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2014 Annual Report

KFTC

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


Building New Power

KFTC Annual Meeting 2014

Who We Are Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of more than 9,000 people, inspired by a vision, working together to build New Power and a better future for all of us. We organize for a fair economy, a safe environment, fairness and equality, and a healthy democracy. We have 13 chapters and members in more than 100 Kentucky counties. KFTC P.O. Box 1450 London, Kentucky 40743 (606) 878-2161 www.kftc.org

2014-15 KFTC Executive Committee: from left, Carl Shoupe (vice chair), Elizabeth Sanders (secretary-treasurer), Tanya Torp (at-large member), Dana Beasley Brown (chair) and Sue Tallichet (immediate past chair)


Letter from the Chair

A

CONTENTS

s KFTC’s Executive Committee expressed in a letter to members in 2014, to bring about the world we imagine, we must engage in the world we have.

The year in pictures ....................3

In 2014, members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth engaged with tenacity in the world we have and dreamed with audacity to achieve the world we imagine.

Renew East Kentucky ...............................5

Throughout our three decades of organizing, KFTC members have worked to build Dana Beasley Brown a healthy democracy. But in 2014, we KFTC Chairperson undertook our most ambitious voter empowerment effort ever. With 75 temporary staff, new data tools and KFTC leaders engaged across the state, we talked with tens of thousands of voters, deepening their understanding of issues and their involvement in the electoral process.

Voting Rights ............................................9

Campaigns Appalachian Transition .............................4 Sustainable Energy ..................................6 Canary Project .........................................7 Bluegrass Pipeline ...................................8 Economic Justice ....................................10

Strategies Voter Engagement ..................................2 Leadership Development .......................11 Communications .....................................12

Our members were all over the country, speaking about our issues from California Organizational Development ..................13 to New York to Washington D.C. to Atlanta. Through these opportunities and othBuilding Chapters .............................14-15 ers, we developed hundreds of grassroots leaders. Building Alliances ...................................16

We stepped up for economic justice, from minimum wage to the earned income tax credit, renters’ rights and affordable housing. And our own Stanley Sturgill took the stage at the historic People’s Climate March in New York, bringing our extraction story to the rest of the world. From the Appalachia’s Bright Future 2.0 conference in eastern Kentucky to the Smoketown GetDown for Democracy in Louisville, KFTC members engaged their communities in envisioning a brighter future and working for it together. The dream of a fair and just Kentucky, where all Kentuckians enjoy a better quality of life, continues to captivate from Southern Kentucky to the Big Sandy and beyond. In 2015, KFTC members continue to dream with audacity.

Looking Forward ......................17

KFTC’s Vision Statement 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.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 1


Building New Power through integrated voter engagement

I

n 2014, KFTC embarked on our most ambitious voter empowerment effort ever.

Believing that a healthy democracy depends on the full participation of the electorate and authentic accountability for political leaders, for the past 10 years we’d been working to build our capacity, infrastructure and commitment to an integrated voter engagement program. In addition to growing a healthier democracy in Kentucky, an integrated voter engagement program will strengthen our strategies – including leadership development, policy advocacy, communications, and even grassroots fundraising – and help us win our campaigns. During recent election cycles, we had improved our outreach strategies, communications, tools and impact. But in 2014, an important election year in Kentucky, we decided to significantly broaden and deepen our voter engagement program. Our approach was to work from our base, innovate and adapt our strategies, lead with our issues, and grow our organization and active leadership in the process. We hired a record 75 temporary staff to register and engage voters, manage voter data and help us more deeply engage communities across the state, including 15 college campuses. We increased our use of the Voter Activation Network (VAN) and experimented with targeting new constituencies. We also used VAN to “cut turf” for door-to-door canvassing and do virtual phone banking to get out the vote. During the election cycle, we engaged 33,866 voters with at least three meaningful contacts. We reached people through voter registration, events, door-to-door canvassing, tabling at grocery stores and bus stations, printed voter guides, online communication, phone calls and more. This effort enabled us to: • gain new and prospective members • provide a space for members to take on leadership roles • enter new communities and speak with a base of voters that included students, low-income people, women, and people of color • develop many new leaders who can now engage and empower their communities around the importance of voting It also increased our capacity around data management, working with a large number of temporary staff, and communications. During the last quarter of the year alone, we were mentioned in nearly 100 articles in local, state and national publications.

