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Saturday, August 4th at 2pm Grace Engelman
Fancy Farm, Kentucky firstname.lastname@example.org
FANCY FARM--- Young Kentuckians delivered speeches calling for an end to corporate-controlled politics at Saturday’s 137th Fancy Farm Picnic, Kentucky’s most raucous political event. The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition erected a ‘people’s stage’ adjacent to the main stage to present their speeches and demand new leadership that puts public interest over corporate profit. With just 95 days until the 2018 general elections, the youth say they’re efforts are part of a national youth movement to replace establishment politicians this November. However, within just thirty minutes of the stage being set up, the students were told to stop speaking by law enforcement.
KSEC members drew attention to the prevalence of corporate politics with “puppeticians,” pocket-sized figures in the likeness of Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and Gov. Matt Bevin. duPont Manual student Emma Stuber says, “Politicians live in the pocket of anything that can give them money. If they were in my pocket, they would put people over profits.”
University of Louisville freshman and KSEC member Grace Engelman was amongst those who spoke. “Our politicians funnel millions of dollars to the dying coal industry, while Kentucky’s environment, infrastructure, and people are pushed to the wayside,” Engelman says. “ It is time for leaders to demand the legislation we need. It is time for our representatives to advocate for their constituents instead of corporate interests.”
During Engelman’s speech, a law enforcement officer approached Engelman. A brief exchange ensued, with the officer telling the students to “go whine to somebody that cares.” Oli Tierney captured the event on video. She says, “We came here to help people imagine what it would be like if politicians were in our pockets. We had to do a lot of imagining. Not only did people not care about what we had to say, a police officer stopped one of our speakers during the middle of her speech. This proved our point that Kentucky politicians aren’t invested in the interests of the people.”
In addition to speaking out, the youth will be conducting get-out-the-vote work on campuses across the state in advance of the general election. According to the Pew Research Center, voting-eligible Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Post-Millennials make up the majority of voting-eligible adults. The group has increased by 18 million since 2014, with 15 million of those being Post-Millennials. The deadline to register to vote in the general election in Kentucky is October 9th.