Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

post #50
    I have been gratified that, for whatever reasons, so many of you have been interested in the funeral photos by John Flavell and myself in last week's post, #49.  Thanks too for the comments.  As we get riveted by such out-sized things, like hurricanes and earthquakes and national financial quandaries, it helps to be reminded how sharing and caring with our neighbors, friends and family keep our lives grounded even or perhaps especially in times that hurt.
     Yesterday I was in another situation where the strength comes from helping one other -- I was part of  the 30th birthday event of a statewide organization I am very proud of, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.  KFTC got its start working to stop the abuses of the broad-form deed.  It took many people all over the state to change the law in the early 80s to keep coal companies from taking the top of the land when landowners signed over their mineral rights, for which they were paid very little and the surface of their land was stripped.
     Some of the issues KFTC works on now are preserving streams so our water is not ruined by mountaintop removal mining ("We all live downstream"), establishing voting rights similar to all the other states for felons who have done their time, and identifying local issues that affect the health and safety of ordinary people living there.  Developing local leadership is key.  Here is their website,; their main mission is to build a new balance of power and a just society.
     Soon after I arrived, the light on the porch where some of us were gathered was right for photos, so I just couldn't help it.  Had to take some photos, even though none were needed.  (Also, I like it when I can be fairly unobtrusive.)  Therefore here are a few photos taken mostly during the afternoon session called Sharing Stories -- of which there were some from each of KFTC's three decades.

I call this "Three of the Greats", early and persistent advocates for change: Daymon, Patty, and Ruth.
John Rosenberg from Prestonsburg, present at the very first gathering which identified the need and the possibility of a statewide social justice organization, named at first "Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition".

Ray Tucker, with Teri Blanton in the blur (Sorry, Teri!)
effective poster for the broad form deed constitutional amendment, which passed!  Thank goodness!  And thank you everyone who stuck with 1986's enormous effort statewide.
Ada Smith, an active long-term advocate for social justice, i.e. since childhood!
Kristi, now on the KFTC staff, shares her story.  Thank you, Kristi.
Burt, commenting on Daymon's wardrobe preferences....

Doug Doerrfeld and K.A. Owens, two other former chairpersons, during the part of the late afternoon general gathering that honored all nine of them.
Now, last, a view along Route 213 in Powell County, on my way home.  I love Kentucky.

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