd County

Mountain Talk Floyd, Knott and Letcher County members worked together on a special Growing Appalachia edition of WMMT’s public affairs radio show “Mountain Talk.”

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Just Transition Conference Members also got to work this year planning a Just Transition conference for April of 2013 that will bring together a variety of stakeholders to begin building a common vision for a future beyond coal.

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Campaigns

New Energy & Transition Renew East Kentucky

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enew East Kentucky focuses on shifting the rural electric cooperatives toward a clean energy portfolio and a member-inclusive culture. Sonia for Shelby Board In June, KFTC member Sonia McElroy ran for the board of her rural electric cooperative. Though she didn’t win, Sonia drew attention to the closed-door policies of Shelby Energy and the need for new blood and greater transparency. After Sonia’s campaign, the local KFTC chapter began collecting signatures for a Members’ Bill of Rights. Clean Energy Collaborative KFTC members, including Tona Barkley and Steve Wilkins, continued their work with the Clean Energy Collaborative, formed with East Kentucky Power Cooperative when KFTC and allies prevented a coal-burning power plant in 2010. The Collaborative developed recommendations for demand-side management and helped EKPC take steps toward implementing renewable energy. New Blood for South Kentucky Co-op And in the fall, KFTC member Ray Tucker decided to try for a board seat on the South Kentucky Rural Electric Co-op in 2013. He plans to run on a platform of New Power and use this opportunity to work toward clean energy and energy efficiency for his co-op, push for policies to make the co-op more transparent and democratic, and build a movement in his community of people taking action for clean energy. London Energy Audit To educate ourselves and set a good example, KFTC members in Laurel County oversaw an energy audit of the KFTC office in London in April. Members Jennifer Even Melton, Vicki Lauderdale and Felix Woods were on hand to learn about the process (pictured, far left to right).

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Campaigns

New Energy & Transition Sustainable Energy

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ur work on sustainable energy is anchored in the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA), formed in 2009 by KFTC and allies to pursue clean energy policies in Kentucky.

Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance KySEA grew to 54 member groups. The fastest growing sector was small clean energy businesses that recognized the need for new policies to stimulate investment, remove cost barriers to clean energy for homeowners, and create a market for these businesses. Clean Energy Opportunity Act KySEA continued promoting the Clean Energy Opportunity Act in the Kentucky General Assembly. The bill would create a Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standard and feed-in tariffs for Kentucky. We held a clean energy reception at the capitol attended by 75 people, including 16 legislators. Some 200 people participated in lobby trainings on the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, and 60 people lobbied on the bill during a clean energy lobby day (pictured below) that included 50 different meetings with legislators. Our bill also got a hearing in the Kentucky House, and legislators reacted positively to its potential to create jobs.

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Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Campaigns

Economic Justice

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ur members working for economic justice and tax reform spent much of the year helping to shape the conversation of the Blue Ribbon Commission, appointed by the governor to study tax reform in 2012 and offer recommendations. Blue Ribbon Commission KFTC members described themselves as a “pit bull on the pant leg of the Blue Ribbon Commission” during this year’s tax reform hearings across the state. We served as the conscience of the process, providing consistent messaging and analysis as we pushed for a fair, adequate and sustainable tax structure. By the time the commission presented its recommendations, we had influenced the conversation and the culture. Better policies, such as an Earned Income Tax Credit, were included, and bad policies such as a sales tax on food were left out. Vice Presidential Debate KFTC member Dana Beasley Brown (pictured at right) and other members spoke at the vice presidential debate in Danville in October about the need for a tax structure that creates opportunity. “I know that when my voice joins your voice, and my vote joins your vote, when my tax contributions join your tax contributions, we can build new economic power and new democratic power that makes the Kentucky we want possible,” Brown said. Her speech was published as an op-ed in the Louisville CourierJournal. HB 127 Yard Sale Another visible show of our economic justice savvy was the House Bill 127 Yard Sale in March. Playing on the popular multi-county yard sale along Highway 127, our members spread out items on the capitol steps, including a jar of clean water priced at $2,093,800. The event drew attention to the inadequacy of the state budget. KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Campaigns