2 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report


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KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 3


Campaigns

APPALACHIAN TRANSITION The conversation around Appalachian transition has broadened and deepened since KFTC hosted the Appalachia’s Bright Future conference in April 2013. And eastern Kentuckians are building a future beyond coal. After participating in the governor’s Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) summit in December 2013, members took part in SOAR listening sessions during the summer of 2014 and are preparing for the next SOAR summit in February 2015. The SOAR process is not yet what it needs to be, but we’re pushing to raise expectations and ensure an inclusive process.

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Big Sandy members hosted our fifth and largest Growing Appalachia conference in March, with 200 people. This one-day event gives local folks ideas for saving money or growing a business through agriculture, clean energy and more. After President Obama named eastern Kentucky a Promise Zone, members participated in Promise Zone listening sessions in Harlan and Letcher counties in March. Asked to name community assets, residents listed creative people, a rich arts culture, the ability to grow food and more.

KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown (left) visited Lamp House Coffee in Lynch during ABF 2.0 in September.

In September, the Letcher and Harlan chapters hosted a second Appalachia’s Bright Future event in eastern Kentucky that was less a conference and more a tour of good things happening to build a strong local economy. Participants visited local businesses and attractions across Pine Mountain. Over 100 people participated throughout the weekend, many from Harlan and Letcher Counties and across the commonwealth, and others from neighboring Appalachian regions of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Our Letcher County chapter co-hosted a forum in October on economic transition that featured Hywel and Mair Francis from Wales, which has undergone a transition beyond coal that began in the 1980s. The evening included a preview of the film After Coal, which chronicles exchanges between Wales and Appalachia that began in the 1970s. Growing Appalachia 2014

4 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report


Campaigns

RENEW EAST KENTUCKY Since we stopped East Kentucky Power Cooperative from building a coal-burning power plant in 2010, our Renew East Kentucky campaign has continued to push EKPC toward cleaner energy options while also branching into new areas. In May we signed on as a pilot site for the Climate Justice Alliance, a coalition of 40 organizations and networks working together to create a new analysis and a new “center of gravity” in the policy conversation about climate – informed by impacted communities.

KFTC member Stanley Sturgill (second from right) was one of seven official spokespeople at the People’s Climate March in New York City in September. Some 400,000 people from around the world attended the historic march.

Left: Members Ryan Fenwick and Ginger Watkins attended the Jackson Rising conference in May.

Below: In June, a KFTC delegation attended the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference in Boston.

KFTC members attended the Our Power gathering in Richmond, California, in August. Co-hosted by CJA and the Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition, Our Power brought together 450 frontline community members to “build the bigger we” for a just transition toward local, living economies. Participants spent three days educating, inspiring and strategizing with one another. Ten KFTC members and one staff person attended, and four KFTC members presented during panels. Our delegation came home energized and inspired to elevate KFTC’s work on climate justice. Some of the same members also participated in the historic People’s Climate March in New York City in September, carrying a clear message: We are at the forefront of the transition away from coal and we need to be put first as we go about building a new economy. KFTC member Stanley Sturgill, a retired coal miner and mine inspector, was one of seven official spokespeople from impacted communities across the country. We had a number of conversations about providing organizing and policy support for worker-owned enterprises and worker coops. In May, a KFTC delegation attended the Jackson Rising conference in Mississippi that focused on worker cooperatives, and in June we were at the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference in Boston. As part of KFTC’s voter empowerment effort, we held transition-oriented candidate forums and voter outreach in rural utility areas.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 5


SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Campaigns

KFTC continued to serve as an anchor for the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA), founded by KFTC and allies in 2009 to develop and promote clean energy policy in Kentucky. KySEA members built support for the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, which would establish renewable energy standards and create 28,000 new jobs in Kentucky over the next 10 years. One of our most exciting projects took shape in the small former coal town of Benham, where local members worked with allies the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), Christian Outreach with Appalachian People (COAP) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a community-wide energy efficiency program that will be owned by and benefit the community. Residents can upgrade their homes for energy efficiency and pay for the upgrades through savings on their energy bills. City buildings will also be upgraded.

The Benham Power Project promises to lower energy costs for residents and the city.

