Why I’m a Democrat: Democrats Work to Empower Women

We asked Laken Gilbert, the KYD Women’s Issues Director, to share why she is a Democrat and will be supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes and Democratic candidates this fall.  Please read and share.

Laken Gilbert and US Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Laken Gilbert and US Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Fellow Young Kentuckians,

Young women across the Commonwealth face serious issues such as pay inequality, unaffordable childcare, and the lack of access to affordable healthcare. However, another issue that has recently been in the news and is plaguing the Commonwealth is violence against women. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. In fact, 1 in 6 women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime and girls are 4 times more likely to be victimized between ages 16 and 19. In Kentucky, despite these statistics, a survivor cannot get a civil protection order unless she and the perpetrator are related, married, have a child in common, or are currently or formerly living together. This creates a huge gap in protection for survivors of dating violence.

Time and time again, Kentucky House Democrats have taken the stand to extend domestic violence protections to dating violence only to be killed by Senate Republicans. The 2014 General Session marked the fourth consecutive year that the Dating Violence Bill (House Bill 8) passed the House. Protecting women is a priority for House Democrats and Kentucky women cannot afford to lose that momentum come November 4th.

Another proponent of ending violence against women is Secretary of State, and US Senate Candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes. As a young lawyer, Alison fought for survivors of domestic violence in the courtroom. As Secretary of State, she championed Kentucky’s first ever address confidentiality program to protect survivors of domestic violence in the voting booth. As our next United States Senator and Kentucky’s first ever female Senator, Alison will continue fighting for women when it comes to equal pay and protecting victims. This advocacy is 30 years overdue. Senator Mitch McConnell does not have the best interests of Kentucky women at heart when he votes in Washington, D.C. He has repeatedly voted against the Violence Against Women Act, opposes equal pay for equal work, and has voted to slash funding for childcare.

I am a Democrat because the Democratic Party supports policies that empower women. As a sexual assault survivor, I will be casting my vote on November 4th for Alison Lundergan Grimes and House Democrats.  We must retire Senator McConnell, who has spent his last 30 years fighting against legislation that has directly improved my safety and security.

Secretary Grimes, however, has made sure I can exercise my democratic responsibility of voting without fear that my perpetrator will be able to access my address and location.  She is and will continue to be a strong advocate for Kentucky Women!

There’s so much still to do to combat the many issues facing women. So on November 4th, when you go in the voting booth as a young woman, consider which candidates will stand with you. As a young man, consider which candidates will stand with your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, and your daughters. Together we can fuel the momentum of House Democrats, get the Dating Violence Bill enacted, and have Alison Lundergan Grimes’ proven leadership in Washington, D.C. as our next U.S. Senator!

Yours,
Laken Gilbert

Laken Gilbert is currently a third-year law student at the University of Kentucky where she serves as the on-line editor of the UK Law Review.  Laken was recently published in The Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Law with an article entitled “Cultivating Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault in American’s Agriculture Industry.  (View the article here.)  Laken also serves on the Kentucky Commission on Women, as Secretary of the Fayette County Young Democrats and is the Women’s Issues Director for the Kentucky Young Democrats.

09/25/2014 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment

Get Involved!

Though fall is just around the corner, things are heating up here in the Commonwealth!  Democrats across the state are on the ground doing good work to get our candidates elected!  Below are some ways you can get involved!

Become a Kentucky Democratic Party Organizing Fellow
KDP Fellows

The Kentucky Democratic Party (KDP) is offering a substantive, fast-paced fellowship opportunity for students or recent graduates interested in learning what it’s like to be on the front lines of a winning campaign.  KDP will recruit and train leaders in this unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience, deepen knowledge of a high level political operation, and join a new core of political organizers in Kentucky.

Fall Program Dates:  September – November 2014 Contact Christian Motley at cmotley@kydemocrat.com for more information.

 

Tell Us Why You are Voting for Alison

KYD Team SwitchBetween now and Election Day, we will be posting on Facebook and Twitter the reasons why Young Democrats in Kentucky are voting for our US Senate Candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

If you’d like us to share your reason, submit it here.

 

Apply for Emerge Kentucky (and a KYD Scholarship)
Emerge
The Kentucky Young Democrats (KYD) are proud to be supporters of Emerge Kentucky!

Emerge Kentucky is changing the face of Kentucky politics by identifying, training and encouraging women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office. A pool of highly qualified Democratic candidates is being left untapped. Too often, women do not see themselves running for office-they assume they aren’t experienced enough or they don’t know where to begin.  Emerge Kentucky is changing that!

If you are interested in applying for this exciting program, check out the Emerge Kentucky Application Process webpage.

KYD will be giving three partial scholarships to KYD women accepted into the program.  If you are interested in obtaining of one of these scholarships, please send you resume to KYD President Clint Morris at clintmorris@gmail.com after you have submitted your application to Emerge Kentucky.