Voting Rights

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entucky permanently bars former felons from voting unless they receive an individual pardon from the governor, making us one of the most restrictive states in the country. A 2012 report from the Sentencing Project showed that nearly 250,000 Kentuckians are unable to vote because of a felony conviction. We’re working to pass a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to former felons once they’ve served their time. The bill easily passes in the Kentucky House each year but stalls in the Senate. Our members got a boost in 2012 when the bill was assigned to a different Senate committee. Changes in Senate leadership also offer hope that 2013 might be the year when the bill could pass. In the meantime, we helped individual felons navigate the pardon process and continued collecting felon stories for our newsletter and blog. Singing for Democracy Over the past few years, our chapters have held Singing for Democracy events to bring people together through song around the issue of voting rights. Much of the voting rights work had happened in the larger urban areas of Louisville and Lexington. But in 2012 our eastern Kentucky chapters held their first Singing for Democracy Gospel Fest in Hazard in November, and 65 people attended (pictured at left). Voting Rights Rally In March, during the Kentucky General Assembly, KFTC and our allies held a rousing voting rights rally and lobby day at the capitol (pictured above).

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Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Strategies

Leadership Development

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eadership development is KFTC’s primary strategy – it makes all our other strategies possible. In 2012, our members extended their abilities, strengthened their skills, learned from each other and accomplished more. Trainings and Conferences We contributed to these conversations, among others: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Facing Race conference and Showing Up for Racial Justice training, Baltimore EPA environmental justice meeting in Atlanta Central Appalachian Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice in Charleston, WV Communicating Coal conference in Denver Tour and strategy session with communities impacted by coal extraction in Alaska Climate Justice Alignment convening in Detroit Alabama Arise meeting in Columbiana, AL Grassroots fundraising conference in Oakland, CA Conferences on building a climate movement in Boston and Oakland End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington D.C. Stay Together Appalachian Youth (STAY) Summer Institute in Hillsboro, WV Marguerite Casey Foundation conference in Los Angeles

Member Carey Henson led a workshop on the Canary Project at the 2012 KFTC Annual Meeting.

Annual Meeting We held one of our largest annual meetings in October, with the theme Celebrating Our Differences: Finding Common Ground. “We believe in diversity because it’s right, because it works and because it’s fun,” said keynote speaker K.A. Owens. Members discussed the history of diversity within KFTC, immigrant rights, racial justice, LGBTQ equality, and organizing in rural communities. New Power Leaders We also continued to recruit and develop New Power Leaders, a group of grassroots leaders who lead “clusters” of people in their communities, keeping them informed about issues and giving them opportunities to take action.

KFTC members participated in a September training on Communicating Our New Power Economy.

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Strategies

Communications

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he word for KFTC communications in 2012 was ambitious.

We unveiled a new website, launched a New Power media campaign, and activated our New Power PAC to weigh in on key elections. New Website The new www.kftc.org is more functional, intuitive and attractive. It contains a large archive of KFTC information, as well as fresh, new content. New Power Media Anticipating key elections and a Just Transition conference in 2013, we began developing a media campaign that would kick off in the fall 10

and continue into 2013. Our primary project in the fall was to activate our political action committee to inject New Power ideas into the election. New Power PAC During the fall election, we focused ads and postcards on six key races in Kentucky, spotlighting candidates who support New Power ideas. We also responded to a radio ad from a Kentucky Senator that referred to KFTC as an “anti-coal group.” In less than 48 hours, we developed our own ad that promoted the New Power frame and called the senator out for “standing in the way of what’s good for Kentucky.”

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Strategies

Organizational Development

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ur grassroots fundraising in 2012 propelled us to a new level of impact. Each year we’ve increased our fundraising goals, to grow our membership while becoming more financially sustainable. In 2011, we set a goal of $350,000 – $50,000 more than our 2010 goal – and exceeded it by raising $383,708. In 2012, we set a public goal of $425,000, but internally we pushed ourselves to raise $475,000. We exceeded the public and the internal goals by raising more than $530,000.

n ce k an d ba la C as a ch ec op le I se e K F T pe e th e vo ic es of e br in g th we d an sy st em . W t, e sp ot li gh fr on t, to th re fo e on th to lu ti s. pr ov id e so le m s an d ob pr t ou ca ll li ke n iz at io n s ’t h av e or ga t th e If w e di dn ge sy st em w ou ld ou r K F T C , h ow ? ll it n ee ds w ak e up ca

Our strategies included a fall campaign with mailers, emails, and phone calls to all our members. We held several special events where we talked about our work, which strengthened our connection with several major donors. And we emphasized renewals, Sustaining Givers, and members recruiting members.