The project received a grant to establish a loan fund for home upgrades and hire parttime staff. In addition, the Highlander Center chose Benham to receive an Appalachian Transition Fellow, who started work in 2014 to engage residents in the energy program. KFTC played a key role in developing Kentucky’s net metering law, which passed in 2005. In 2014 KySEA and solar energy advocates in Kentucky started pushing to raise the cap to allow renewable energy systems up to 1,000 kW to fall under Kentucky’s net-metering law. We also joined state and national allies in making the case that encouraging distributed renewable energy benefits all customers, those with and those without solar panels on their roofs. KySEA members also tracked proposed rate increases by major utilities. KFTC members spoke with Rep. Keith Hall after a hearing on clean energy legislation in March.

6 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report


Campaigns

CANARY PROJECT As we worked to build a better future beyond coal, our members continued to raise their voices for clean air and water and healthy communities. We hosted our ninth I Love Mountains Day march and rally in February in Frankfort, with keynote speaker Teri Blanton, a longtime KFTC leader, and 11-year-old Chase Gladson of Harlan County energizing the crowd. Gladson, grandson of KFTC leader Carl Shoupe, told the crowd: My Papaw likes to say we can have a bright future here, if we build it, and I believe it, too. But it will take all of us – ALL OF US – working together. Above: KFTC members traveled to Atlanta in July to comment on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Members and allies spoke out when the state issued two new general permits for coal facilities that failed to fully address the harm to humans and aquatic life from polluted mine wastewater. At a public hearing in Frankfort in June, they asked state officials to care about the quality of the water where they live Left: 11-year-old Chase Gladson and recognize its importance for social and spoke at I Love Mountains Day. economic activity.

Below: Across Kentucky, members made posters to prepare for I Love Mountains Day.

In July, KFTC members spoke at hearings in Denver and Atlanta on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for regulating power plant pollution. They called for the EPA to make the health of frontline communities a top priority, invest in a just transition for coal workers and communities, and fully enforce the rule despite political and coal industry opposition. In a court case in which KFTC has been involved since 2010, a judge handed down a strong ruling in November rejecting settlement deals between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and Frasure Creek Mining, arising from the coal company’s thousands of Clean Water Act violations between 2008 and 2011. The judge agreed with us that the settlements amounted to a slap on the wrist. Members learned more about legacy mining issues and the Abandoned Mine Lands fund. And we became involved in organizing efforts to prevent hydraulic fracturing in the Rogersville Shale, which could impact several eastern Kentucky counties.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 7


BLUEGRASS PIPELINE

Campaigns

In 2013 and 2014, KFTC provided organizing and communications support to residents fighting to prevent the Bluegrass Hazardous Liquids Pipeline, which would have cut through more than a dozen Kentucky counties. This support included communications, education, political action, and publicity, among other roles. The companies involved withdrew their proposal in April 2014, citing market factors, though everyone involved in the campaign in Kentucky knows it was because landowner resistance meant Bluegrass Pipeline LLC could not complete its route through the state. KFTC members also worked tirelessly in the Kentucky General Assembly to pass a bill that would prevent private companies from using eminent domain to seize land for pipeline projects. We spoke to nearly every House member and almost every Senator. And though the Senate blocked the bill, we achieved several good outcomes, including:

KFTC member Bob Pekny used this demonstration during his talk about natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline leaks at the “Pipelines, Fracking and Kentucky’s Future Beyond Fossil Fuels” summit in November.

• Several directly affected landowners testified, and dozens more participated in the process by attending legislative hearings. • A core group of citizen lobbyists became skilled at lobbying and comfortable with leading their own lobbying teams. • Eminent domain became a high-profile issue tracked by most major media outlets. • KFTC strengthened its relationship with several legislators with whom we had not previously had a chance to work closely. In November, we co-hosted the “Pipelines, Fracking and Kentucky’s Future Beyond Fossil Fuels” summit, which looked at the dangers of fossil fuel extraction and opportunities to strengthen Kentucky’s economy and lower the cost of energy through renewables. Our members are back in the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly to strengthen landowner rights against eminent domain and give local governments more authority to protect their residents from pipeline spills and accidents. We’re also helping residents respond to other pipelines and large-scale fracking proposed for Kentucky.

8 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report

Members Deb Pekny (foreground) and Bob Pekny (right) spoke with Senator Julian Carroll about eminent domain legislation during the 2014 General Assembly.


Campaigns

VOTING RIGHTS We pushed the campaign to restore voting rights to former felons farther than ever before. We’ve been working for this policy since 2005, and heading into the 2014 legislative session we believed we had our best chance ever to pass our voting rights bill. Each year the Kentucky House has passed House Bill 70 early in the session. The Senate had consistently blocked the bill, but a change in leadership gave us hope that the bill might have a chance in 2014.

