To The White Men In Frankfort,
As we begin the 2021 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the Republican leadership of the state Senate outlined your priorities- passing another state budget and limiting the scope of a governor’s emergency powers. Is that the best you can give us in 30 days? Is that really where you want to focus your energy?
I ask you to listen to the people. While “we the people” may not always agree, I believe if “we the people” put our differences aside, we can look around our state and know that the people of Kentucky are hurting. The people of Kentucky are LITERALLY SICK AND TIRED, and we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And now we are not just sick and tired; we are sick, tired, and dying. When America catches a cold, Kentucky gets the flu. Let’s be realistic; even before the pandemic, Kentucky was hurting. The pandemic just shined a massive spotlight on areas in our state that have been overlooked, underserved, and neglected.
The people of Kentucky are struggling to make ends meet, fighting to keep a roof over their heads, standing in ungodly long lines to get boxes of food to feed their families for just a few more weeks. We have parents struggling to understand homeschooling (NTI), parents who don’t have access to a home computer or internet service. This is not the time to play games. This is not time to make life-saving measures political. This is not the time to wage war against a Governor that is trying to hold a state together when it is crumbling all around us. There are 278,000 people sick, 3,013 people are dead from the coronavirus. From day to day, many of us are wondering will we be next? How much longer will this go on? We are concerned about our lives, our families, and our jobs. We wake up and try to go on as normal in an abnormal world.
And then, just when many of us were accepting the reality of this new world in our state, this state, in KENTUCKY, a young 26-year-old Black woman was killed in her home when the Louisville Metro Police Department entered her home with a no-knock warrant. Our state became the epicenter for a movement that stretched around the world. People were chanting Breonna Taylor’s name in the streets of Louisville, Lexington, Harlan. From the hood to the holler, people were demanding justice. And while nothing will bring Breonna Taylor back, policymakers across this country started to look at the use of no-knock warrants and their execution. Breonna’s Law has been enacted in several states, banning the use of no-knock warrants. No one should ever receive a phone call that their loved one is dead because the police entered their home on a no-knock warrant and killed them. Breonna’s Law will protect people and law enforcement. Breonna’s Law is on the docket for this session. Do you even care? Will you even look at it? Will you even hear it, or will it get buried underneath your personal agendas?
We are experiencing a time in this nation we have never seen before. All of these issues have collided to create the perfect storm, and the plane is on fire. Contrary to popular belief, please know, if we burn, you burn too. We are inescapably intertwined. What impacts the people of Kentucky will undoubtedly impact you. There is no economy without the PEOPLE. People have to be well to work, to live, to thrive. Unless you start thinking about the people, this state will fail.
We, the people, placed you in your positions. And while I may not agree with some elected officials, the people elected you because they believed that you would best serve them. Not serve yourself. Not serve your aspirations to be in Washington DC. Not serve personal vendettas. Not draw up policy because you are mad at Governor Beshear because you didn’t get invited to his Christmas party back in 2005, or he beat you running for high school president, or he didn’t ask you to golf with him last year in June. When you are in those seats, it is not a time to keep a personal score. It is time to serve the PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY. ALL THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY.
However, it is easy to walk into the Capitol, play policy games, and have political penis measuring contests when you have a steady income, investments, a roof over your head, and never have to wonder where your next meal is coming from. It is easy to use this session to limit Governor Beshear’s power when you have access to the internet, clean water and never have to be concerned about your race impacting your very right to breathe.
But for once, take yourself out of the center. Focus on the well-being of Kentucky and ask yourselves, is this the best use of our time to serve the people of this state? Ask yourself how will we use this session to impact the lives of Kentucky residents for good? How will us being in session make this state better for all people?
You have a choice. You get to decide if you want to leave this state a little bit better because you chose to serve the people or leave it a little worse because you decided to play political games. The choice is yours.