WHO WE ARE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KENTUCKIANS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH
4 KFTC by the Numbers
is a community of more than 11,000 people, inspired
5 Letter from the Chair
by a vision, building New Power and a better future for all of us. Together, we organize for a fair economy, a safe environment, fairness and equality, and a healthy democracy. We have 14 chapters and members in 105 Kentucky counties.
7 Tax reform and Kentucky Together Restoration of Voting Rights 8 Pipeline fights across the state Stream Protection Rule 11 Empower Kentucky RECLAIM Act
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
12 Holding elected leaders accountable Supporting good candidates 15 Protecting healthcare gains Statewide renters’ rights 16 Inter-generational organizing Big Topics for Little Ears Supporting youth-led organizations 19 New racial justice committee Deep canvassing 20 Empowering Voters We Are Kentuckians rally 22 Primary strategies 23 Looking ahead: 2017
laws, habits, and hearts. And when the voices of ordinary people are heard and respected in our democracy. 3
people reached with our New Power PAC Facebook ads
total grassroots donations in 2016
people who like KFTC on Facebook
11,000 KFTC members
members who are Sustaining Givers
PowerBuilders who helped win members and donations
BY THE NUMBERS
signatures collected in support of the RECLAIM Act
number of donations through PowerBuilder pages
donations made through Powerbuilder pages
people engaged through the Empower Kentucky process
adults and children at the statewide annual meeting
new social media platform: Instagram @kentuckiansforthecommonwealth
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR In 2016, KFTC celebrated our 35th anniversary. After starting with a few dozen folks in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, we have grown to a vibrant and diverse organization of over eleven thousand members across the state. Over the course of our thirty-five years, we have seen many changes in our state. The people, the landscape, the elected leaders, and more have changed in that time but our approach to change has not. We are still a community of people, inspired by a vision, working for a brighter future for all Kentuckians. In the past year, we have seen our share of challenges to our vision: the overturning of local minimum wage ordinances by the state Supreme Court, legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan, and the flipping of our state legislature in the last election, to name a few.
But at every opportunity, we have dug further into our work to advance toward KFTC CHAIRPERSON our vision. We have experimented with new strategies, developed more leaders and reached new constituencies, empowered and educated voters, worked to hold elected leaders accountable, and communicated a vision of what’s possible. We held a series of dinners in all six congressional districts that – along with online surveys, in-person interviews, and a fall summit – engaged over 1,200 in a process to design a new, clean energy system for our Commonwealth. We lifted up the voices of directly impacted folks working for a just economic transition in eastern Kentucky through our work on the RECLAIM Act. We have worked to protect healthcare gains made with the Affordable Care Act. We have made our voices heard in Frankfort with direct lobbying and the We Are Kentuckians rally, worked to protect renters’ rights, created a standing racial justice committee and continued to deepen our analysis of the issue and its impacts on all our work, and so much more. Following the election in November, over seventy leaders from across the state came together in December to support each other, analyze the new political landscape, and discuss a way forward. After a full day of fellowship, discussion, and strategizing, members reaffirmed our commitment to stay focused on our North Star – our vision. And our work in this current year has moved us closer to that – we organized Stand For Kentucky, a direct action at our state capitol that was rooted in our vision, released the Empower Kentucky plan, developed the People’s Guide to the Budget in Jefferson County, and more. But if this past year has shown us anything, it is that we still believe in the power of ordinary folks coming together to achieve common goals. And we are still here, working toward achieving our vision for Kentucky. Because we are Kentuckians. And we still believe we are our best hope for change.
WE ARE WORKING FOR A DAY WHEN KENTUCKIANS – AND ALL PEOPLE – ENJOY A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE.
It’s up to us to take care this world, our community, our families, our schools, our state together. We’re all in this together. SERENA OWEN, KENTON COUNTY
We want all Kentuckians to have access to good schools, better health and wellness services, clean water, and an affordable education so everyone can enjoy a better quality of life. We know this will require making the right investments and ensuring everyone has a voice in the decisions that affect our lives.