KFTC members participated in the historic 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Frankfort in March.

KFTC member Michael Hiser was a featured speaker at the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Frankfort.

Members and allies gathered outside Senate offices for three Witnessing Wednesdays during the Kentucky General Assembly to build support for restoring voting rights to former felons.

We held a voting rights day at the capitol in January, and the bill passed the House the following day. Then we shifted our attention to the Senate. In February the bill passed the Senate for the first time – but only after the Senate added a five-year waiting period and other harmful restrictions. Ultimately the House and Senate could not agree. Still, we gained valuable ground. The bill became one of the key bills to watch in the session, and the media threw their support behind it. One of the most powerful ways our members spoke out during the legislative session was in prayer. Pastor Anthony Everett from Wesley United Methodist Church in Lexington led three Witnessing Wednesday prayer vigils in the lobby of the Senate offices to lift up House Bill 70 and the issue of restoring voting rights to former felons. In March, many KFTC members participated in the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Frankfort, marching up Capital Avenue and rallying on the capitol steps. Many of the speakers, including KFTC member Michael Hiser, a former felon himself, focused on voting rights. Tayna Fogle, a KFTC member and former felon, was an expert witness and other members gave comments at a five-state hearing in Nashville in May about voting rights issues. The hearing was one of several hosted by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to build toward passage of a new Voting Rights Act.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 9


ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Campaigns

Members continued pushing for progressive tax reform and economic justice in Kentucky. The earned income tax credit, minimum wage, and local option sales tax were key issues in 2014, along with renters’ rights and affordable housing. At an Economic Justice Lobby Day in March, members pushed for a strong earned income tax credit and defended against bad policies such as a local option sales tax (LOST), a regressive tax that disproportionately impacts low-income residents. Members also contributed to a webinar with Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, met with local and state officials, and wrote letters to the editor. This work continues in the 2015 General Assembly.

Central Kentucky members hosted a breakfast in August that gave community members a chance to talk with local elected leaders about the lack of affordable housing in Lexington.

Jefferson County members met with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in July to discuss tax reform and share their views on LOST. Jefferson members also participated in a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Louisville. Because of their hard work and the work of allies such as Jobs with Justice and Councilwoman Attica Scott, around 45,000 Jefferson County workers will see a wage increase as the new ordinance is fully implemented over the next two and a half years. Members attended metro council meetings, testified, offered statements, and fueled the push to pass the ordinance. Louisville is now the first southern city to have passed a local minimum wage increase. Central Kentucky members were instrumental in convincing the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council to establish an affordable housing trust fund. Before the vote in September, members had hosted the mayor and council members in their neighborhood for a breakfast and discussion with residents. Members in Bowling Green worked with allies to produce a renters’ rights handbook to lower eviction rates and protect the rights of the 67,000 renters in the Barren River area. They also pushed back hard against the fiscal court’s passage of a local Right to Work Ordinance, impacting the national coverage of the ordinance so that the media story is as much about the people’s support of workers’ rights.

10 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report

Southern Kentucky members worked with local allies to produce a renters’ rights handbook.

KFTC members were there when Nuns on the Bus rolled into Lexington in October to rally for raising the minimum wage.


Strategies

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

We supported a host of members to attend an array of conferences and workshops, from Mississippi to California, that helped members develop skills and analyses that have enriched KFTC. From lobbying with allies for economic justice in Washington D.C. to networking with other communities impacted by resource extraction in Richmond, California, to learning about worker co-ops in Jackson, Mississippi, our members were all over the country last year. We supported people in opportunities to engage with race, class, climate justice, and creating the New Economy, and especially with organizations led by people of color. We also continued to learn more about cultural organizing. Above and right: KFTC annual membership meeting at General Butler State Park in August

Below: Members at the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference in Boston in June

All of these experiences informed the annual meeting at General Butler State Park in August, when more than 200 folks came together around the theme “From the Grassroots to the Mountaintop: Empowering Grassroots Leaders.” We examined what grassroots leadership looks like, who’s a leader, how leaders become leaders and how grassroots leadership development can change the world. It was our most diverse annual meeting ever in terms of both the folks who attended and those who presented throughout the weekend. We also offered good skills, issue, and communications trainings throughout the General Assembly and throughout the electoral season, and we’re learning how to flex to make these opportunities more accessible to members year-round. During KFTC’s largest voter empowerment effort ever, we leaned into the question of how to do voter empowerment work of significant scale that is grounded in leadership development. We’re examining the lessons of 2014 to inform our leadership development in 2015.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 11


Strategies

COMMUNICATIONS We deepened and enhanced our strategic communications, especially around voting rights and Appalachian Transition. We produced seven issues of Balancing the Scales, voter guides including our most extensive online voter guide ever, a legislative guide and other legislative materials, much local publicity and materials, and increased use of social media.

