Kentucky Voting Rights Advocates speak at Council Work Session today

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First district Council Member Chris Ford introduced a resolution at today’s LFUCG work session that the city council supports restoring voting rights for former felons/ returning citizens who’ve served their time.

Members from the Lexington chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth have lobbied Lexington-Fayette urban county council to take a stand on voting rights.  The resolution urges the general assembly to move HB70 forward, which would allow the citizens of Kentucky to decide on this issue.

Council members unanimously passed a motion to place the resolution on the docket at the next Urban County Council meeting.

Anthony Everett, a member of the Interdenominational Pastors’ Fellowship of Lexington and Nia Community of Faith, expressed support for CM Ford’s resolution. “Nearly 129,000 adults have completed obligations of their criminal sentences but are still barred from voting in Kentucky… As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. As people of faith who seek to restore justice for returning citizens, we ask you to join the movement to free democracy and restore the vote.”

Tanya Fogle told Council Members, “I’m the poster child for House Bill 70.”

Former UK women’s basketball player, Tanya Fogle, addressed the Council:

“I am a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. I’m also one of these people you’ll be voting on today. I’m an ex-University of Kentucky basketball player. I received a BA degree in 1984. I played basketball for University of Kentucky 1978 through 1982. Somehow along the way I lost my path. I made a mistake, but I’m not a mistake.”

She is now the director of Steppin To a New Beat (a re-entry offender program), under the Workforce Investment Act.

“When Judge Overstreet sentenced me to ten years in 1991, I served out that time, six years, nine months. At that time, I thought I was done. But I found out when I came back to my community that I had lost my right to vote, one of the most powerful things that my Mom taught me, to be proud of, to be able to vote. I’m a mother of two and grandmother of seven. I’m here proudly to say that the mistakes I made, I’ve already worked through those things… Now I work with other people just like me…I’m the poster child for House Bill 70.”

Motion passed unanimously to advance the resolution to the docket to be heard by Council.

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