TAX REFORM AND KENTUCKY TOGETHER In 2016, we worked hard to raise awareness of the role taxes
from members across the state who came together in their
and good government play in helping ensure all Kentuckians
communities to watch the address.
have a better quality of life. We continued our partnership with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy on Kentucky
In response, chapters organized Tax Justice workshops to
Together, a three- to five-year campaign to build statewide
better understand the proposed budget and its implications
support for comprehensive tax reform.
for Kentuckians and develop a strategy to push for adequate funding for preserving Kynect and Medicaid expansion,
In January, Governor Bevin unveiled his proposed budget
access to higher education, protecting the arts, community
in the annual State of the Commonwealth and Budget
health and much more. And in Jefferson County, members
Address. The budget – which proposed cuts to universities
organized a Tax Justice Meet and Greet with their elected
and community colleges, the elimination of the state’s
leaders to advocate for tax reform that is just, adequate, and
health insurance exchange, and cuts to many programs
and state agencies – was met with concern and confusion
RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS KFTC believes democracy works best when all people have access to good information and are able to participate in decisions affecting our lives and communities. After a 10-year campaign to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals, we celebrated in December 2015 when then-Governor Steve Beshear introduced a simplified process for more than 100,000 formerly incarcerated folks to immediately apply for and receive their voting rights back. Then, shortly after taking office, our new governor, Matt Bevin, rescinded Beshear’s executive order, saying that voting rights restoration is needed, but through legislation rather than executive action. Members were disappointed but not deterred, working hard to educate elected leaders during the 2016 General Assembly on the issue. And for the first time, a voting rights bill was introduced in the state Senate. Jefferson County member Pam Newman testified in committee on behalf of the bill, sitting side-by-side with the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Robert Stivers.
We have a long history of working to protect our air, water, and land from extractive industries. We have organized with communities to end the abuses of broad form deeds; testified at public hearings and submitted comments on mining regulations in defense of homes, water, and public health; and lobbied elected leaders to hold them accountable to their people and communities back home.
PIPELINE FIGHTS ACROSS THE STATE KFTC members and many others throughout the state have
In Madison County, members worked with allies Kentucky
been working hard to protect our communities from the many
Heartwood and Frack Free Foothills to build local support to
risks of transporting hazardous natural gas liquids (NGLs)
pass an ordinance requiring a conditional use permit before
through the commonwealth. These pipelines, which have been
a hazardous liquids pipeline may be repurposed or a large
proposed by large, out-of-state corporations, would affect
natural gas pipeline compressor constructed.
eighteen counties across Kentucky. And members in Rowan County continued their outreach Boyle County has been the center of much activity since the
efforts to build awareness of the dangers of the re-purposed
re-purposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline was announced nearly
pipeline in their community. Theyâ€™ve worked to educate county
three years ago. KFTC members in our Wilderness Trace
officials and residents about a planning and zoning approach
chapter worked with city and county governments to call
to protecting their property and health from the threats of a
on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require an
hazardous liquids pipeline, offering the ordinance from Boyle
Environmental Impact Study before the project can move
County as a model for requiring companies seeking to construct
forward. This action followed an ordinance passed by the
hazardous liquid pipelines to get a conditional use permit.
local Planning and Zoning Commission late last year that put some protections in place.
STREAM PROTECTION RULE Members have worked for years to update regulations that would protect the environment and communities near mining operations. In December, the Obama administration published the Stream Protection Rule, which spelled out best practices for reclaiming land and reforesting with native species, while also strengthening protections for water quality. Members submitted comments, traveled to Washington D.C., and testified about the direct relationship between water quality and peopleâ€™s health. Unfortunately, the rule was overturned by the Trump administration in 2017, but our members will not give up fighting for clean streams and healthy communities in areas where coal is mined. 8
Zoning is new to Rowan Countians, but preserving our land and our quality of life for ourselves and future generations is a timehonored tradition. These ordinances will protect schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, jails, homes and much more. SUE TALLICHET, ROWAN COUNTY
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.
The RECLAIM Act isn’t just a five-year project; it could be the beginning of our new future. It represents a seed that, with a little nurturing, will help my community blossom. It would help us grow hope in a place where it’s been extracted. KATIE DOLLARHIDE, LETCHER COUNTY
Our work to build a Just Transition – from extractive industries to a more equitable and sustainable economy that supports the people and communities affected by the transition – grew by leaps and bounds in 2016 through the Empower Kentucky campaign and our work on the federal level with the RECLAIM Act.
EMPOWER KENTUCKY With the announcement in August 2015 of President Obama’s
a groundbreaking summit September 30-October 1 that brought
Clean Power Plan, which aimed to lower carbon emissions over
together about 250 folks – from faith leaders and artists to
the next fifteen years, we knew we had an important opportunity
utility providers and people directly affected by coal – to share
to design a new, clean energy economy for our Commonwealth.
what we’ve learned and begin to move forward with a plan.