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We spent a lot of intentional time working on frame and message as we continued to develop and use the Healthy Democracy, New Power and Just Transition frames. We worked with external allies including Kertis Creative of Louisville to increase our capacity in some areas and build our member photo library.


Strategies

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

A healthy democracy is one where people feel empowered and know how to participate. KFTC was my college education. It taught me the skills to belong to society. KFTC takes everybody and realizes everybody's skills are important to building a strong community. —Ray Tucker, Pulaski County

Be the change We are Kentuckians, working together to build New Power: new energy power, new economic power, new political power. Most of us want the same things: good jobs, clean air and water, affordable clean energy, healthy communities, and opportunities for our kids. Growing a healthy democracy is essential to building New Power. And working together, we are our best hope for change.

For the past few years, we have grown our membership by about 1,000 members each year.

We need to be reminded that our stories matter. That our experiences matter. That our legislators — they work for us. That's an incredibly valuable asset that KFTC brings to the state. It’s an essential organization because it brings people from across the state together to engage in those kinds of conversations. Not just with legislators, but with one another. —Leah Bayens, Boyle County I think we're working towards a state where people's voices are heard and people can have what they need, not to survive but to thrive. So they can live the kind of lives they want to live. —Meta Mendel-Reyes, Madison County

KFTC is a member-led organization. Members are the face and voice of KFTC, and members decide the direction of our work. Building a strong, statewide organization of many invested members is key to our success.

To me, KFTC is a true representation of "people power." KFTC members are able to determine the organization's priorities and goals and build campaigns to turn those goals into realities. KFTC allows Kentuckians to truly have ownership over our state's future. —Shavaun Evans, Jefferson County

KFTC trains everyday folks to engage in creating equity and facilitating justice through education in the political process, teaching people how to lobby their representatives, empowering people to live out their convictions, and emphasizing the importance of individual stories and the art of telling them. —Tanya Torp, Fayette County

In 2014 we exceeded our ambitious membership and fundraising goals – growing the organization to 9,072 members and raising $509,386 through direct mail, email, events, social media, local chapter strategies and member-to-member asks.

For the second year, our PowerBuilders helped raise funds and recruit members through their own online fundraising pages. We also worked to further integrate our organizational development with leadership development, voter empowerment and communications. While growing KFTC, we engaged hundreds of grassroots leaders, had at least three meaningful contacts with more than 33,000 voters, and got nearly 100 media hits. We also grew our Facebook community to nearly 16,000 fans and held numerous high-quality, ambitious events where we met new people and engaged new audiences in our work.

The above pieces were components of the fall fundraising campaign.

WE ARE KENTUCKIANS WE ARE OUR BEST HOPE FOR CHANGE.

BE the

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people, inspired by a vision, working to build New Power and a better future for all of us. Together, we organize for a fair economy, safe environment, fairness and equality, and a healthy democracy.

Join us in building New Power in Kentucky.

CHANGE.

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 13


Strategies

BUILDING CHAPTERS

Across Kentucky, our chapters did impactful grassroots work, building our power and using our power for change. Members in Harlan County worked with allies to build a community energy program in the small former coal town of Benham that will save residents money and reduce our dependence on coal. Our Jefferson County Chapter undertook a groundbreaking project called Vision Smoketown that engaged a historic African American community in Louisville to decide its own future. Through door-to-door surveys, a neighborhood block party, and a written report that went to elected leaders, Smoketown residents worked together to plan for the community they want. Our Central Kentucky Chapter convinced the Lexington-Fayette government to establish an affordable housing trust fund. By bringing the mayor and council members to a low-income neighborhood for breakfast and conversation with residents, members were able to show the elected leaders first-hand what residents were experiencing with inadequate housing. Southern Kentucky members worked with allies to publish a renters’ rights handbook to improve area housing and pushed back against a local Right To Work ordinance. Madison County members kept pushing for Fairness in Berea, and members in Wilderness Trace celebrated the passage of a local Fairness ordinance. Both Madison and Shelby County members found that auctioning homemade pies was a great way to meet folks in their community. Big Sandy members hosted the fifth Growing Appalachia conference with the biggest crowd ever for this one-day event focused on earning money or building a business in agriculture, clean energy and more.

