Image of five KPU members talking at the base of a bridge outside.

Group Organizes around Rental Housing Issues in Northeast Kentucky

The Appalachian People’s Union wants to bring people together around shared concerns. That’s the first step in creating change, says one of its organizers.

“When community organizers started knocking on doors in Boyd County, Kentucky, they were ready to listen to what people had to say about the biggest issues in their lives. What surprised the canvassers was how ready residents were to talk.

“It was just house after house after house of people talking to me for 20 or 30 minutes,” said Beth Howard of organizing efforts in the northeastern Kentucky county of 48,000 residents.

“It was just very clear from the beginning that they wanted to talk about what was going on in their lives.”

About two-thirds of residences in Boyd County are owner-occupied. But most of the people Howard and others talked to were renters. Since housing issues were at the top of their list of their concerns, the Appalachian People’s Union, the organization that grew out of the door-to-door canvassing, will start with working on those issues. The hope is to add more issues later.”….

By Liz Carey at the Daily Yonder

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