Our organization, Together Frankfort, formed on January 6, 2017. Several South Frankfort (KY) neighbors and friends, about 16, were planning to get together to go to the National Women's March on Washington & to sister marches. We met, shared contact information and our plans for travel and logistics. We discussed our reasons for going and the discussion became quite powerful, personal, and profound -- evolving into a passion to take action locally.
That night, we formed our organization, selected our name, established our next meeting date for debriefing after the march. We drafted a letter to Rep. Garland Hale Barr IV, describing our concerns with proposed healthcare changes and invited him to attend the Women's March on Washington to learn more. On Jan. 18, we hand delivered the letter to his staff and issued a press release describing our new organization, our concerns and our actions.
The Frankfort State Journal ran an article about our invitation to Barr, with quotes from his staff who proclaimed Barr's utmost support for women's concerns. He declined our invitation to participate in the national Women's March on Washington.
Since our formation in January, Together Frankfort has conducted monthly meetings. First we conducted an organizational meeting, working in small groups to define our priorities. These are:
1. Increased civic engagement, particularly focused on specific national policies, particularly environmental protection and management, healthcare, campaign finance and "dark money," and racial discrimination;
2. Improving voter participation & voter education on public issues;
3. Educating citizens toward improved communications with elected officials about our concerns; and
4. Forming partnerships with like-minded organizations.
We selected several focus areas:
On May 15, we launched our "Summer Study on the Impact of Money in Politics," with a briefing by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth.
The Summer Study activities have included an open discussion on Jane Meyer's Dark Money (May 23), and workshops on the various strategies to curb the impact of money on elections.
We communicate through bi-weekly "Action Alerts" and "Updates," which are e-mailed to anyone who has attended our meetings or have asked to be on the 200+ mailing list. We maintain a public Facebook page (over 1200 "likes,"), a private Facebook group page for internal communications, a twitter account, a YouTube site, and work to keep this website updated.
Our Together Frankfort Coordinators are: Karen Armstrong-Cummings, Gae Broadwater, Karen Waite Carey, Mary Lynn Collins, Libby Marshall, Kathy Murphy, Barbara Hadley Smith, Cary Suddeth, Margaret Townsley, Linda Waller, and Murray Moore Wood. Karen Armstrong-Cummings and Mary Lynn Collins serve as Co-chairs of the Coordinators Team, which meets every other Monday at 12:30 p.m., usually at the Completely Kentucky meeting room in downtown Frankfort (KY, USA). Meetings are open and interested persons are encouraged to attend.
The organizational structure of Together Frankfort changes and evolves to meet organizational objectives, as defined by member interest. Currently, Together Frankfort is organized into a committee structure, further described here. Our Coordinators and Committees meet to plan general meetings, events, & to coordinate travel to rallies, protests, and town halls conducted by our Members of Congress.