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Strategies

Voter Empowerment

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FTC’s 2012 voter empowerment work was relentless, thoughtful, genuine, deep, and powerful. Our members worked throughout 2012 to register voters, educate voters about candidates and issues, and then get those voters to the polls on Election Day. We beat the pavement, knocked on doors, tabled in parking lots and at events, made phone calls, drove sound cars, and gave rides to the polls. 4,814 – Voters registered by KFTC in 2012

48 – Consecutive hours of voter registration as part of Louisville’s Operation Voter Madness. Lexington had a 36-hour voter registration marathon. 63 – Candidates who responded to the KFTC general election voter guide survey 40,429 – Voter guides printed and distributed for the spring and fall elections. This time we checked facts and were able to provide deeper analysis of candidate responses. 70,048 – Page views on www.KentuckyElection.org for the 2012 election season, including 20,724 in the final two days of the election 7,751 – Voter mobilization calls made by KFTC members in the general election. KFTC members also made 5,200 calls in the primary. 2,200 – Zombie voter mobilization handbills passed out at Halloween events 2.2 million – Times the KFTC Facebook voter mobilization ad was shown 46 – Rides to the polls KFTC members gave on November 6

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Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Strategies

Building Chapters

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hapters are the building blocks of KFTC, the point of entry for most members.

We welcomed two new chapters to the KFTC family in 2012. The Wilderness Trace chapter, located in Danville, includes Boyle, Mercer, Garrard and Lincoln counties. In addition to a strong presence at the speakers’ park during the vice presidential debate in October, the chapter registered voters, visited eastern Kentucky on a Mountain Witness Tour, and took action on sustainable energy issues. The Shelby County chapter formed around a common Wilderness Trace chapter at the vice presidential debate in October commitment to clean energy and a desire to see the Shelby Energy rural electric co-op become more open and member-inclusive. The chapter also began work on issues of fairness, wage theft and animal cruelty. Fairness Several other chapters – including Madison, Southern Kentucky, Rowan, Perry and Scott – also got involved in the fairness movement, working to pass ordinances in their communities prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Shelby County members signed their petition to become a chapter at their annual meeting in September. Eastern Kentucky chapters shared a holiday party in December.

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Strategies

Building Alliances

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e believe in building close working relationships with a range of allies. These partnerships inform our work, expose our members to new networks, and extend our range. We continued to work closely with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), our closest ally on energy and transition, ending mountaintop removal and tax reform. We also deepened our connection to the Labor Network for Sustainability, a key partner in our work around economic transition and the rights of workers. We also continued our involvement in several key coalitions:

KFTC members participated in the Alliance for Appalachia’s annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington in June.

Alliance for Appalachia, a group of 13 organizations working to end mountaintop removal The Clean Energy Collaborative, formed when KFTC and allies stopped a coal burning power plant in 2010. Members include rural electric co-ops, public interest groups and the Attorney General. Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 organizations working for clean energy policy Partnership for Kentucky’s Future, our Kentucky allies on tax reform, and the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative, a network of organizations in 24 states using grassroots power to promote progressive tax reform

Members worked with allies to register voters at the Roots and Heritage Festival in Lexington in September.

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Restoration of Voting Rights Coalition, our Kentucky partners in the campaign to restore voting rights to former felons

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


Looking Forward ... Building New Power in 2013

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FTC has experienced phenomenal growth and progress over the last five years. But we still have much work to do. Over the next five years, we plan to grow our membership to 25,000, become a strong political force in Kentucky, and lead a just economic transition in Appalachia, among other goals. To get there, we’re pursuing these key objectives in 2013: • Refine and expand the New Power Leader program • Advance the New Power frame and shift the public debate on our full range of issues • Host a successful conference in April in eastern Kentucky that expands the conversation around a just transition and demonstrates what’s possible • Expand our strategic campaign to get a restoration of voting rights amendment on the ballot in 2014 • Continue to build a sophisticated voter empowerment program with an eye toward the important 2014 election cycle • Build awareness and support at the grassroots level for all of our issue campaigns Kentucky is our home, and KFTC members have worked together for 31 years toward a vision we believe is both possible and absolutely necessary for our state. We’re working to build New Power – the gateway to our vision – every day, all across Kentucky.

KFTC 2012 Annual Report

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Our Vision We have a vision. We are working for a day when Kentuckians – and all people – enjoy a better quality of life. When the lives of people and communities matter before profits. When our communities have good jobs that support our families without doing damage to the water, air, and land. When companies and the wealthy pay their share of taxes and can’t buy elections. When all people have health care, shelter, food, education, and other basic needs. When children are listened to and valued. When discrimination is wiped out of our laws, habits, and hearts. And when the voices of ordinary people are heard and respected in our democracy.

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Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people working together to build New Power.


P.O. Box 1450 London, Kentucky 40743 (606) 878-2161 www.kftc.org


2012 Annual Report