 

Help Elect our Democratic Candidates to the State House canvassing2
There are a series of canvasses scheduled for State House Candidates across the state.  Please consider helping out one of these races in your area.

Gerald Watkins (District 3)
Event: Canvass
Location: 1616 Jefferson St, Paducah
Date/Time: Friday, September 12, 11:00 AM
Contact: Daniel Hurt, 270.205.2994

Event: Canvass
Location: 1616 Jefferson St, Paducah
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, 10:00 AM
Contact: Daniel Hurt, 270.205.2994

John Warren (District 7)
Event: Canvass
Location: 730 2nd Street, Henderson
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, 12:00 PM
Contact: Samir Patel, 954.881.0168

Jim Glenn (District 13)
Event: Canvass
Location: 335 Frederica Street, Owensboro
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, 12:00 PM
Contact: Samir Patel, 954.881.0168

John Wayne Smith (District 19)
Event: Canvass
Location: Warren County Democratic Party HQ, 1775 Scottsville Rd, Bowling Green
Date/Time: Every Monday – Thursday, 3:00 PM
Contact: Joe Lyon, 270.382.9262

Johnny Bell (District 23)
Event: Canvass
Location: Barren County Democratic HQ
Date/Time: Every Saturday, Shift at 9 AM & 1:00 PM
Contact: Joe Lyon, 270.382.9262

Jeff Greer (District 27)
Event: Canvass
Location: TBD, Radcliff, KY
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 9, 5:30 PM
Contact: Michael Wilson, 270.766.8654

Ashley Miller (District 32)
Event: Canvass
Location: 630 Marquette Dr, Louisville
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 PM
Contact: Lauren Wallace, 502.435.8002

Event: Canvass
Location: Fresh Market, 1085 Rudy Lane, Louisville
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, 10:00 AM
Contact: Lauren Wallace, 502.435.8002

Russ Meyer (District 39)
Event: Canvass
Location: TBD, Nicholasville
Date/Time:Thursday, September 11, TBD
Contact: Derek Miles, 859.421.9214

Event: Canvass
Location: TBD, Nicholasville
Date/Time:Saturday, September 13, 11:00 AM
Contact: Derek Miles, 859.421.9214

Gretchen Hunt (District 48)
Event: Canvass
Location: 4403 Watercrest Ct, Louisville
Date/Time: Every Saturday, Shifts at 10 AM & 1 PM
Contact: Patty Stocker

Audrey Haydon (District 50)
Event: Canvass
Location: Haydon & McNamara, 798 Portland Ave, Bardstown
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, Shifts at 10 AM & 1 PM
Contact: Audrey Haydon, 502.233.1080

Kent Stevens (District 53)
Event: Canvass
Location: TBD, Lawrenceburg
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 9, TBD
Contact: Derek Miles, 859.421.9214

Chuck Tackett (District 62)
Event: Canvass
Location: Scott County Courthouse, 101 E. Main #109, Georgetown
Date/Time: Every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 5:00 PM
Contact: Alex Caudill, 270.577.3856

Event: Canvass
Location: Owen County Courthouse, 136 Bryan St, Owenton
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13, Shifts at 10 AM & 1 PM
Contact: Alex Caudill, 270.577.3856

09/10/2014 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Student Loan Crisis

Fellow Young Dems,

There are currently 40 million Americans drowning with over $1 trillion in student loan debt. This indebedess has financially paralyzed an entire generation and is a barrier to economic growth in this country.

ImageThis week, Senator Elizabeth Warren and twenty-three of her Senate Democratic colleagues are introducing a bill to help provide some relief.  The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, or the “Fair Shot Act,” would allow graduates to refinance their current student loan interest rates to the lower rates afforded currents students (3.86%) thanks to the bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act passed in 2012.

The passage of this bill would save graduates hundreds, and in many cases thousands, of dollars each year.  This money could be put to better use and towards purchasing cars and homes and other goods that fuel our economy.  Read the full press release from Senator Warren as well as the fact sheet on the legislation.

As Senator Warren suggests, “we need to stop treating our students as profit centers.”  The Government Accountability Office reports that the government is set to profit $66 Billion from the loans issued between 2007 and 2012 alone.  The American Dream should not be so costly and our government shouldn’t be profiting off the country’s graduates who are drowning in debt!  The Act would offset the cost by enacting the “Buffett Rule” which would close tax loopholes enjoyed by the nation’s millionaires and billionaires.

It is our hope that Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul will choose our working graduates over the nation’s wealthiest few.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  1. Sign the KYD Petition and tell Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul to support the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. (Deadline: 5:00 pm, Sunday, May 11.)
  2. Want to share your story on how your student loan debt has affected you and your family? You can share that story here.
  3. Attend the rally this Thursday (May 8) in Lexington at the University of Kentucky beginning at Noon!  (Click here for details and to RSVP with the event organizers.)