Through our approach to the Clean Power Plan, which we called
Through our online surveys, sit-down meetings, Seat At The
Empower Kentucky, we would develop a just transition plan that
Table events and fall summit, we have engaged over 1,200
would invest in workers and communities, create new jobs, lower
people in the Empower Kentucky process. We’ve worked closely
utility costs for consumers, and diversify the power supply.
with consultants to develop the elements of our Empower Kentucky plan and model the most significant outcomes for
To do that, we organized an ambitious series of dinners in April
jobs, emissions, and impact on rates and bills. A team of
and May in Lexington, Hindman, Covington, Bowling Green,
grassroots leaders has worked to develop an environmental
Louisville and Paducah (all six congressional districts) that
justice analysis to inform our planning process. And in April
engaged 750 Kentuckians from a variety of backgrounds in
2017 we released our plan, which details what Kentuckians
dinner-table conversations about their relationship to energy and
want, our ideas for getting there, and the ways that our state
their hopes and ideas for Kentucky’s energy future. Then we held
would benefit from this path.
RECLAIM ACT In 2016, we continued the successful work that began the previous year with the passage of resolutions by fifteen local governments of eastern Kentucky in support of POWER+, the Obama administration’s $10 billion initiative to help coal communities grow and diversify their economies. Because of the broad support these resolutions had from directly impacted communities, in early 2016 Congressman Hal Rogers introduced the RECLAIM Act, which would disburse $1 billion from Abandoned Mine Lands funds for economic transition projects in the region. Led by members of our New Energy and Transition team, we developed a campaign to use the RECLAIM Act as an opportunity to shape and shift the conversation to one of a community-led movement for just transition in Appalachia and beyond. Throughout the year, we trained dozens of new and emerging leaders as campaign spokespeople, hosted telephone town halls to educate the public on policy that more than a hundred people participated in, tried new digital communications strategies, and strengthened relationships with regional and national allies. By the end of the year, more than 10,000 people signed petitions in support of the RECLAIM Act, with over 1,300 of those coming from Kentucky. 11
We want elected officials who are responsive to all Kentuckians, not just politically powerful interests, and we want better candidates to run and get elected. So we work to hold elected leaders accountable through direct lobbying at home and in Frankfort, and to support candidates who are more responsive to the interests of Kentuckians.
HOLDING ELECTED LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE Several chapters across the state held workshops and
At home, chapters worked within their local communities to
trainings at the beginning of the year to help everyday folks
engage with elected leaders. During the General Assembly,
develop the skills and confidence to engage with their elected
the Jefferson County chapter held a Tax Justice Legislative
leaders and hold them accountable.
Meet and Greet with their representatives to share their vision for Kentucky and the need for tax reform to get us there. Later
And during the General Assembly, KFTC members put those
in the spring, they hosted a series of Open Mic Debates for
newfound skills to work by meeting with their elected leaders,
some Metro Council races in Louisville. And in the Northern
testifying in committee hearings, and engaging in direct
Kentucky and Madison County chapters, members organized
actions. Members lobbied across the full range of our issues
candidate forums for local city and metro council races so
– from restoration of voting rights and tax reform to clean
that folks could engage with candidates and learn where they
energy, fairness, healthcare, and more.
stood on issues we care about.
SUPPORTING GOOD CANDIDATES Through KFTC’s New Power PAC, we endorsed two winning candidates for State Representative in the last election: Attica Scott and McKenzie Cantrell. Both candidates’ platforms aligned well with our vision for Kentucky, their campaigns were open and transparent, and they were actively engaged with their communities. We worked hard to support their campaigns – sending postcards, making calls, and canvassing. On Election Day, the impact of our work was apparent when both candidates won their seats and were elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
The candidates we’ve endorsed for city commission – I’m proud to talk with my neighbors about them. We have a great chance to change the city by building ground-up momentum and by electing leaders with solid, people-first vision. ALAN SMITH, WARREN COUNTY
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.
Healthcare should be a right for everyone. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I was able to open a local restaurant and create jobs in eastern Kentucky.
DARYL ROYSE, LETCHER COUNTY 14
In 2016, we continued our work to ensure that all Kentuckians have access to quality, affordable healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, while also expanding our campaign for a statewide renters’ rights law.
