The Kentucky Democratic Party and Bluegrass State unions are traveling the same rocky road, according to Kenny Fogle, KDP deputy political director.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” he added. “But the only way we’re going to get there is to do it together.”
To that end, Fogle and KDP Political Director Trey Hieneman are recruiting volunteers for the KDP’s Labor Council. They were guests at Wednesday’s Kentucky State AFL-CIO Executive Board meeting in Frankfort.
The council would become full-fledged when at least 30 union members — active or retired — from at least three of the state’s six congressional districts are signed up. Members would, in turn, meet — in person or remotely — and elect officers, including a chair who would represent the council as a voting member of the KDP’s State Central Executive Committee.
The Labor Council would join the KDP’s Black and LGBTQ caucuses and Rural and Military Veterans’ councils. “We created these caucuses and councils to provide voices for people who are typically not heard,” explained Hieneman.
John Stovall, president of Louisville Teamsters Local 783, is a member of the state central committee. But he’s an at-large member. The labor council chair, like the other caucus and council chairs, would have a permanent seat.
Hieneman and Fogle said the KDP showed its commitment to organized labor by welcoming its staffers to join Louisville IBEW Local 369. “We’re proud to stand here as brothers, not just friends, of organized labor,” Hieneman said.
After Hieneman and Fogle left, State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan called for a discussion of the Labor Council. Board members seemed positive about the proposal, and Londrigan agreed to email further information and a link for union members to sign up.
“The history of the modern Democratic party parallels the history of organized labor,” Fogle said. “Right now in Kentucky, we’re both hurting. You can’t sugarcoat that. We want labor with us. We want you to have a seat at the table.”
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