Yours truly,

Lauren Ingram
KYD, Vice President

05/06/2014 at 8:13 pm 2 comments

Fairness is a Kentucky Value

KYD FairnessIn 1966, Kentucky became the first southern state to pass a Civil Rights law that banned discrimination in public accommodation and employment based on race, color, religion and national origin.  In 1968, this law was extended to protect against discrimination in housing.  And again in 1972, Kentucky was the first southern state to include gender and age in its anti-discrimination statutes.

Kentucky has a history of leading the region in the protection of civil rights.  And now, the Kentucky General Assembly has a chance to be a leader once more with the passage of House Bill 171 and its Senate companion bill SB 140.

The enactment of these bills would prohibit discrimination in public accommodation, employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Kentucky Young Democrats, and the young people of this Commonwealth, know that to discriminate against our fellow human beings for who they are or who they love is wrong.  There is no place for such intolerance in a 21st Century Kentucky.  To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.  Fairness is a civil rights issue and fairness is an economic issue.

And friends, fairness is a Kentucky value.  A recent poll shows that 83% of Kentuckians support a statewide ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Then why do HB 171 and SB 140 have such a hard road in the General Assembly?  It is because too often we sit on the sidelines and expect those making decisions to do the right thing.  And Dusty Springfield taught us that just wishing and hoping won’t get us anywhere.

The power to create change is in your hands!  Today, please, SIGN OUR PETITION to tell the legislators in Frankfort that fairness is a Kentucky value and that they need to pass HB 171 and SB 140!

We join organizations like the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Kentucky Fairness Coalition in supporting the right of EVERY Kentuckian to work and live without fear of harassment or discrimination.

History is calling again, Kentucky.  Let’s answer.

Yours,
Clint Morris
President, Kentucky Young Democrats

02/19/2014 at 8:59 pm

Make KYDs Your Valentine!

Dear Liz,

This Valentine’s Day, consider showing some love to the Kentucky Young Democrats.  Democrats of all ages can sign up today for the Kentucky Young @ Heart Democrats monthly giving program!  Your monthly donation of $5 or $10 will help the Kentucky Young Democrats engage young voters, instilling our Democratic Party values and ideals in a new generation of leaders!  For more details on the Young @ Heart program, and to see how your contribution will help Young Democrats in your hometown and across the state, please visit our Kentucky Young @ Heart Democrats page.

Sign up today!

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Kentucky Young Democrats

02/14/2014 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

Raising Kentucky’s Minimum Wage

Friends,

On Thursday, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 1 (HB1), a bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the course of the next three years. The enactment of this bill could signify an economic turning point for thousands of Kentuckians and Kentucky families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Currently, 400,000 Kentuckians earn at or below the $7.25 minimum wage. One in four Kentucky children live in a home where at least one parent is a minimum wage earner. The average Kentucky minimum wage earner is a woman over 25, with at least one child, making approximately $15,080 a year. Increasing the minimum wage will add an additional $5,928 a year to many single-parent homes – helping to keep the heat on, provide daycare, purchase school supplies and put food on the table.

Additionally, many students working their way through college earn minimum wage and this additional $2.95/hour could make the difference between paying for that next semester or dropping out.

The Kentucky Young Democrats commend Speaker Stumbo and the House Democratic Leadership for making this issue a top priority in their legislative agenda. Too  Kentuckians work too hard to make so little.  We believe all Kentuckians deserve a living wage.  A living wage could be a foundation for making sure more Kentuckians have the opportunity to pursue their American dream.

HB1 passed the House 54-44, but its prospects in the Senate look bleak – for now.  WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please take a moment over the next few days and contact your State Senator and ask them to support the passage of HB1!  (You can find your State Senator HERE.)

Tell them this is a bill designed to help brighten the future for young Kentuckians. Tell them this is a family values bill that will strengthen Kentucky’s families.  Tell them 61% of Kentuckians support raising the minimum wage!  And tell them it’s just the right thing to do!

For more information on the overall economic impact of increasing the minimum wage you can view the recent Economic Policy Institute study HERE.

We can make the difference!

Yours,

Clint Morris

President, Kentucky Young Democrats

PS.  If you can, please take a moment to thank the House Democratic Leadership for standing up for Kentucky workers and Kentucky families!

02/11/2014 at 10:13 am 1 comment

Community Service at 2014 KYD Convention

At each annual convention, the KYDs try to do something to help the community in which the convention is being held. This year, the KYDs will be holding a supply and fundraising drive for the Women’s Crisis Center in Covington, KY.

During convention, there will be a contest between the chapters to see which KYD chapter can collect the most supplies for this worthy cause. The winning chapter will receive the annual Golden Donkey award, as well as 5 free KYD bumper stickers.

Please download this Word document to see the point value of supplies needed.

01/13/2014 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment

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