Northern Kentucky Chapter’s Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains, February

The Northern Kentucky Chapter set a goal to register 600 voters and exceeded that ambitious goal by registering 606 before the deadline in October. Rowan County members reached out to their community by again serving as the sole food vendor for the Old Time Music Festival in July. Perry County members hosted a water testing workshop at Cordia School and a KFTC 101 workshop to introduce local people to our work, organizing and issues. Letcher County members wrote letters to legislators at the Crepes of Wrath party and partnered with Harlan County on Appalachia’s Bright Future 2.0. And Scott County members hosted their annual Arty Pie Party with the goal of raising $2,000 for KFTC. Instead they raised more than $3,000.

Wilderness Trace Barn Bash, July

14 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report

Scott County Arty Pie Party, November

Letcher County Crepes of Wrath letter-writing party, February


Strategies

BUILDING CHAPTERS

Shelby County pie auction, September

Madison County Friendraiser, October Right: Rowan members at the Old Time Music Festival, July

Left: Central Kentucky Chapter’s John Prine Hootenanny, October

Below: Eastern Kentucky three-county potluck and hike to Lilley Cornett Woods, August

Jefferson County’s Vision Smoketown, October

KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 15


BUILDING ALLIANCES

Strategies

Partnering with allies builds our skills, increases our impact and helps us win on important issues. In 2014, KFTC signed on as a pilot site for the Climate Justice Alliance, a coalition of 40 organizations and networks that formed to unite frontline communities, combine book smarts with street smarts, and aggregate power to collectively fight at a higher level. KFTC members attended CJA’s Our Power gathering in Richmond, California, in August in preparation for the historic People’s Climate March in September in New York. In Louisville, the Jefferson County chapter partnered with Kentucky Jobs With Justice to shepherd a resolution supporting the restoration of voting rights for former felons through the Louisville Metro Council in July. Letcher and Harlan County members teamed up with Appalshop, Eastern Kentucky Social Club and other local allies to host Appalachia’s Bright Future 2.0 in September.

KFTC members Greg Capillo and Sarah Martin joined allies in Washington D.C. in April to lobby for closing corporate tax loopholes and raising the minimum wage.

The Central Kentucky chapter worked with allies including BUILD (Building a United Interfaith Lexington Through Direct Action) to convince the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council to establish an affordable housing trust fund in September. Harlan County members worked closely with the Benham Power Board, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Christian Outreach with Appalachian People, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study, design and launch a community-wide energy efficiency program in Benham. And we continued important partnerships with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, the Alliance for Appalachia and Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, among others. We helped lead coalitions including the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance, the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition and the Partnership for Kentucky’s Future.

16 • KFTC 2014 Annual Report

KFTC’s Steering Committee hosted members of the Climate Justice Alliance in May in Benham.


Looking Forward

K

FTC is a multi-issue organization. For more than 30 years, our members have worked together on issues that impact our communities. At the same time, we pursue a shared vision of a better Kentucky where everyone – regardless of income, race, or position – has an equal voice. Where the fundamental right to vote is protected and exercised. Where leaders listen and respond to community needs. Where young people have opportunities, right here at home. In pursuit of this vision, we have ambitious goals for 2015: • Continue to broaden and deepen the conversation around Appalachian transition • Work to protect our communities and stand up for clean water and air • Build broad public support for clean energy solutions and policies • Engage with allies and bring our perspective to the national climate justice movement • Build public awareness of the need for tax reform and the role of good government • Work to pass a voting rights bill in the Kentucky General Assembly and get the issue on the statewide ballot

• Engage with allies around racial justice issues • Grow our membership and deepen our members’ involvement and investment in the work • Develop strong grassroots leaders • Build strong local chapters We are Kentuckians, and we know that right now is our best chance to build New Power. The Kentucky we envision is possible, if we work together. We are our best hope for change. KFTC 2014 Annual Report • 17


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

KFTC's 2014 Annual Report  
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