Coal holds a tight grip on the economy of eastern Kentucky. The industry has drained millions from communities, while polluting their natural resources and mistreating workers. In response to this extraction and abuse, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth formed to lead Kentucky in a transition away from an economy dominated by coal, anchoring the work of the Our Power Campaign throughout the Bluegrass State.
For more than 30 years, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has been organizing in Kentucky to achieve voter rights, economic justice, and a transition away from the state’s extractive energy and economy. Since its formation, KFTC has grown from a small group of concerned citizens to a large organization that builds power through community organizing. Some of their key campaigns include:
Combating mountaintop removal in the Appalachia
Pushing for comprehensive tax reform that is fair and benefits all Kentuckians
Restoring the right to vote back to Kentuckians who have served time for a felony
Right now, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth are working to build a New Power in Kentucky - that will strengthen democracy, promote clean energy, and create a just economy. They are doing so through several “New Energy and Transition” projects that each work towards a more sustainable Kentucky.
Through building New Power, KFTC sees an opportunity to achieve a just transition in the Appalachia that will benefit workers and communities. Already, there are a variety of sectors working on different, grassroots solutions to move away from the current extractive economy. KFTC has been working with other organizations to document the successful, local projects that are benefiting communities. They are also exploring policies, such as federal funding for home weatherization projects, and the Kentucky Clean Air Opportunity Act, that could move Appalachia towards a just transition.
KFTC is organizing a campaign to around rural electrical co-ops in east Kentucky to promote clean, efficient energy that is more democratically governed. The campaign supports energy-saving projects like How$martKy, working with the Clean Energy Collaborative in increase efficient and renewable energy, and empowering members to step up for co-op reforms that will that increase transparency and democracy.
In 2009, KFTC cofounded the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance promotes clean, sustainable and affordable energy solutions in Kentucky. The group consists of 53 members, most of which are businesses, all of whom are committed to transitioning away from extractive energy. Recently, they have supported the Clean Air Opportunity Act in the Kentucky legislature.