It was 37 years ago today – August 17, 1981 – that a group of 26 people from 12 counties meeting in Hazard agreed to officially form a new organization: KFTC, then known as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition.
“People, especially in eastern Kentucky, were getting to know each other. All around the region there was a loose network of people who had worked together with each other in various ways over the past 15 years or so. What we didn’t have in those days was a structured connection between us. There was a no interlocking of these community-level efforts, until KFTC.” – Herb E. Smith, Letcher County
According to the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:
This Hazard meeting was not the first meeting of this group of people who were coming together from across eastern Kentucky, with supporters from other parts of Kentucky. The group had met on several prior occasions to explore the possibilities of working together on common issues. Shared concerns included the quality of (or lack of) community services and public education in eastern Kentucky counties where coal was mined (which suffered from gross inequalities in the tax system), the rights of landowners and mining-related water quality problems.
“Many of the people involved were organizing in their respective home counties around these and related issues. The decision to launch a new organization was based on the understanding that the issues were all related and shared a common underlying root cause: “the inequality of life with a single dominant industry – coal – that was not contributing its fair share.”
We’ve made a lot of history since, and still are. Thanks to everyone who has been and continues to be part of KFTC’s story!
Watch “I Was There: The First 30 Years of KFTC” and learn about KFTC’s history through 2011.
Want to make sure KFTC is around for another 37 great years? Become a Sustaining Giver!
Reposted from http://kftc.org/blog/happy-37th-anniversary-kftc