Here in Kentucky, we do better together.
If a friend or neighbor needs help, we lend a hand. We pitch in to make sure our neighbors and communities have the things we need to thrive, like secure pensions and clean water. And then, even after a win, we keep showing up for each other to protect hard earned victories.
This campaign to Fix What’s Broke is that kind of fight. Years ago, workers and communities in Kentucky and Central Appalachia organized and won essential protections, including: black lung benefits for sick coal miners and their families, a federal fund to clean up abandoned mine lands and polluted waterways, pensions for retired miners and their families, and other laws to protect our land, water, and people.
But now many coal companies are looking for ways to break their promises to our workers and communities. Industry lobbyists in Washington, DC and state capitals are pressuring politicians to let them walk away with profits without fixing what they broke. Companies are using bankruptcy to shift costs onto the backs of others, especially workers and taxpayers, before going back into business. And at every step, powerful politicians seem to think it’s their job to act in the interests of the industry, rather than the people and places they are supposed to represent.
As the coal industry and the politicians turn their back on us, Kentuckians keep choosing to take care of each other. Together we will deliver a message that even the big shots can hear: “We want a bright future for all Kentuckians. We’ve got to get started by fixing what’s broke.”
Who we are
This website is created and maintained by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to shine a spotlight on ways Kentuckians can take action to help secure funding for mine reclamation, black lung benefits and other hard earned protections for our land, water, and people.
The campaign to Fix What’s Broke grows out of collaborative efforts by many diverse individuals, organizations, and community leaders in Kentucky and across the region. KFTC is honored to work with many strategic allies, including those mentioned below:
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people, inspired by a vision, working for a fair economy, healthy environment, honest democracy, and justice for all people – white, black and brown. We have thousands of members across the state. Join KFTC today!
Appalachian Citizens Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that fights for justice in the coalfields by representing coal miners and their families on issues of black lung and mine safety and by working with grassroots groups and individuals to protect the land and people from misuse and degradation caused by extractive industries.
Many local chapters of the Black Lung Association are active in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio. These organizations are led by miners with black lung disease, widows, and close family members who work together to secure and protect miners’ health, safety, and benefits. Connect to a BLA chapter near you.
Appalshop is a media, arts and education center that documents and tells stories that support communities’ efforts to solve problems and achieve justice and equity in their own ways and with their own words. MakingConnectionsNews.org in particular is a collection of audio/radio stories highlighting the current efforts of Appalachian folks to build a just and sustainable region.
The Center for Rural Strategies seeks to improve economic and social conditions in small towns and rural communities through creative and innovative use of media and communications.
Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is a network of young people working to win a new government and new economy that will respect and protect our workers, communities, and environment.
Mountain Association For Community Economic Development works with businesses and communities in eastern Kentucky to advance a just transition to a new economy in Central Appalachia.
Alliance for Appalachia is a regional coalition of grassroots organizations working to create a sustainable and just Appalachia.
Appalachian Voices works to protect the land, air, and water of Central and Southern Appalachia and advance a just transition to a generative and equitable clean energy economy.
Additionally, KFTC applauds the work of the United Mine Workers of America, which recently led a successful multi-year campaign to protect miners pensions.
And we appreciate support from Sierra Club for campaigns in Central Appalachia to build a just and regenerative economy.