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.
This 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!
- 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.)
- Want to share your story on how your student loan debt has affected you and your family? You can share that story here.
- 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.)
KYD, Vice President
In 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.
President, Kentucky Young Democrats
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.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
Kentucky Young Democrats
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!
PS. If you can, please take a moment to thank the House Democratic Leadership for standing up for Kentucky workers and Kentucky families!
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.
Please see below for the KYD Convention Draft Schedule. Items are subject to change, but start and end times should remain the same.
Friday – January 31
Opening Reception at Molly Malone’s
Featuring Mayor Sherry Carran and Represenative Arnold Simpson, as well as a live DJ
Cost is free, but donations will be accepted
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
112 E. 4th Street – Covington, KY
Saturday – February 1
(All events on Saturday, February 1 are for paid KYD attendees only. Please register here.)
9:00 am – Breakfast at Marriott (free for participants)
9:30 am – Gavel in; convention begins – Speaker: State Representative Arnold Simpson
10:15 am – Sessions:
1a – Innocence Project
1b – PCCC Training – Lacey Connelly
11:00 am – Panel: How to Work in Politics without Being Elected
Featuring: Kathy Groob, political consultant, Dan Hassert, speechwriter, and Joe Meyer, former Kentucky Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
11:45 am – Break for lunch
Lunch will feature Secretary of State and US Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Cost of lunch included in registration free
1:15 pm – Sessions
2a – Affordable Care Act – Cara Stewart
2b – Labor Issues – Richard Becker and Will Emmons
2:00 pm – Election announcements
2:30 pm – Election speeches
3:00 pm – Speaker: State Representative Dennis Keene
3:30 pm – Convention ends for Saturday; trip to National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum (cost included in registration fee)
6:30 pm – Convention attendees free to explore Covington area; groups will leave to visit Main Strasse Village, Newport, and Cincinnati Banks area
Sunday – February 2
(All events on Sunday, February 2 are for paid KYD attendees only. Please register here.)
9:00 am – Breakfast at Marriott (free for participants)
9:30 am – Convention begins for Sunday; KYD Business
9:45 am – 2014 Legislative Outlook Panel
10:45 am – State of the KYD
11:00 am – Treasurer’s Report
11:15 – Credential Report
11:30 am – Resolutions
11:45 am – Elections
12:00 pm – Swearing in of new officers
12:30 pm – Gavel out; convention ends
I’m so excited we are holding the 2014 KYD Convention in my hometown of Covington, KY. Covington has so much to offer our group: a wonderful hotel, great restaurants and nightlife and so many supportive Democrats. We are going to have a great convention and I hope you and your chapter will join us!
We have so much information to share, so please read below if you plan to join us or charter your KYD chapter in 2014:
If you are interested in nominating an individual for YD of the Year or KYD Alumni of the Year, or a chapter for Chapter of the Year, College Chapter of the Year, or High School Chapter of the Year, please send your nomination by January 10, 2014 to KYD National Committeewoman, Lauren Ingram at Lauren@KyYoungDems.com. Please include your full name, the full name of the chapter individual, contact information, and reasons you think the person or group is deserving of the award.
Are you interested in running for office at the 2014 KYD Convention in Covington on February 1-2? If so, fill out this form and return it by January 2, 2014. Either e-mail it to KYD at PO Box 486, Lexington, KY 40588 or e-mail it to KYDChartering@gmail.com.
If you are a chapter president or leader, please read through this information for facts on chartering, amendments to the KYD Charter & Bylaws, and submissions of Convention Resolutions.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Don’t forget, registration for the KYD Convention 2014 is open. Numbers are limited, so register today!
President, Kentucky Young Democrats