PROTECTING HEALTHCARE GAINS Kentucky has been the battleground in the national
changes to Medicaid, KFTC members and others came out in
healthcare debate. When then-Governor Steve Beshear opted
huge numbers to speak out in support of access to quality
to expand Medicaid and create a state health insurance
and affordable health care for all Kentuckians. Of the more
exchange, over 440,000 people had access to affordable,
than 17,000 comments the U.S. Cabinet for Health and
life-saving health insurance, many for the first time. Kynect
Human Services received on the changes, more than 90
was the national model for state exchanges, and Kentucky’s
percent opposed the governor’s plan and were in support of
Medicaid expansion was lauded across the nation. Kentucky
the health care program as it now exists.
made unprecedented gains in overall health and in economic development.
After the 2016 election, the landscape shifted and Kentuckians pivoted to working to preserve the gains under
In 2016, Governor Bevin began to dismantle our progress,
Obamacare. The future of the Affordable Care Act and
while Kentuckians across the state worked to preserve our
Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion is unclear, but KFTC members
gains. Members lobbied the state legislature to hold the line
and allies are committed to continue the fight for quality,
on preserving Medicaid expansion. When a series of public
affordable healthcare for all Kentuckians.
hearings were announced about Governor Bevin’s proposed
STATEWIDE RENTERS’ RIGHTS Our work to organize for renters’ rights through the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA), legislation that would provide uniform protections and best practices for renters and landlords, began several years ago as a local campaign in our Southern Kentucky chapter. It has grown into a statewide campaign to gain housing protections for all Kentuckians in recent years. During the 2016 General Assembly, members worked closely with House leadership as well as Democrats and Republicans in the House to bring them up to speed on URLTA. Because of the efforts of KFTC members working to educate elected leaders, the bill received its first committee hearing, was received favorably, and was passed with bipartisan support in the House. Although it didn’t receive a hearing on the Senate side, members remain committed to organizing for housing protections, not just in certain communities, but for all Kentuckians. 15
At KFTC, we believe in the power of community organizing – people working together to achieve common goals. It’s a long-term approach that focuses on building and exercising power to improve the quality of life for all. Because our approach is longterm, the effects of our victories may not always be immediately apparent. But when we listen to and value our children, we invest in future generations.
INTER-GENERATIONAL ORGANIZING Taking an inter-generational approach to change – with a strategic interplay and interaction of generations – can help foster healthy relationships that strengthen our organizations and our movement. Older generations bring wisdom and experience to the table – from stories of success and lessons over the years to insights into how systems work. And younger generations have experiences of their own to share, with insights into new solutions and new approaches. Both perspectives are key to our organizing. The theme of our 2016 annual membership meeting was “Generating Change: 35 Years of Action for Justice.” Members shared their perspectives on the power of intergenerational organizing to make change.
BIG TOPICS FOR LITTLE EARS Talking about issues of race can be difficult. But KFTC members have experiences, insights, and knowledge we can all benefit from, especially when it comes to talking to kids about difficult issues. At the 2016 annual meeting, three members hosted the lunch discussion “Big Topics for Little Ears: Talking to Children about Race,” where folks were invited to share ideas, resources, challenges, and insights about how parents, family members, and “the village” can talk to children about race in ways that share history, share truth, engage, and grow great kiddos.
SUPPORTING YOUTH-LED ORGANIZATIONS We also believe in supporting organizations that work directly with young folks to strengthen their capacity and opportunities to develop as leaders. That’s why we supported young folks to participate in the Stay Together Appalachian Youth (STAY) Summer Institute, an autonomous space for youth to share their skills and passions and connect with members around what they’re experiencing in their communities across the Central Appalachian region. We also regularly partner with KSEC – the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition.
WHEN CHILDREN ARE LISTENED TO AND VALUED.
I want a Kentucky where children like me are listened to and valued. And I think that everybody should get a free cat and a unicorn. BELLA GONZALES, FAYETTE COUNTY
WHEN DISCRIMINATION IS WIPED OUT OF OUR LAWS, HABITS, AND HEARTS.
This is an historical moment for racial justice work. Creating a standing committee now will help realize KFTC’s vision of a diverse Kentucky. It also shows that racial justice matters to all Kentuckians, including white people. META MENDEL-REYES, MADISON COUNTY
We know that racism and oppression stand in the way of not only this part of our vision, but all of our vision. We know that to be successful in achieving our vision, we have to amplify the intersectionality of our issues and acknowledge the fundamental role that racism and oppression play in the issues we face.
