Whitesburg | Kentucky

Letcher Governance Project (LGP

Who attended the Assembly and what are they concerned about?

The Letcher Governance Project (LGP)  PMA is bringing together 4 members of LGP who live in Letcher County, Kentucky. The Letcher Governance Project was founded in 2016 in response to the announcement that $444 million was allocated for the construction of a federal prison in Letcher County, Kentucky. The LGP believes that the future of our community depends on the voices of all. We are responsible for holding elected officials accountable for the fiscal decisions they make, and for governing our communities by envisioning solutions that work.

What is the shared analysis of the problems?

Shared Principles:

  • Foster communities in which all persons have value and deserve a good quality of life, regardless of whether they are incarcerated, struggling with mental health issues or addiction, or are currently suffering from systemic racism, sexism, ableism, or other forms of oppression.
  • Generate good, stable, meaningful jobs and broadly-health local wealth and opportunities.
  • Promote inclusive communities where local people are the primary decision-makers, and that power holders—public and private—are genuinely accountable to local people.

We believe that there are better economic solutions for the region than prisons, and $444 million would go a long way towards implementing those solutions.

We are concerned with the gradual increase of prisons in the central Appalachian region, and know from other counties in Eastern Kentucky and nearby Southwestern Virginia that these are not working as economic solutions in rural communities.

We call on Congressman Hal Rogers to consider other solutions to eastern Kentucky’s economy. In this time of economic transition, eastern Kentucky residents demand solutions that foster healing, improved working conditions, and better standards of living.

We wish to express solidarity with groups working across the country to change the United States criminal justice system by stating unequivocally that black lives matter to eastern Kentuckians. This country overwhelmingly imprisons more people of color than white people, and we refuse to allow our local economies to be dependent on this form of racist exploitation.