While the Kentucky General Assembly has been hard at work for the past four weeks, Bluegrass citizens took over Capitol hill in Frankfurt today to march for a cause. The annual “I love mountains” rally came together outside of the rotunda while other citizens marched for a different kind of clean air, smoke-free air.
The ninth annual “I love mountains” march stomped through Capitol Avenue while chanting, “This is what democracy looks like,” reports Thomas Loftus of the Courier-Journal. Another banner of the “I love mountains” rally declares, “Together we can build Appalachia’s bright future.” With its ninth year marching, the “I love mountains” rally aims to grab lawmakers and lobby for a cleaner energy in the bluegrass state.
Last year at the “I love mountains” rally, Kentucky for the Commonwealth member Carl Shoupe said to the crowd, “we must do more than want it. We have to dream it. WE have to build it and protect it, together. We have to demand it and work for it every day. We have to organize for it and we have to vote for it.” The “it” Shoupe adamantly refers to is legislation protecting the mountains of Kentucky from devastating mining practices. Shoupe and hundreds of other Kentuckians march annually to protect the Eastern Kentucky zeniths filling the bluegrass skyline as mountaintop removals and other destructive mining practices threaten Kentuckians’ water, air, health, and beloved mountains.
While a crowd gathers with images of bluegrass mountains before them, voters called out to the Kentucky General Assembly in favor of smoke-free legislation regulating toxic cigarette smoke in places of work and congregation. Although Kentucky’s economy is addicted to tobacco, local governments have passed no-smoking ordinances in the past couple years. Lexington became the first city to pass a no-smoking ordinance on July 1, 2003.
Kentuckians of all ages rally to lobby for a smoke-free Bluegrass State.
After the rally for smoke-free legislation in the general assembly, lawmakers addressed the media. Among them being Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber and former mayor of Owensboro, speaking in favor of a smoke-free Kentucky. With him standing in support of smoke-free legislation was Governor Steve Beshear. The legislation in the Kentucky Senate is sponsored Julie Denton, a Republican for Louisville, who also chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
After the rallying citizens close the banners declaring voter’s passionate priorities, the house adjourned until 2pm later today.