NEW RACIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE In 2016, we established a standing committee on racial
and develop a shared baseline of knowledge and language for
justice. The committee’s charge is to help ensure that KFTC
the work going forward. We also have offered workshops and
is incorporating racial justice and anti-oppression into all
trainings on racial justice in two chapter areas and at our
of our work and strategies. The committee’s work includes
statewide annual meeting.
informing the membership on issues affecting racial justice, coordinating education and skill-building opportunities, and
Our staff prioritized developing a shared understanding of
ensuring that racial justice principles are applied to all areas
white supremacy and oppression and how we can be more
of KFTC’s program of work in an intersectional way.
intentional as an organization in communicating about the racial justice dimensions of our work. In the spring, we
Knowing that everyone comes into this work at different levels
partnered with Showing Up for Racial Justice and the Catalyst
of experience and knowledge, the newly formed racial justice
Project (a San Francisco-based collective that works to build
committee organized an in-person all-day training that would
the leadership of white people to be part of anti-racist social
give committee members the opportunity to come together for
movements) for a day-long anti-oppression training for staff.
a shared experience, begin to build trust among each other,
DEEP CANVASSING As we have continued to deepen our analysis of racial justice and the different ways it affects all areas of our work, we knew it would take having difficult conversations with unlikely folks to bring more people into the work. Several members and KFTC staff attended different trainings across the country last year to learn a new (to us) technique called deep canvassing. Deep canvassing is different from traditional canvassing in that it’s less about a particular candidate or ballot measure than about having deeper, more engaging conversations about a person’s experiences and how that affects their views on a particular issue. By sharing their story with the canvasser and engaging at that level, a person often opens up to a different way of thinking. KFTC members have put their new skills to use, hosting several canvasses in different regions and having good, important conversations about a number of issues, like racial justice, housing justice, and a healthy democracy. 19
KFTC believes democracy works best when all people have access to good information and are able to participate in decisions affecting our lives and communities. We work year-round to make sure the voices of ordinary people are being heard in decisionmaking. This includes being active in city and county government, state government and the state legislature, and in Congress. Last year, KFTC members were busy empowering voters across the state.
EMPOWERING VOTERS To prepare for the elections of 2016, several KFTC chapters
and in a printed version mailed to thousands of Kentuckians.
hosted trainings for volunteers who wanted to register voters,
The online version was viewed 98,787 times, with 20,892 site
canvass and have conversations with folks about voting, and
visits during the election season.
learn more about what was at stake in this election cycle. Armed with those skills, members registered hundreds of
Local chapters in Northern Kentucky and Madison County
voters at festivals, community events, grocery stores, schools
organized candidate forums for local city and metro council
and college campuses, and more across the state.
races so folks could engage with candidates, learn where they stood on issues they cared about, and make their voices
After registering voters, we worked to educate voters on a
heard. And in the Southern Kentucky and Jefferson County
broad range of issues. We surveyed candidates for U.S. House
chapters, members canvassed neighborhoods to talk with
and Senate, our State Legislature, and a variety of local races
them about candidates and issues, while also encouraging
across the state, and published those survey results online
them to get out the vote.
WE ARE KENTUCKIANS RALLY Hundreds of Kentuckians gathered at the state capitol for the We Are Kentuckians rally to make their voices heard on the first day of the legislative session by sharing their vision for Kentucky and lifting up priorities for the session. Organized by KFTC with local and statewide community organizations, local labor groups, health care advocates, fairness groups and others, the rally was rooted in KFTCâ€™s vision statement, with each speaker sharing their vision of what Kentucky can be and what they want for our state. It was a powerful reminder of the collective power we have as Kentuckians when we come together around a shared vision and values and make our voices heard in our democracy.
We are a state built with incredible power. We collectively have the right to organize, to strategize and to revolutionize. PAM NEWMAN, JEFFERSON COUNTY
AND WHEN THE VOICES OF ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE HEARD AND RESPECTED IN OUR DEMOCRACY.
GETTING TO OUR VISION:
PRIMARY STRATEGIES LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Leadership development is the first among equals of KFTC’s primary strategies. It makes all of our other strategies possible. In 2016, members had numerous opportunities to develop their skills, deepen their understanding of issues, and engage at the local, state, and national levels as they became stronger leaders. We hosted dozens trainings and workshops across the state; sent hundreds of members to numerous conferences and leadership development opportunities; and hosted over 200 members at our statewide annual meeting, where folks participated in a variety of skill-building workshops throughout the weekend.
