Together Frankfort - Our History
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 2017, Together Frankfort has conducted public meetings and forums, open to any interested person. Initially, these were held monthly, but after COVID-19, we have scheduled forums based on the issues we were discussing and the schedules of invited speakers.
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, with an emphasis on 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, 2017 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 periodic "Action Alerts" and "Updates," which are e-mailed to anyone who has attended our meetings or have asked to be on our mailing list, now over 500 individuals. We maintain a public Facebook page (over 2,500 "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 Carey, Kemba Cofield, Mary Lynn Collins, Judy Goddard, Dantrea Hampton, Bill Klier, Kathy Murphy, Patti Porter, Barbara Hadley Smith, Margaret Townsley, Linda Waller. Since January of 2021, Barbara Hadley Smith has chaired of the Coordinators Team, which meets every other Monday at 12:30 p.m.
Prior to COVID-19, Together Frankfort's Coordinators met at the Completely Kentucky meeting room in downtown Frankfort (KY, USA). During COVID-19 restrictions, we are meeting by Zoom. If you would like to participate, observe, or make a proposal to the Coordinators at one of these meetings, please click here and send us an email 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. 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.