We use strategic communications to advance KFTC’s frame, build New Power, strengthen our democracy, help us win on key issues, and build our capacity and culture. We demonstrate the impact of our work and lift up the voices of our members on the issues that impact us. In 2016, we published six issues of our newsletter, Balancing the Scales, six printed issues of our voter guide – one statewide issue and five local issues in Bowling Green, Berea, Lexington, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky, updated KentuckyElection. org with the latest voter guide information, and published a Citizens’ Legislative Guide for use during the General Assembly. Our work also received considerable media attention at the local, statewide, and national levels, and our social media presence grew when we launched our Instagram account, @kentuckiansforthecommonwealth.
In 2016, we worked to build a strong and sustainable organization, growing our membership to 10,885. We experimented with new approaches to building power through our Empower Kentucky project, where we recruited hundreds of “table hosts” for our Seat At The Table events in the spring. We’re learning more about using digital strategies to invite folks into our work and encourage their support. We’ve had focused campaigns on renewing members, reaching out to lapsed members, and more. And we use events and special fundraisers to raise awareness, build community, and have fun. Kentucky Trivia was a big hit, as was our Barn Bash, the Smoketown GetDown, and more. Through a focused campaign in the summer and consistent asking throughout the year, we grew our number of Sustaining Givers from 424 to 645 in 2016, and now we have more than 700 Sustaining Givers. 22
BUILDING STRONG CHAPTERS
Chapters are the building blocks of KFTC, where most people engage with the organization through local campaigns, build relationships, and develop as leaders. All across the state, chapters worked on a variety of issues from fairness in Scott County to renters’ rights in Southern Kentucky to racial justice in eastern Kentucky to energy efficiency in Central Kentucky to building a healthy democracy everywhere, and more.
In every area of our work, partnerships are important. We bring grassroots organizing, leadership development and strategic communications, while our allies contribute a range of ingredients including research, policy development, legal counsel and more. In the past year, we deepened our relationship with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) and the Alliance for Appalachia on building a just transition for Appalachia; continued our partnership with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy on our Tax Justice campaign; worked with the Catalyst Project, a Bay area-based collective, and Showing Up for Racial Justice on deepening our analysis of racial justice issues; and we continued to deepen our relationship with the Climate Justice Alliance and with WE ACT for Environmental Justice, which has provided support for our Empower Kentucky project through its Clean Power Plan, Clean Air, and Cleaner Communities national campaign.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
Commitment to Diversity is a fundamental strategy, meaning we strive to integrate this commitment into all our other strategies and issue campaigns. We have worked to educate and equip our members and staff to stand up against racism and oppression, support the development of ally organizations, support local racial justice organizing campaigns, and address issues of police brutality and accountability. Also, we’ve continued to support local fairness ordinances across Kentucky, provide leadership on the voting rights campaign, and worked to be more inclusive of gender identities and gender expressions in our organization.
LOOKING AHEAD: 2017 Much has been said about the election of 2016 and what it means for our communities, our state, and our nation going forward. The political landscape shifted dramatically not only at the national level but in Kentucky as well. After the November election, the Republican party took seventeen state House seats from the Democrats, moving from a slim minority to a supermajority. For the first time in history, the Republican Party controls the Office of Governor and both Houses of the Legislature, which has repercussions in all areas of our work. At KFTC, we have invested significant time and capacity in
training available for our members, allies, and newly
developing a shared analysis, self-reflection, goal setting,
energized Kentuckians, putting more boots on the ground and
and strategic planning. In December, over seventy leaders
growing a larger, deeper movement of Kentuckians taking
came together for a day-long leadership summit to reflect on
action for justice.
what happened in the election and why, to analyze threats and opportunities, to think about what it will take to turn
At the same time, we will not accept the assaults on our
things around, and what all that means for our work. Key
people or our place without principled and passionate
themes coming out of the meeting were that our work should
resistance. We are committed to resisting with vision,
include a commitment to deeper and broader leadership
exposing the truth in what is happening, advancing our
development, more organizing, strategic communications,
organizing, and protecting our communitiesâ€™ most vulnerable.
and a robust integrated voter empowerment program. We are committed to stay the course, while we refine our approach
This work will not be easy. But we are more committed than
and elevate our performance.
ever to our vision for our Commonwealth. Because we are Kentuckians. And we are our best hope for change.
To that end, we are deepening and expanding our commitment to building grassroots power and leadership development through the launch of our Organizing Academy and Organizer Apprentice programs. These programs will make organizing
P.O. Box 1450, London, KY 40743 (606) 878-2161 www.KFTC.org
Read up on the great work of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth in 2016.